Northern Ireland Bill - continued        House of Commons

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     1. A person appointed under standing orders made under section 32(2)(b) shall hold office until another member of the Assembly is appointed in his place, unless he previously resigns or ceases to be a member of the Assembly otherwise than by virtue of a dissolution.
     2. - (1) The Commission may hold property.
      (2) Subordinate legislation may provide-
    (a) for the transfer to the Commission of any property to which this sub-paragraph applies;
    (b) for the Commission to have such rights or interests in relation to any property to which this sub-paragraph applies as the person making the legislation considers appropriate (whether in connection with a transfer or otherwise).
      (3) Sub-paragraph (2) applies to any property belonging to a Northern Ireland department which appears to the person making the subordinate legislation to be property which is or may be required wholly or partly for the purposes of the Commission's functions.
      (4) Subordinate legislation under sub-paragraph (2) in relation to any property may provide for the transfer to the Commission of any liabilities relating to the property to which a Northern Ireland department is subject and which subsist immediately before the subordinate legislation comes into force.
     3. - (1) The Commission may appoint staff.
      (2) The persons appointed by the Commission are referred to in this Act as the staff of the Assembly.
      (3) It is for the Commission to determine the terms and conditions of appointment of the staff of the Assembly, including arrangements for the payment of pensions, gratuities or allowances to, or in respect of, any person who has ceased to be a member of the staff of the Assembly.
      (4) Accordingly, the Commission may-
    (a) make contributions or payments towards provision for such pensions, gratuities or allowances;
    (b) establish and administer one or more pension schemes.
      (5) The power conferred by sub-paragraph (1) includes power to make arrangements for administrative, secretarial or other assistance to be provided for the Commission by officers of the civil service of Northern Ireland or the civil service; and the reference in sub-paragraph (2) to persons appointed by the Commisssion shall be construed accordingly.
     4. - (1) Subject to sub-paragraph (4), the Commission may do anything which appears to it to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of or in connection with the discharge of its functions.
      (2) That includes, in particular-
    (a) entering into contracts;
    (b) investing sums not immediately required in relation to the discharge of its functions; and
    (c) accepting gifts.
      (3) The Commission may borrow sums in sterling by way of overdraft or otherwise for the purpose of meeting a temporary excess of expenditure over sums otherwise available to meet that expenditure.
      (4) The Commission may borrow money only under sub-paragraph (3) and may borrow under that sub-paragraph only with the special or general approval of the Assembly.
     5. The Commission may delegate any of its functions to the Presiding Officer or a member of the staff of the Assembly.
Proceedings and business
     6. - (1) The validity of any proceedings of the Commission shall not be affected by any vacancy among the members, or by any defect in the appointment, or qualification for membership, of any member.
      (2) The Commission may determine its own procedure.
      (3) The Presiding Officer shall preside at meetings of the Commission, but the Commission may appoint another of its members to preside if the office of Presiding Officer is vacant or the Presiding Officer is for any reason unable to act.
Crown status
     7. - (1) Her Majesty may by Order in Council provide for the Commission to be treated to any extent as a Crown body for the purposes of any enactment.
      (2) In particular, the Order may for the purposes of any enactment provide-
    (a) for employment under the Commission to be treated as employment under the Commission as a Crown body;
    (b) for land held, used or managed by the Commission, or operations carried out by or on behalf of the Commission, to be treated (as the case may be) as land held, used or managed, or operations carried out by or on behalf of, the Commission as a Crown body.
      (3) For the purposes of this paragraph, "Crown body" means a body which is the servant or agent of the Crown, and includes a government department.
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Prepared 28 July 1998