Belfast Telegraph

Foster launches consultation on consumer representation in Northern Ireland 

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has today launched a public consultation on the future delivery of consumer representation, following a review of the General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.

In the 2011-15 Budget, the Executive committed to undertake a review of Arm’s Length Bodies, to ensure Ministerial priorities and statutory commitments continue to be delivered in the most cost-effective manner. 

As the review of the Consumer Council has now been completed, the consultation is a continuation of the process of ensuring value for money in the use of public funds and the delivery of services to the Northern Ireland public.

Arlene Foster said: “The Consumer Council was last reviewed in 1999. It is important that we periodically review public sector organisations in order to take account of changed circumstances and to ensure we are effectively and efficiently meeting the needs of the people of Northern Ireland. 

“As this is an open process I look forward to a meaningful consultation. Representation of consumer interests is relevant to us all and I would encourage everyone to share their views. 

"These are challenging times and it has never been more important that we have a strong voice to speak on behalf of consumers. It is therefore important that we use this opportunity to consider the efficiency and effectiveness of services, and how they can be improved to benefit everyone in Northern Ireland."

Notes to editors:

1. DETI is seeking input from all interested stakeholders, as part of its consultation exercise on the future delivery of consumer representation in Northern Ireland.

2. The consultation is being launched following an independent review of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. The consultation document and review report will be available to download from the DETI website ( or a hard copy can be requested from:
Carmel O’Hare at
Consumer Affairs Branch
176 Newtownbreda Road

3. The consultation is scheduled to run from 14 October 2013 to 17 January 2014.

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