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Minutes of Proceedings
WEDNESDAY 26 September 2007

Danny Kennedy (Chairperson)
Naomi Long (Deputy Chairperson)
Martina Anderson
Tom Elliot
Dolores Kelly
Barry McElduff
Francie Molloy
Jim Shannon
Jimmy Spratt
Jim Wells

In Attendance:
Christine Darrah (Assembly Clerk)
Antonia Hoskins (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Keith McBride (Clerical Supervisor)
Marion Johnson (Clerical Officer)
Eileen Regan (Senior Researcher)

The meeting opened at 2.04 p.m. in public session.

  1. Apologies

Stephen Moutray

  1. Chairperson’s business

Members noted the response from the First and deputy First Minister relating to late receipt of papers and slippage with regard to key projects.

Members again expressed grave concerns regarding the lack of progress in the appointment of a Victims Commissioner and that the speculation surrounding this delay was likely to cause damage to the credibility of both the process and the eventual appointee. Members agreed to request an urgent briefing on the delay, the difficulties encountered and the current position with regard to making an appointment as a matter of urgency.

The Committee noted the position regarding the outline business case for the Maze/Long Kesh site and agreed that further information should be sought from OFMDFM regarding definitive timescales for the completion of the project in its entirety and details of any other options that are being considered for a national stadium.

  1. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2007

The minutes of proceedings for Wednesday 19 September 2007 were agreed by the Committee.

  1. Matters arising

Reviewing the case on an Older Person’s Commissioner

The Committee noted the response from OFMDFM in relation to the review of the case for an Older Person’s Commissioner. The Committee agreed to request further detailed information on the independent party to be appointed by the Junior Ministers to undertake work in relation to the review the likely costs involved and the timetable for it.

  1. Victims and Survivors

Members noted the correspondence from the First and deputy First Minster regarding Victims and Survivors and the timetable for considering proposals on this issue.

The Chairperson briefed the Committee on a meeting that he and the Deputy Chairperson held with the co-chairs of the Legacy of the Past Consultative Group, Lord Eames and Denis Bradley.

  1. Forward Work Plan

The Committee agreed to reschedule the session on OFMDFM priorities for Programme for Government (PfG) to 17 October in light of the overall PfG / Budget timetable.

  1. Dealing with the Legacy of the Past

The Committee noted a letter from the First Minster and deputy First Minister outlining how they intend to engage directly with the Consultative Group on the Past on how OFMDFM to the work of the Group and how the Group’s work will contribute to the overall strategy for victims and survivors.

The Consultative Group joined the meeting at 2.25 p.m.

The members of the Consultative Group on the Legacy of the Past, Lord Eames, Denis Bradley, Willie John McBride, Rev Lesley Carroll, James Mackey, Elaine Moore, David Porter, and Jarleth Burns briefed the Committee on how the Group intends to fulfil its remit and carry out its task and timescales to which it is working.

Mr Jim Wells left the meeting at 2.36 p.m.

Following an informative question and answer session the Committee agreed on how it would engage with the Group in the future.

Mr Jim Wells returned to the meeting at 2.45 p.m.
The Consultative Group left the meeting at 3.27 p.m.

  1. Draft Budget – response to OFMDFM

The Committee considered a response to the Department on the proposed budget bids and efficiency plans which reflected Members comments and concerns raised. The Committee agreed to request further information from OFMDFM on several issues and to consider a further draft response at the next meeting on 3 October.

  1. Correspondence

The Committee noted the correspondence from the Assembly and Executive Review Committee providing an update on the St Andrew’s Agreement Review.

The Committee agreed to provide a copy of the written briefing by OFMDFM to the Committee on 05 September on the Northern Ireland Sustainable Development Strategy and Implementation Plan.

The Committee noted a letter from Arts for Older People Network requesting an opportunity to present the findings and recommendations of its study into current practice in art by, with and for older people and agreed that the Chairperson and deputy Chairperson should meet with the group and report back.

Members noted the progress report on the British Irish Council (BIC) and agreed to consider if any action was required after receipt of the further information requested from OFMDFM on the mechanisms of the BIC and the North South Ministerial Council to communicate and engage with the Committee.

Mr B McElduff left the meeting at 3.55 p.m.
The Chairperson vacated the Chair at 3.55p.m.
The deputy Chairperson assumed the Chair at 3.55 p.m.

  1. OFMDFM October Monitoring Round

Officials joined the meeting at 3.57 p.m.

Department officials John McMillen and Iain McFarlane briefed the Committee on the proposed bids and easements outlined in the October Monitoring Round. The Committee agreed to write to the Department in relation to a number of the proposed bids, and technical transfers.

Officials left the meeting at 4.23 p.m.

  1. Fair Employment (Specification and Public Authorities) (Amendment) Order (NI) 2007

Officials joined the meeting at 4.30 p.m.

The Committee questioned department officials Patricia Carey, Carol McCabe and David McGowan. on the proposed Fair Employment (Specification of Public Authorities) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2007. Officials agreed to provide the Committee with a copy of the draft statutory rule to aid its consideration.

Officials left the meeting at 4.40 p.m.

  1. Child Poverty Inquiry  

Members agreed to defer a full discussion on the draft terms of reference for the proposed Inquiry into Child Poverty until the next meeting.

  1. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 3 October 2007 at 2.00 p.m. in Room 144 Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.50 p.m.

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

19 September 2007 / Menu / 03 October 2007