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Northern Ireland Clerks Program

April 1 - 8, 2000

Newly appointed committee clerks visited the United States to spend some time with their counterparts at state level. The American staffers and administrators who are active on the House and Senate Committees can provide useful strategies to the clerks. They can learn more about the methods that the American committee system has developed to provide as much information as possible to the members in order that they can originate legislation and scrutinize the implementation of policy by government departments and the executive. The clerks discussed with legislators the pros and cons of the present system and how it could be improved. Budget analysis, policy analysis and the use of technology are areas that the clerks can provide expertise to the committee members in the interests of avoiding information overload and of broadening the scope of the committee. The program is one week long.