Independent Bodies and Other Organisations

Agencies and Other Associated Bodies

Certification Office for Trade Unions and Employers' Associations

The Certification Officer is an independent statutory person. The post, which is part-time was established under The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.

Civil Service Commissioners for Northern Ireland

Civil Service Commissioners are independent of Government and the Northern Ireland Civil Service. They are respnsible for ensuring appointments to the Northern Ireland Civil Service are made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

Community Relations Council

The Community Relations Council was formed in January 1990 as an independent company and registered charity. It originated in 1986 as a proposal of a research report commissioned by the Northern Ireland Standing Advisory Committee on Human Rights. The Council was set up to promote bette relations between Protestants and Catholics in NI and equally to promote recognition of cultural diversity.

Exceptional Circumstances Body

The Exceptional Circumstances Body (ECB) is a Tribunal Non-Departmental Public Body established and funded by the Department of Education. The tribunal examines applications from parents/guardians where it is asserted that due to exceptional circumstances, a child must attend a specified post-primary school having been unable to gain admission through the normal competitive process. Members of the tribunal are appointed by the Department of Education but work independently of it.

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry

The Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry is the largest inquiry into historical institutional sexual and physical abuse of children in UK legal history. Its remit covers institutions in Northern Ireland that provided residential care for children from 1922 to 1995, it excludes most church-run schools. The Inquiry was set up in response to the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Act (Northern Ireland) 2013.

International Fund for Ireland

The International Fund for Ireland is an independent international organisation established in 1986 by the British and Irish governments with the objectives of promoting "economic and social advance and to encourage contact, dialogue and reconciliation between nationalists and unionists throughout Ireland. The Fund focuses its efforts in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties of Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo.

Lay Observer for Northern Ireland

The Lay Observer receives and examines guidelines about the complaints process operated by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and about the way the Client Complaints Committee in the Law Society handles complaints about solicitors.

Local Government Staff Commission for Northern Ireland

The Local Government Staff Commission for Northern Ireland is an executive non-departmental public body established under the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972. Its powers were later extended under the Housing Orders 1976 and 1981, and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (NI) Order 1992.

Northern Ireland Audit Office

The Northern Ireland Audit Office is a public sector body that is totally independent of governemt. Their role is to help the Northern Ireland Assembly hold the Executive to account for the way it spends public money.

Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation

The Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation is responsible for regulating the electricity, gas, water and sewerage industries in Northern Ireland, promoting the short- and long-term interests of consumers.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) is a national human rights institution with a status accreditation from the United Nations (UN). NIHRC is funded by the United Kingdom government, but is an independent public body that operates in full accordance with the UN Paris Principles.

Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission

The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission was established in June 2005. They are an independent public body established to bring about a new system for appointing members of the judiciary in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Ombudsman (Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints)

The Northern Ireland Ombudsman deals with complaints from people who believe they have suffered injustice as a result of poor administration or the wrong applications of rules by government departments and public bodies.

Office of the Attorney General for Northern Ireland

The Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 established the post of Attorney General for Northern Ireland. The Attorney General is the chief legal adviser to the Northern Ireland Executive for both civil and criminal matters that fall within the devolved powers of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Attorney General is also the chief public prosecutor for Northern Ireland and is responsible for the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland.

Office of the Chief Electoral Officer

The Chief Electoral Officer manages elections and compiles the Register of Electors in Northern Ireland. He is independent of government and is assisted by the staff of the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

Office of the Social Fund Commissioner

This Office ceased to exist with the introduction of Welfare Reform. The core purpose of the Office of the Social Fund Commissioner was to deliver independent reviews of discretionary Social Fund decisions made in the Social Security Agency.

Parades Commission for Northern Ireland

The Parades Commission is a quasi-judicial non-departmental public body responsible for placing restrictions on any parades in Northern Ireland it deems contentious or offensive. It is composed of seven members, all of whom are appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland

Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland is established as a regulator under the Pharmacy (Northern Ireland) Order 1976.

Rural Development Council (Northern Ireland)

The Rural Development Council (RDC) was inaugurated in September 1991 as a key agency within the Government's Rural Development Initiative The Council was set up with 16 members, six appointed by Government and representing a wide range of rural interests, including the farming community, district councils, the voluntary sector and private business.

The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland

The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland is an independent and impartial public body, which reviews all UK Parliament constituency boundaries in Northern Ireland according to rules established by the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (as amended). There are separate Commissions to review UK Parliament constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales.

Publications in this Department

Northern Ireland Police Fund

Initially the Fund was a Company Limited by Guarantee but in 2016 this was changed to a Statutory Body of the Department of Justice under the Northern Ireland Police Fund Regulations 2016. The Fund is classed as an Executive Non-Departmental Body