Ministerial Directions - background

Section 3.4 of Managing Public Money Northern Ireland (MPMNI) sets out that departmental Accounting Officers should take care to bring to the attention of the Minister to whom he or she is responsible any conflict between the Minister’s instructions and his or her duties.

If, despite the Accounting Officer’s advice, the Minister decides to continue with a course the Accounting Officer has advised against, the Accounting Officer should ask for a formal Ministerial Direction to proceed. The acid test is whether the Accounting Officer could justify the proposed activity if asked to defend it.

While information on such directions has been available in the public domain for some time, it has been decided that from 1 April 2021, such directions will be published, unless the matter must be kept confidential. Below are links to all the directions that have been published since 1 April 2021.

Further, for transparency purposes, a historic list of directions since 2007 is also available. 

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