§ Sir Michael Shersby
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to give effect to the Northern Ireland (Entry to Negotiation) Act 1996. 
§ Sir Patrick Mayhew
[pursuant to his answer, 8 May Official Report c.190]: Elections were held on 30 May, and the initial resulting meetings of both the negotiations and the forum have taken place.
Parliamentary approval for the consequential expenditure is being sought in a summer supplementary estimate for the Northern Ireland Office's administration, law, order, protective and miscellaneous services vote (class XV vote 1). Pending that approval further urgent expenditure to cover the costs of the elections and the initial costs of setting up and servicing the forum and negotiations estimated at £3,800,000 will be met by a further repayable advance from the contingencies fund.