PPS 1: General Principles
4. The Department’s functions as the planning authority for Northern Ireland are set out in the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991. The Planning Service, an agency within the Department, administers most of these functions. The agency is subject to the direction and control of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Minister to whom oversight of the Department is delegated. The Secretary of State is answerable to Parliament for the discharge of all planning functions.
5. The Minister determines the policy framework within which the agency operates and the scope of its activities. The Minister does not normally become involved in the day to day operation of the agency but expects to be consulted by the Chief Executive on the handling of operational matters that could give rise to significant public or parliamentary concern.