Are Assembly Committees Effective?

The effectiveness of the Assembly’s Committee system was questioned in Lisburn as one audience member suggested their role was debatable as all the power seems to be with the departments. Basil McCrea agreed to an extent saying that in a Committee, ‘we can advise, we can inform, we can discuss, but ultimately the executive power rests with the Minister’.
Alban Maginness rued the fact that Committee Members never divested themselves of party views for the greater good of a Committee.
David Ford disagreed with Alban Maginness. As a member of the Environment Committee, Mr. Ford suggested that his Committee collectively often defies the Minister for Environment.

Some of our panel members suggested that Alban Maginness was being very pessimistic when suggesting that party politics stands in the way of Committee effectiveness. Do you agree with Mr. Maginness or do you think that Committee’s play an important role in legislating?

One Response

  1. On reading the minutes of the Health Committee, they seem to scrutinise the work of the DHSSPS very closely.

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