Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo


WEDNESDAY 12 September 2007

Danny Kennedy (Chairperson)
Naomi Long (Deputy Chairperson)
Tom Elliott
Dolores Kelly
Barry McElduff
Stephen Moutray
Jim Shannon
Jim Wells

In Attendance:
Debbie Pritchard (Principal Clerk)
Christine Darrah (Clerk)
Joe Sloan (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Antonia Hoskins (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Lynda Mulholland (Clerical Supervisor)
Marion Johnson (Clerical Officer)
Naomi Doak (Researcher)

The meeting opened at 2.05 p.m. in public session.

  1. Apologies

Jimmy Spratt, Martina Anderson, Francie Molloy.

The Chairperson informed the Committee that during Mr. Damien Martin’s absence on sick leave, the Committee would be clerked by Mrs. Christine Darrah.

  1. Chairperson’s business

Mr Wells joined the meeting at 2.11 p.m.

Members noted a number of invitations to the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson from:-

The Chairperson advised the Committee that he had accepted an invitation to speak at the launch of the Global Peacebuilders project on 21 September 2007.

  1. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 05 September 2007

The minutes of proceedings for Wednesday 5 September 2007 were agreed by the Committee.

  1. Matters arising

North South Ministerial Council (NSMC)

The Committee noted the response from OFMDFM in relation to the NSMC and British Irish Council (BIC) and agreed to write to the Department in relation to the mechanisms in place for engagement with Committees by NSMC and BIC.

Commissioner for Children and Young People

The Committee agreed to write to OFMDFM to seek further information on the powers of the Commissioner in comparison with its sister organisations in Great Britain; on what discussions had taken place with the Commissioner in relation to the Commissioner’s powers after the devolution of policing and justice; on its consideration of rural proofing of policies relating to children and young people; and also to advise on what links there were with the Department of Education’s consultation on ‘Northern Ireland Network for Youth’.

Delay in presentation of papers by OFMDFM

Members were concerned about the continuing delay by OFMDFM in both the presentation of papers and the receipt of responses to enquiries from the Committee as this was now beginning to affect the work and effectiveness of the Committee. The Chairperson agreed to write to the First Minister and deputy First Minister on this matter, on the delay in the receipt of the Maze/Long Kesh business case and the delay in the appointment of the Victim’s Commissioner.

  1. Any Other Business

Seminar on Budget Process

Members noted that a seminar on the budget process would be held on Monday 17 September 2007 in the Senate Chamber.

Seats in the Committee Room

Members discussed the availability of seats in the public gallery and were advised that the reserving of seats for the press would be considered by the Chairpersons’ Liaison Group at its meeting on 18 September 2007.

The Chairperson left the meeting at 2.34 p.m.

The Deputy Chairperson assumed the Chair at 2.34 p.m.

  1. OFMDFM Draft Budget 2007

The official joined the meeting at 2.35 p.m.

Departmental official, Jackie Kerr, briefed the Committee on OFMDFM’s potential budget bids and efficiency proposals for Budget 2007. The Committee was briefed on the proposed timetable for the Executive’s Budget 2007 which sets out the departmental allocations for 2008 onwards.

Mr Moutray left the meeting at 3.20.p.m.
The official left the meeting at 3.35 p.m.

Following discussion, Members agreed to write to OFMDFM to seek further detail on a number of issues including potential bids and efficiency proposals.

Members also agreed to consider the Committee’s formal response to OFMDFM’s Budget 2007 proposals at their meeting of 26 September 2007.

  1. Draft Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland

A briefing was provided by the Committees Assembly by the Researcher on the draft Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland 2008 -2018.

Officials joined the meeting at 3.50 p.m.

Strategic Invest Board (SIB) officials, Martin Spollen and David Gavaghan, briefed the Committee on the role of the SIB in developing the investment strategy for Northern Ireland (ISNI 1) and its current position on the development of the proposed Investment Strategy 2 (ISNI ‘08).

Mr Wells left the meeting at 4.03 p.m.

Following discussion, Members agreed to write to SIB to seek clarification on a number of issues raised at the meeting, relating to the past performance of ISNI 1 and the emerging priorities, financial pressures and key challenges of ISNI ‘08.

Officials left the meeting at 4.17 p.m.

  1. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 19 September 2007 at 2.00 p.m. in Room 144 Parliament Buildings.

The Deputy Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.22.p.m.

Mr Danny Kennedy
Chairperson, Committee for the Office
of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister

05 September 2007 / Menu