Departmental Restructure – What is going where, update

The ‘A Fresh Start’ Agreement laid out more details on the plans for the reduction in government departments following the 2016 Assembly Election. 

Each of the Departments new responsibilities are laid out in full in Appendix F5 of ‘A Fresh Start.’ There are a few changes from the original announcements in March 2015.  

The legislation to enact the changes is due to be laid in the Assembly before the end of November 2015.

Below you can see which functions have transferred from the old departments (left) to the new departments (right). Hover over the links to see the names functions that have been moved.

Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development takes responsibility for:

  • Functions of DARD, but not Rivers Agency
  • Environmental functions of DoE, but not Built Heritage from NIEA
  • Inland fisheries from DCAL
  • Responsibility for Sustainability Strategy

Infrastructure will take responsibility for:

  • DRD
  • Vehicle registration, road safety and DVA functions from DOE
  • Strategic Planning from DOE
  • Rivers Agency from DARD
  • Inland waterways from DCAL
  • Regenerations sites team

The new Department of the Economy takes the all the functions of DETI and DEL but not the Employment Service

Education retains all the current responsibilities of DE and takes charge of “a range of children’s services excluding child protection which remains in DHSSPS and policy responsibility for the Childcare Strategy

The new Finance Department retains responsibility for all the functions of the existing DFP

In a change from the previous announcement the new Department of Health retains responsibility for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

Justice retains functions of DOJ and gets responsibility for Planning Appeals Commission and Water Appeals Commission from OFMDFM.

OFMDFM is renamed the Executive Office, has responsibilities removed outlined throughout this article and gains the Strategic Policy and Innovation Unit.

The new Department of Communities gains DSD functions plus:

  • DCAL functions including PRONI, but not those laid out elsewhere
  • Employment Service and Economic Inactivity Strategy from DEL
  • Local Government from DOE and Built Heritage from NIEA
  • Debt Advice and Financial Capability Strategy from DETI
  • A number of OFMDFM functions including:
    • Social Investment Fund
    • Minority Ethnic Development Fund
    • Policy responsibility for Older People
    • Policy responsibility for Disability Strategy
    • Policy responsibility for gender and sexual orientation

In a departure from previous announcement Communities takes policy responsibility for children and young people.

The new Permanent Secretaries for each of the new Departments were announced in early November, you can read who they are here

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