The Environment Minister established a Regional Partnership Panel between central and local government under the auspices of the Local Government (Northern Ireland) Act 2014. The purpose of the Partnership Panel is to:
a) give advice to any Northern Ireland department about matters affecting the exercise of any of its functions;
b) make representations to any Northern Ireland departments about any matters affecting, or of concern to, those involved in local government; and
c) give advice to those involved in local government.
The Act provides for all Executive Ministers (including Junior Ministers) to be members of the Partnership Panel. Local government representation on the Panel comprises one nominated elected Member from each of the 11 councils (designated as a position of responsibility) and cross-party representation from NILGA.