Eight features of an effective Programme for Government

A Programme for Government (PfG) is a summary of the NI Executive’s headline objectives, which have been agreed between the parties as their combined aims. It should set out priorities and explain how improvements will be measured and monitored.

The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement requires agreement by the Executive of a PfG and Budget, and Assembly approval on a cross–community basis. Once approved, all ministers are obligated to deliver the PfG’s contents.

Northern Ireland has not had a PfG since 2015. Following the return of the Assembly and Executive in February 2024, a draft PfG is due to be published soon. To help inform discussion, in this one–page summary we suggest eight features of an effective PfG.

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