A Labour backbencher once quipped that Tony Blair's Government had "hit the ground reviewing" after it gained power in 1997.
The same could be said for Stormont's power-sharing Executive, which has yet to decide on a series of deeply contentious questions.
A number of the most high-profile policy issues in the devolution in-tray are expected to be tackled in the year ahead. These include:
- Water charges: The introduction of the hated "tap tax" is at present merely delayed. Charges were deferred for one year with the introduction of devolution in May.
An independent review panel was then established by Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy to advise on the way forward.
The central question is how the Executive is going to fund a massive upgrade in water and sewerage facilities.
- Rates: A review of Northern Ireland's rating system was announced by Finance Minister Peter Robinson on May 15. This followed a highly controversial rates shake-up introduced under direct rule, changing the way household bills were calculated.
Mr Robinson intends to unveil proposals from his Department's review in the autumn.
He has also stated that the rating reform will be "viewed in the context of how the Executive intend to address the funding of water in Northern Ireland".
- 11-plus: Education Minister Caitriona Ruane is under growing pressure to reveal her keenly awaited proposals for the replacement of the transfer test and the future shape of secondary education.
- Prescription charges: A cost and benefit review into scrapping prescription charges was ordered by Health Minister Michael McGimpsey in May.
- Devolution of policing powers: A report from Stormont is due early in the new year on what is arguably the most divisive of all the issues facing the Executive parties.
- House-building in the countryside: The PPS14 policy restricting development suffered a legal reversal in the High Court last week. But the Executive still has to grapple with balancing the needs of rural dwellers with protection of the environment.
- New sports stadium: A final decision is expected later this year on whether Northern Ireland will get a new multi-sports stadium.
Sports Minister Edwin Poots is a long-standing supporter of locating the stadium at the site of the former Maze prison.
It still remains the most likely option, but Mr Poots has work to do to persuade elements in his own party, never mind the wider Assembly.
- Review of local government: The plan to cut the number of councils from 26 to seven seems doomed. Achieving consensus on the number of councils and the powers they should have remains a major challenge.
- Arts and lottery funding: With lottery money being diverted to pay for the 2012 London Olympics, Northern Ireland's sport and arts sectors will each lose millions over the next few years. The Executive is facing calls to make good these deficits.
- Green watchdog: Environment Minister Arlene Foster has to decide if she will adopt a review panel's recommendation to create a new environmental protection agency for the province.
- Farming burden: Farmers' leaders are awaiting proposals from Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew on their campaign for less "red tape" in the sector.