Executive and Assembly productivity

Conall takes a comparative look at the current Assembly and Executive, compared to their predecrssor.

  • Fair Deal

    Is the amount of legislation the measure of ‘productivity’ for government? Is that not coming from a ‘big’ government perspective?

    By that measure Labour has been a rip-roaring success as the amount of legislation it has passed is pretty unprecedented, though I doubt the general public would see it that way.

  • Michael Shilliday

    The world is fine and nothing needs doing?

    Fair enough. If you think so.

  • I’m told that the Executive has been given some additional work – by the European Commission.

    EU officials have been running their eye over the Rathlin ferry tendering process and will probably be raising the matter of Public Service Obligations, in particular, their apparent absence.

    Professor Neil Kay has written about similar problems confronting the Scottish Executive:

    http://www.brocher.com/Ferries/Ferries.htm

  • Fair Deal

    “The world is fine and nothing needs doing?”

    Straight to exaggeration I see. First we aren’t talking about the world but one small part of the UK, Northern Ireland. Second I did not advocate nothing, I did not say no legislation. Third legislation is not the only thing that government does so it can’t be the sole measure. Fourth it is only using quantity as the measure ignoring quality or the importance/effectiveness of the legislation. Fifth, the blog article ignores the long shadow period the previous Exec had to work on legislation etc in advance of full devolution, a comparable period the present Exec did not enjoy. Sixth, I thought Tory policy was increasing localism not central legislation (I base this on the interetsing blogs Chekov has produced on that topic lately)?

    Simply because something may need doing does not automatically make it a) the government’s responsibility or b) that if it is government’s responsbility that legislation is automatically required. Unless you believe in an ever bigger government, which I do not.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Obviously it’s a simple measure, butit is one none the less. It also tends to indicate imigination. You seem to be on the assumption that legislation must add to the regulator burden, it can also remove and change it. More legislation does not mean more regulation.

  • Fair Deal

    “Obviously it’s a simple measure, butit is one none the less.”

    I do not dispute it is a measure but it is a pretty poor one.

    “It also tends to indicate imigination.”

    Again quantity is not the indicator of imagination. It is in the content that imagination is shown. Although is that not more shown in the policy development stage?

    “You seem to be on the assumption that legislation must add to the regulator burden, it can also remove and change it. More legislation does not mean more regulation.”

    Yes it is an assumption but one that usually is proven by the legislation that is passed. I’d be prepared to put money that the legislation through the NI assembly has increased regulation. Again the blog article makes no distinction between legislation that de-regulates or regulates.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Any legislation is showing some kind of imigination, and the fact that regulation can be changed or lessened by legislation still stands, saying that more legislation is necessarily more regulation is not true.

  • Fair Deal

    “Any legislation is showing some kind of imigination”

    No it can display a lack of it as well.

    “the fact that regulation can be changed or lessened by legislation still stands”

    In theory yes but I stand by my comment of what has actually happened “I’d be prepared to put money that the legislation through the NI assembly has increased regulation.”

    “more legislation is necessarily more regulation is not true.”

    Claiming it will deliver less regulation is equally untrue.

  • What about the PFG and the NSMC the Fair Deal?

  • Fair Deal

    Conall

    They have the same problems as the legislation measure, it is largely based on quantity.

    The amount of paper/length of document government produces is a dubious measure. We are already buried in the stuff so if you made that a formal measure I would feel sorry for the trees.

    My recollection of the previos PfG was it was largely what government had planned to do anyway just put in a single document, apart from the special themed exec funds there was little sign of a devolutionary imprint. As I mentioned earlier there was not a comparable shadow period to work on these documents. Also there has been some shift in philosophy in the gap between the two documents, when the first one was produced targets targets and more targets were the order of the day now targetting what you target is more the order of the day.

    I also think this is all very short-termist, whether for the previous administration or the present one. The legislative process and the time lag between government action and measurable impact is that 800 days or 700 days is to soon to objectively assess.

    Also your analysis doesn’t include the Exec hiatus which would have had an impact on legislative progress (and possibly NSMC meetings.)

    As for the NSMC not being as active as it was previously, it is not something I’m going to be losing sleep over 😉 Although the largest recession for a generation may also have been a source of distraction.

  • The ‘time lag’ between a citizen query and government action may be reduced by A Europe of results – Applying Community law.

    It may even spur committees to adopt a more pro-active role – just in case they get named and shamed.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Michael,

    I think you’re on a hiding to nothing with this one. Both iterations of the assembly have, I am afraid, spent significant proportions of their time implementing parity legislation, ie reimplementing existing best practice in England and Wales. One or two examples stand out, such as the reform of ground rents, but this was on the cards for years.

    As FD says, there may be a case to be made if you want to talk about original legislation that made a real difference for people.

    And it’s no good talking about how great the first executive was given that it was subject to almost continuous political instability.

  • “And it’s no good talking about how great the first executive was given that it was subject to almost continuous political instability”.

    Comrade Stalin you are surely not arguing that this executive, which is not subject to the destructive affect of DUP and SF actions but is built on a SF – DUP coalition is more effective than its predecessor?

    Seems to me that the SDLP and UUP would be miles ahead if they had the stable context the current coalition enjoys.

  • DC

    “Is the amount of legislation the measure of ‘productivity’ for government? Is that not coming from a ‘big’ government perspective?”

    No but its an indication of the level of ideas, such as legislation to regulate society’s workings, or deregulate it.

    And yes New Labour did have plenty of legislative plans, of course whether the public liked it or not is another thing altogether.

    A case in point is wee Cat Ruane who, despite all her purring and plucking at the education furniture, is having problems fashioning the education system to her own liking due to – you guessed it – a lack of legislation!

    To those in the DUP all I can say is, I suppose: Sit on your hands there boys and girls and be careful what you say and how you say it (Peter Robinson in particular – he’s prone to sounding arsy and agitated) for we don’t want another walkout. Besides two negatives and such negativity as per the public frowns of McGuinness and Robinson, SF-DUP, doesn’t usually tend to attract – does it?

    So, cheer up Punt, you’re in a half-a million-pounds-a-year-family. That would put a smile on most people’s faces (except probably the voters). Cha-ching.

    Toodlepip.