The main purpose of the Register of Members' Interests is to give public notification on a continuous basis of those financial interests (i.e. as specified in categories 1 to 7) held by Members which might reasonably be thought to influence the way in which they act in their capacity as a Member of the Assembly. Provision is also made for the registration of non-financial interests (i.e. as specified in categories 8 and 9) and other such information as the Assembly may from time to time require to be included. The nine categories of registrable interests are described below. You should refer to the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members for further information. Apart from the specific rules, there is a more general obligation upon members to keep the overall definition of the Register's purpose in mind when registering their interests.
The entries in the Register are designed to give a clear description of the nature and scope of the interests declared. Each Member is, however, ultimately responsible for his or her own entry; inconsistencies of style or content in the Register are attributable largely to that fact.
Members are prohibited not only from advocating or initiating any matter on behalf of any other person in return for payment or benefit, but also from conferring benefit exclusively upon a body or individual outside the Assembly from which they have received, are receiving or expect to receive a financial or material benefit. Further detail is set out in the Code and Guide.
The form supplied to Members for the registration of their interests is divided into nine sections, which are represented in this Register by the following headings:
This is the category for Members to register any directorship, employment (including self-employment), office held, partnership, trade, profession, or vocation which is remunerated or in which the Member has any financial interest. Members are also required to register the amount of any remuneration they have received, or expect to receive, in respect of each relevant entry and the average approximate hours spent in relation to that remuneration.
Members are required to register under this category:
Support (including support in kind) received for their activities as a Member, or for candidacy at an election for Assembly or non-Assembly office, or for their political activities which has a value of more than £1,000, either as a single donation or in multiple donations of more than £200 from the same source in a calendar year. However, donations made directly to a constituency party as an expression of general political support, not linked to the Member's candidacy or membership of the Assembly or political activities, should not be registered.
This section is for the registration of any gift or material benefit received by the Member or any third party, which is of a value greater than 0.5% of the current salary of an Assembly Member (currently £245), from any company, organisation or person which in any way relates to membership of the Assembly (including those received in a ministerial capacity) or to the Member's political activities.
Gifts and Hospitality received by the Speaker/Deputy Speakers
In addition to the requirement for all Members to register certain categories of gifts/benefits/hospitality received, the Speaker's Office also maintains an additional register of gifts and hospitality received by the Speaker and Deputy Speakers. This Register details any such benefits received by the Speaker or Deputy Speakers from third parties, regardless of value. Usually such gifts received are retained by the Speaker's Office rather than being retained by an individual office holder, but in any event the details are recorded on the register. The register is available online (http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/Speakers_Office/gifts.htm).
This section covers, with certain specified exceptions, details of any travel, accommodation and hospitality with a value of over £245 provided either to the Member or any third party, when the purpose of the visit relates to the Member's membership of the Assembly (including those received in a ministerial capacity) or political activities.
In this section Members are required to register shareholdings held by the Member, either personally, or with or on behalf of a third party, in any public or private company or other body where either:
(a) the nominal value of the shares at the relevant date is, or was, greater than 1% of the total nominal value of the issued share capital of the company or other body;
(b) the market value of the shares at the relevant date exceeds, or exceeded, 50% of the current salary of an Assembly Member (currently £24,500) on that date.
The requirement in this section is to register any land or property - owned solely or with or on behalf of a third-party - either within or outside of Northern Ireland, other than any home used wholly for personal residential purposes of the Member, or the Member's partner or any dependent child of the Member, which
a) has a value of more than £49,000; or forms part of a total property portfolio whose value exceeds £49,000; and/or
b) alone or together with other properties owned by the Member, provides rental income of more than £4,900 in a calendar year irrespective of whether or not the Member receives any of that income.
In this section Members should register any relevant financial interest not falling within one of the above categories.
Members are required to list in this section any unremunerated interests which might reasonably be thought by others to influence how they act in the capacity as a Member of the Assembly.
In this section Members should register details of any family members or family members of another Member who benefit directly or indirectly in any way from Office Cost Expenditure.
The publication of this Register has been carried out in accordance with Standing Orders 57(1)(b) and 69(1) - (3).
It is the responsibility of the Members to notify changes in their registrable interests within 28 days of the change occurring; and the Register will be periodically updated in a loose-leaf version to take account of such amendments. The loose-leaf version is open to inspection, by arrangement, in Room 254, Parliament Buildings. A copy of the loose-leaf Register is placed in the Assembly Library for the use of Members.
In addition, both the published Register and its regular updates are available on the Internet at the following address: www.niassembly.gov.uk
Advice on how to make a complaint is available by going to
1. Employment and Earnings
2. Donations and other support
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality
6. Land and Property
8. Unremunerated interests
9. Family members who benefit from Office Cost Expenditure
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