Public Affairs

Consultation update


Details of significant consultation exercises currently being carried out by government departments and other public sector bodies in Northern Ireland. Queries on individual consultations should be referred to the organisations concerned, as outlined.

Department for Communities (DfC)

Capping early exit charges on pension schemes

Opened 26 May

This consultation is seeking views on proposals to introduce a cap on early exit charges imposed by providers of occupational pension schemes when a member leaves the scheme early in order to access their pensions flexibly. The responses to this consultation will inform legislative changes that will bring the cap into effect.

Responses should be submitted no later than 16 August to: Helen Wilson, Department for Communities, Social Security Policy and Legislation Division, Level 1, James House, 2-4 Cromac Avenue, Gasworks Business Park, Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 2JA.



Inner Walled City Public Realm Consultation

Opened 20 June

The Department has published concept design proposals for the Inner Walled City Public Realm Project in Londonderry and is seeking views from interested parties on these proposals. The project proposes the delivery of a high quality public realm improvement scheme within the Historic City Conservation Area.

Responses should be submitted no later than 28 August to: Department for Communities, North West Development Office, Orchard House, 40 Foyle Street, Derry, BT48 6AT.



Department for Infrastructure (DfI)

There are no current consultations


Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural affairs (DAERA)

There are no current consultations


Department of Finance (DoF)

There are no current major consultations


Department of Health (DoH)

There are no current major consultations


Department of Justice (DoJ)

There are no current major consultations


Department for the Economy (DfE)

Draft Gas (Designation of Pipelines) Order (NI) 2016

The Department has published a public notice regarding plans to make and lay subordinate legislation entitled the Gas (Designation of Pipelines) Order (Northern Ireland) 2016. The proposed Designation Order will provide for the high pressure transmission section of a new gas pipeline between Maydown and Strabane to be designated under Article 59 of the Energy (NI) Order 2003 for the purposes of the common transmission tariff.

Responses should be submitted no later than 5 August to: Gas Branch, Department for the Economy, Room 44, Netherleigh House, Massey Avenue, Belfast, BT1 4JP.



Northern Ireland Executive Office

Draft Programme for Government Framework 2016-21

Opened 27 May

The Northern Ireland Executive is seeking views on the draft Programme for Government Framework 2016-21. The draft Framework contains 14 strategic outcomes considering each aspect of government, including the attainment of good health and education, economic success and confident and peaceful communities. The outcomes are supported by 42 indicators which are clear statements for change. Each indicator is accompanied by a measure largely derived from existing statistics. These will show how the Executive is performing in relation to the outcomes and will provide a basis to monitor progress and take corrective action.

A key feature of the new Programme is its dependence on collaborative working between organisations and groups, whether in the public, voluntary, or private sectors, and it is a Programme in which individuals and communities can also play an active part. It will require a significant change in approach from that used by previous administrations. The Executive will need to work collectively to deliver this Programme, driving work across boundaries and focusing on the outcomes rather than traditional departmental lines.

In due course, the Programme for Government Framework will provide the strategic context for other key Executive strategy documents, including the Investment Strategy, the Economic Strategy and an Anti-Poverty/Social Strategy. The Programme will also inform the development of the Executive’s budget over the course of this mandate and provide a mechanism for ensuring our limited funds are best directed to where they can contribute most. The consultation takes the format of a questionnaire.

Responses should be completed no later than 22 July via:



Department of Education (DE)

Discontinuation of compendium of Northern Ireland education statistics

Opened 20 May

The Department has launched a consultation on the suggested discontinuation of the Compendium of Northern Ireland Education Statistics. This includes data on pupil enrolments and teacher numbers in schools, and Further and Higher Education.

Responses should be submitted no later than 15 July to: Paul Matthews, Analytical Services Unit, Department of Education, Room 1.09, Rathgael House, Bangor, BT19 7PR.


Statistics on projected numbers of pupils in schools

Opened 20 May

This consultation is seeking views about the usefulness of statistics on projected numbers of pupils in schools. This includes the number of primary, post-primary and pre-school pupils for the next number of years.

Please respond to this consultation online no later 15 July:



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