Policy - Public Adminsitration in Northern Ireland
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A review of local government and the administration of public services in Northern Ireland was launched on 24 June 2002. The review had been part of the Northern Ireland Executive’s Programme for Government. However the devolved institutions were suspended at midnight on Monday 14 October 2002 and the running of the various Northern Ireland Departments was taken over by Northern Ireland Office (NIO) ministers. These NIO ministers pressed ahead with the plans for the review of public administration in the region using the following as a guide:
"The Executive remains committed to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of and accountability for, the administration and delivery of public services in Northern Ireland. We recognise the need for different structures under devolution, taking account of new relationships between local and regional government, as well as the full range of other bodies that function within the wider public sector. We are committed to a comprehensive and strategic review of all aspects of the public sector."
On 22 November 2005 Peter Hain, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and other NIO minsters announced the outcome of the review process in a series of statements. In the case of local government the main recommendation was for a reduction in the number of district councils from 26 to 7. There were also recommendations for a single education and library board and a single health board.
On 21 March 2006 Peter Hain announced further changes to public administration in Northern Ireland. He detailed proposals for dealing with the remaining Executive Agencies and Public Bodies.
Statements and other materials on the Review of Public Administration:
Review of Public Administration website:
CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within Ulster University.
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