10 Section 16A(3) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 sets a 14 day period, beginning with the first sitting of the Assembly after an Assembly election, for the appointment of Northern Ireland Ministers and thus the formation of an Executive. Following that period, the Secretary of State comes under a duty (under section 32(3)(a) of the 1998 Act) to propose a date for a new Assembly election. Section 16A(8) precludes an Executive being formed after the 14 day period without a further election being held. Clause 1 amends section 16A, as set out in the commentary below, to enable an Executive to be formed later than the existing 14 day statutory period, with effect only in relation to the Assembly election of 2 March 2017.
11 Regional rates are normally set through an Order under powers conferred by Article 7(1) and (3) of the Rates (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 (as amended), subject to affirmative resolution by the Northern Ireland Assembly. The 1977 Order sets out the framework for the levying of rates in Northern Ireland, but leaves the level of the rates to be set each year. As no Northern Ireland Executive has been formed following the 2 March 2017 Assembly election, these rates could not otherwise be set. Clause 2 is required in order to set the rates for the year ending 31 March 2018 in the absence of the usual rates Order.