The Executive Committee exercises executive authority on behalf of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and takes decisions on significant issues and matters which cut across the responsibility of two or more Ministers. It also agrees proposals put forward by Ministers for new legislation in the form of ‘Executive Bills’ for consideration by the Assembly. It is also responsible for drawing up a programme for government and an agreed budget for approval by the Assembly.
Appointed by the Assembly
Ministers of the Executive are nominated by the political parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly. The number of Ministers which a party can nominate is determined by its share of seats in the Assembly. The First Minister and deputy First Minister are nominated by the largest and second largest parties respectively and act as chairpersons of the Executive. Each Executive minister has responsibility for a specific Northern Ireland government department.
The Ministerial Code sets out the rules and procedures to which all ministers must adhere. It includes the Pledge of Office, the Ministerial Code of Conduct, and the seven principles of public life, as well as provisions governing the functioning of the Executive Committee.