Northern Ireland Act 1998

17Ministerial offices

(1)The First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly may at any time, and shall where subsection (2) applies, determine—

(a)the number of Ministerial offices to be held by Northern Ireland Ministers; and

(b)the functions to be exercisable by the holder of each such office.

(2)This subsection applies where provision is made by an Act of the Assembly for establishing a new Northern Ireland department or dissolving an existing one.

(3)In making a determination under subsection (1), the First Minister and the deputy First Minister shall ensure that the functions exercisable by those in charge of the different Northern Ireland departments existing at the date of the determination are exercisable by the holders of different Ministerial offices.

(4)The number of Ministerial offices shall not exceed 10 or such greater number as the Secretary of State may by order provide.

(5)A determination under subsection (1) shall not have effect unless it is approved by a resolution of the Assembly passed with cross-community support.