Operation of the Assembly
6. At their first meeting, members of the Assembly will register a declaration of identity- nationalist, unionist or other - for the purposes of measuring cross-community support in Assembly votes under the relevant provisions above.
7. The Chair and Deputy Chair of the Assembly will be elected on a cross-community basis, as set out in paragraph 5(d) above.
8. There will be a Committe for each of the main executive functions of the Northern Ireland Administration. The Chairs and Deputy Chairs of the Assembly Committees will be allocated proportionally, using the d'Hondt system. Membership of the Committees will be in broad proportion to party strengths in the Assembly to ensure that the opportunity of Committee places is available to all members.
9. The Committees will have a scrutiny,policy development and consultation role with respect to the Department with which each is associated, and will have a role in initiation of legislation. They will have the power to:
- consider and advise on Departmental budgets and Annual Plans in the context of the overall budget allocation;
- approve relevant secondary legislation and take the Committee stage of relevant primary legislation;
- call for persons and papers;
- initiate enquiries and make reports;
- consider and advise on matters brought to the Committee by its Minister.
10. Standing Committees other than Departmental Committees may be established as may be required from time to time.
11. The Assembly may appoint a special Committee to examine and report on whether a measure or proposal for legislation is in conformity with equality requirements, including the ECHR/Bill of Rights. The Committe shall have the power to call people and papers to assist in its consideration of the matter. The Assembly shall then consider the report of the Committee and can determine the matter in accordance with the cross-community consent procedure.
12. The above special procedure shall be followed when requested by the Executive Committee, or by the relevant Departmental Committee, voting on a cross-community basis.
13. When there is a petition of concern as in 5(d) above, the Assembly shall vote to determine whether a measure may proceed without reference to this special procedure. If this fails to achieve support on a cross-community basis, as in 5(d) above, the special procedure shall be followed.
Good Friday Agreement Contents