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Explanatory Memorandum to Northern Ireland Policing Board (Northern Ireland) Order 2007

Background

3.The Northern Ireland Policing Board was established under section 2 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000. Schedule 1 to that Act makes provision about the membership of the Board. Separate provision is made for membership during devolved government and during suspension of devolved government.

4.Devolved government in Northern Ireland was suspended in October 2002 and has remained in suspension ever since. The Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act 2006 sets out the arrangements to facilitate a return to devolved government within Northern Ireland.

5.A return to devolved government would result in the members of the Board ceasing to hold office. New members would then be nominated and appointed in accordance with Part III of Schedule 1 to the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000.

6.The Order makes changes to the existing provisions about the membership of the Board for the particular circumstances of the timetable for the restoration of devolved government set out in the Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act 2006.

7.In the light of that timetable, the Order amends the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000—

  • providing for a temporary transitional arrangement to enable 9 current independent members of the Northern Ireland Policing Board to be reappointed for a period of up to four months to facilitate the holding of a recruitment competition for independent members.

  • preventing the Secretary of State from filling vacancies in the Board’s membership during the transitional period.

  • facilitating the appointment of a Chairman and Vice Chairman for the transitional period.

  • making no amendment to the requirement that the Secretary of State should consult with the First and Deputy First Minister on the appointment of independent members of the transitional Board.

  • providing that if restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly takes effect on 26th March 2007 but is revoked on 28th March 2007, the members of the Board continue in office, their terms of office unaffected by the restoration or by the revocation.

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