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Powers were transferred to the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales on 1 July 1999 and to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 2 December 1999. Devolution is a result of the Scotland Act 1998, the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the Northern Ireland Act 1998. Each of the devolved administrations is different and has different powers.
The new Government of Wales Act 2006 came into effect in May 2007 and supersedes the previous legislation for that nation.

Effect of Devolution on BIS

Devolution affects the work of BIS: both the devolution legislation and the non-statutory arrangements for working with the devolved administrations have an effect.
For example:

  • in some cases, the legislation transferred powers from UK Ministers to the devolved administrations such that it is no longer lawful for BIS to exercise those powers throughout the UK;
  • BIS needs to scrutinise new legislation made by the devolved administrations to determine whether it will affect BIS responsibilities;
  • working arrangements are set out in non-statutory documents - a Memorandum of Understanding and concordats - which create an expectation of how BIS will work with the devolved administrations



The closest equivalent in the Scottish Executive to BIS is Finance & Sustainable Growth.


In Wales the closest equivalent to BIS in the Welsh Assembly Government is Economy & Transport.

Northern Ireland

The closest equivalent in the Northern Ireland Executive to BIS is the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.