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Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

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Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Department overview
Formed June 1921 (as Ministry of Commerce)
Preceding Department
Jurisdiction Northern Ireland
Headquarters Netherleigh, Massey Avenue, Belfast, BT4 2JP
Employees 582 (September 2011)[1]
Annual budget £207.1 million (current) & £68.7 million (capital) for 2011–12[2]
Minister responsible
Website www.detini.gov.uk


The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI, Irish: An Roinn Fiontar, Trádála agus Infheistíochta[3]) is a devolved Northern Ireland government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. The minister with overall responsibility for the department is the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

Aim

DETI's overall aim is to "promote the development of a globally competitive economy." Its stated objective is to "encourage the development of a high value added, innovative, enterprising and competitive economy, leading to greater wealth creation and job opportunities for all."[4]

The incumbent Minister is Jonathan Bell (Democratic Unionist Party).[5]

Responsibilities

The department is responsible for the following policy areas:[6]

  • company registration (prior to commencement of the Companies Act 2006 on 1 October 2009)[7]
  • consumer affairs
  • economic policy development
  • energy
  • health and safety at work
  • insolvency
  • mineral development
  • tourism

Some economic matters are reserved to Westminster and are therefore not devolved: [8]

In addition, some matters are excepted and were not intended for devolution:[9]

DETI's main counterparts in the United Kingdom Government are:

In the Irish Government, its main counterparts are:

Agencies

DETI has four agencies, established as non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), to assist in strategy implementation:

  • Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI), which supports business growth and inward investment, promotes innovation, research and development and in-company training, encourages exports and supports local economic development and company start up;
  • the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), which is responsible for the development, promotion and marketing of Northern Ireland as a tourist destination;
  • the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), which is responsible for health, safety and welfare at work; and
  • the General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland (GCCNI), which is responsible for promoting and safeguarding the interests of consumers and campaigning for the best possible standards of service and protection.

History

A Ministry of Commerce was established at the foundation of Northern Ireland in June 1921, and was subsequently known as the Department of Commerce and Department of Economic Development under direct rule (introduced in March 1972). An economic ministry was also included in the Northern Ireland Executive briefly established in 1974.

The Department of Economic Development also incorporated elements of training and employment policy, now held by the Department for Employment and Learning.

Following a referendum on the Belfast Agreement on 23 May 1998 and the granting of royal assent to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 on 19 November 1998, a Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive were established by the United Kingdom Government under Prime Minister Tony Blair. The Department of Economic Development was renamed as the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and granted a reduced remit. DETI was therefore one of the six direct rule Northern Ireland departments that continued in existence after devolution in December 1999, following the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and The Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999.

A devolved minister took office on 2 December 1999. Devolution was suspended for four periods, during which the department came under the responsibility of direct rule ministers from the Northern Ireland Office:

Since 8 May 2007, devolution has operated without interruption. The Independent Review of Economic Policy, which reported in September 2009, recommended a single economic policy department within the Northern Ireland Executive, which would merge DETI and at least part of the Department for Employment and Learning.[24]

On 11 January 2012, the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness respectively, announced their intention to abolish the Department for Employment and Learning.[25] The department's functions would be "divided principally" between the Department of Education and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment "in an agreed manner". The proposal was resisted by the Alliance Party,[26] which viewed it as "power grab" by the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin, but was approved on 18 January 2012.[27] No timescale for the abolition was outlined and the department remained in operation, as of late March 2012.

DETI was heavily criticised by the Northern Ireland Audit Office for its mismanagement of a broadband scheme starting in 2004 and carried out by Bytel Networks, which saw Bytel receive over a million euros in a European Union grant for equipment that was never used. DETI subsequently sued Bytel in an attempt to reclaim more than four million euros.[28]

Ministers of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Minister Image Party Took office Left office
    Sir Reg Empey 2 December 1999 11 February 2000
Office suspended
    Sir Reg Empey 30 May 2000 14 October 2002[29]
Office suspended
    Nigel Dodds DUP 8 May 2007 9 June 2008
    Arlene Foster DUP 9 June 2008 11 May 2015
    Jonathan Bell DUP 11 May 2015 Incumbent[note 1]

Direct rule ministers

During the periods of suspension, the following ministers of the Northern Ireland Office were responsible for the department:

See also

References

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ (page 29)
  4. ^ Northern Ireland Budget 2011–15, page 57
  5. ^ http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/work-of-the-executive/ministers-and-their-departments.htm Northern Ireland Executive
  6. ^ http://www.detini.gov.uk DETI
  7. ^ Companies Act 2006
  8. ^ Northern Ireland Act 1998, Schedule 3
  9. ^ Northern Ireland Act 1998, Schedule 2
  10. ^ BIS: About BIS
  11. ^ DECC: About us
  12. ^ DCMS: About us
  13. ^ Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: About the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
  14. ^ Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources: Energy
  15. ^ Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: About Us
  16. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Commencement) Order 2000
  17. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2000
  18. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  19. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  20. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  21. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  22. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2002
  23. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2007
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ Office suspended for 24 hours on 11 August 2001 and 22 September 2001
  1. ^ Resigned on 10 September 2015, re-entered office on 16 Sept. till 17 Sept., then on the 23 Sept.-24 Sept, then 28 Sept.-29 Sept., then 30 Sept.-1 Oct. 2015. Following the 20 October he permanently occupies the office

External links

  • DETI
  • The Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 PDF (37.0 KB)
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