The Fiscal Council’s initial Terms of Reference reflect the commitments in the 2020 New Decade New Approach (NDNA) agreement.
As we set about our work, and in line with the initial ToR, we are keen to hear where stakeholders see the strengths and weaknesses of current public finance reporting and scrutiny and how best we can fulfil both the specific tasks set out in the ToR and the broader mission that we are embarking on. We have met with a number of key stakeholders but we continue to welcome comments from anyone we haven't yet spoken with.
Some topics on which contributions would be particularly valuable are:
- What do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of current reporting and scrutiny of Northern Ireland’s public finances? How might we expand or improve the public finances data that are currently available?
- How should we assess “the Executive’s revenue streams and spending proposals and how these allow the Executive to balance their budget”? When in the year (or during the budget process) would this be most useful?
- How best can we assess “the sustainability of the Executive’s public finances”? How would you interpret sustainability in this context? When would publication of this analysis be most useful?
- Given the requirement placed on us to assess “the effectiveness of long-term efficiency measures”, what sorts of measures should we aim to look at and should we try to quantify their effectiveness?
- Are there any other ways in which you think we could increase public awareness and understanding of the public finances?
- Do you have any suggestions regarding the long-term structure and role of the Fiscal Council that the Executive and Assembly should take into account when the time comes to prepare its underpinning legislation?
We welcome your suggestions on these topics or on other matters of interest. You can provide your comments by emailing the Fiscal Council at email@example.com