21 Northern Ireland departments.E+W+S+N.I.
(1)Subject to subsection (2), the Northern Ireland departments existing on the appointed day shall be the Northern Ireland departments for the purposes of this Act.
(2)Provision may be made by Act of the Assembly for establishing new Northern Ireland departments or dissolving existing ones.
(3)If an Act of the Assembly which establishes a new Northern Ireland department provides for it to be in the charge of the First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly—
(a)the department shall not be regarded as a Northern Ireland department for the purposes of subsection (2) or (3) of section 17; and
(b)the office held by those Ministers as the head of the department shall not be regarded as a Ministerial office for the purposes of subsection (4) of that section or section 18.