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Northern Ireland Act 1998

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Miscellaneous

63Financial acts of the Assembly

(1)The Assembly may not pass a vote, resolution or Act to which this subsection applies except in pursuance of a recommendation which—

(a)is made by the Minister of Finance and Personnel; and

(b)is signified to the Assembly by him or on his behalf.

(2)Subsection (1) applies to a vote, resolution or Act which—

(a)imposes or increases a charge on the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland;

(b)appropriates a sum out of that Fund or increases a sum to be appropriated;

(c)releases or compounds a debt owed to the Crown; or

(d)imposes or increases a tax.

(3)Standing orders shall provide that a vote, resolution or Act which—

(a)appropriates a sum out of the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland or increases a sum to be appropriated; or

(b)imposes or increases a tax,

shall not be passed without cross-community support.

64Draft budgets

(1)The Minister of Finance and Personnel shall, before the beginning of each financial year, lay before the Assembly a draft budget, that is to say, a programme of expenditure proposals for that year which has been agreed by the Executive Committee in accordance with paragraph 20 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement.

(2)The Assembly may, with cross-community support, approve a draft budget laid before them with or without modification.

65Audit

(1)The Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland shall be appointed by Her Majesty on the nomination of the Assembly.

(2)A recommendation shall not be made to Her Majesty for the removal from office of the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland unless—

(a)the Assembly so resolves; and

(b)the resolution is passed with the support of a number of members of the Assembly which equals or exceeds two thirds of the total number of seats in the Assembly.

(3)The Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland shall not, in the exercise of any of his functions, be subject to the direction or control of any Minister or Northern Ireland department or of the Assembly; but this subsection does not apply in relation to any function conferred on him of preparing accounts.

(4)The accounts of the Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland shall be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland in accordance with the [1921 c. 2 (N.I.).] Exchequer and Audit Act Northern Ireland) 1921.

(5)Subsection (4) is subject to any provision of an Act of the Assembly or other Northern Ireland legislation.

(6)The Assembly shall not have power under Article 4(1) of the [S.I. 1987/460 (N.I.5).] Audit (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 to pass at any time a resolution which reduces the salary payable to a person holding the office of Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland at that time.

66Expenses of Northern Ireland Audit Office

(1)Standing orders shall make provision for establishing a committee of members of the Assembly to exercise, in place of the Department of Finance and Personnel, the functions conferred on that Department by Article 6(2) of the Audit (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 (expenses of Northern Ireland Audit Office).

(2)No more than one member of the committee established under subsection (3) of section 60 may be a member of the committee established under this section.

(3)The committee established under this section shall, in discharging its functions, have regard to the advice of the committee established under that subsection and of the Department of Finance and Personnel.

67Provision of information to Treasury

(1)The Treasury may require the Northern Ireland Ministers and departments to provide, within such period as the Treasury may specify, such information, in such form and prepared in such manner, as the Treasury may specify.

(2)If the information is not in their possession or under their control, their duty under subsection (1) is to take all reasonable steps to comply with the requirement.

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