The Northern Ireland Assembly has the authority to legislate in a field of competences known as “transferred matters” – in effect this covers all
governmental areas, including all aspects of learning, with certain exceptions (e.g defence, telecommunications, taxation). The Northern Ireland
Executive collapsed in January 2017 and, at the time of writing, talks between the political parties aimed at restoration of the Assembly and Executive have failed to produce agreement.
The interim responsibility for day-to-day decisions lies with senior departmental civil servants. Prior to this, following the Assembly
election in 2016, there had been a public consultation on a draft Programme for Government. The draft Programme had proposed an outcomes-based approach in terms of delivery and an undertaking to work across departmental boundaries. The Northern Ireland Impact Forum welcomed this approach in its response.