Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister

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Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister
Ofmdfm-logo.png
Logo of OFMDFM
Department overview
Formed 1 December 1999
Preceding Department Department of the Prime Minister
(1921–72)
Northern Ireland Office
(1972–99)
Office of the Chief Executive
(Jan.–May 1974)
Jurisdiction Northern Ireland
Headquarters Stormont Castle, Stormont Estate, Belfast, BT4 3TT
Employees 380 (September 2011)[1]
Annual budget £78.6 million (current) & £11.2 million (capital) for 2011–12[2]
Minister responsible Rt Hon Peter Robinson (First Minister) & Martin McGuinness (deputy First Minister)
Website www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk
Politicsofnorthernirelandlogo.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Northern Ireland

The Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) (Irish: Oifig an Chéad-Aire agus an leasChéad-Aire, Ulster Scots: Offis o tha Heid Männystèr an tha Heid Männystèr depute) is a devolved Northern Ireland government department in the Northern Ireland Executive with overall responsibility for the running of the Executive. The Ministers with overall responsibility for the department are the First Minister and deputy First Minister.

The department was originally known as the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, with the same capitalisation used in the department's logo. Following a change in policy in 2007 (see First Minister and deputy First Minister), the word "deputy" is now spelt with a lower-case d, but the older version of the name is retained in the logo.

Ministers[edit]

The incumbent First Minister and deputy First Minister are Peter Robinson (Democratic Unionist Party) and Martin McGuinness (Sinn Féin) respectively. They are assisted by two junior ministers: Jonathan Bell (Democratic Unionist Party) and Jennifer McCann (Sinn Féin).[3]

Responsibilities[edit]

OFMDFM’s overall aim is to “deliver a peaceful, fair, equal and prosperous society". Its key stated objectives include: "driving investment and sustainable development"; "Tackling disadvantage and promoting equality of opportunity"; and the "effective operation of the institutions of government".[4]

The office has the following main responsibilities:[5]

OFMDFM's main counterparts in the United Kingdom Government are:

Its main counterparts in the Irish Government are:

History[edit]

A Prime Minister of Northern Ireland was appointed on its formation in June 1921, supported by the Department of the Prime Minister,[19] but the office was abolished in March 1972, on the introduction of direct rule.

The Northern Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act 1972 transferred the powers of the Prime Minister to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland within the British Government. A Chief Executive of Northern Ireland briefly held office in the 1974 Northern Ireland Executive. The Secretary of State was supported by the Northern Ireland Office, which was responsible for security and political affairs during the Troubles.

Following a referendum on the Belfast Agreement on 23 May 1998 and the granting of royal assent to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 on 19 November 1998, a Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive were established by the United Kingdom Government under Prime Minister Tony Blair. The process was known as devolution and was set up to return devolved legislative powers to Northern Ireland. OFMDFM was one of five new devolved Northern Ireland departments created in December 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and The Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999.

The First Minister and Deputy First Minister first took office on 2 December 1999. Devolution was suspended for four periods, during which the department came under the responsibility of direct rule ministers from the Northern Ireland Office:

Since 8 May 2007, devolution has operated without interruption.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Northern Ireland Quarterly Employment Survey Historical Data". Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Budget 2011–15". Department of Finance and Personnel. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  3. ^ http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/work-of-the-executive/ministers-and-their-departments.htm Northern Ireland Executive
  4. ^ Northern Ireland Budget 2011–15, page 105
  5. ^ OFMDFM Ministers
  6. ^ Northern Ireland Office: About the NIO
  7. ^ Cabinet Office: About the Cabinet Office
  8. ^ Cabinet Office: Honours and awards
  9. ^ Department for Communities and Local Government: Communities and neighbourhoods
  10. ^ Department for Communities and Local Government: Fire and resilience
  11. ^ Government Equalities Office: About GEO
  12. ^ Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: About Defra
  13. ^ Foreign and Commonwealth Office: About us
  14. ^ Department of the Taoiseach: Role of the Taoiseach
  15. ^ Department of Foreign Affairs: About the Department of Foreign Affairs
  16. ^ Department of Justice and Equality: About Us
  17. ^ Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government: Sustainable Development
  18. ^ Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government: Emergency Planning
  19. ^ Alan J. Ward, The Irish Constitutional Tradition, p.116.
  20. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Commencement) Order 2000
  21. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2000
  22. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  23. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  24. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  25. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  26. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2002
  27. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2007

External links[edit]