MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY 05 DECEMBER 2007
ROOM 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS.
Present: Naomi Long (Deputy Chairperson)
In Attendance: Christine Darrah (Assembly Clerk)
Antonia Hoskins (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Keith McBride (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Lynda Mulholland (Clerical Supervisor)
Marion Johnson (Clerical Assistant)
The meeting opened at 2.05 p.m. in public session.
Tom Elliot, Danny Kennedy, Jimmy Spratt, Jim Wells.
2. Chairperson’s business
Correspondence from the Health Committee
The Committee agreed to a request from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety for officials from the Strategic Investment Board to provide evidence to that Committee on the Investment Strategy and the Board’s role and responsibilities.
3. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 28 November 2007
The minutes of proceedings for Wednesday 28 November 2007 were agreed by the Committee subject to an amendment to the record of the full name of the British –Irish Inter Parliamentary Body’s report.
4. Matters Arising
Research paper on legislative scrutiny arrangements for EU matters in the Republic of Ireland
The Committee noted a research paper on key aspects of legislative scrutiny arrangements for EU Matters in the Republic of Ireland.
The Committee noted information provided on the Strategic Futures Project and agreed to request further information on the methodology and findings of the audit and funding details from OFMDFM.
Integrated Development Fund
The Committee noted the response from OFMDFM to questions raised in relation to the timescale for conducting a review of the Integrated Development Fund and agreed to request further clarification from the Department.
Deferral and Slippage on Key Issues and Policy Proposals
The Committee noted the response from the First Minister and deputy First Minister on deferral and slippage of key issues and policy proposals. The Deputy Chairperson advised members that further information on definitive timescales for consideration of the Maze/Long Kesh and EU Gender Goods and Services Directive had been requested.
5. Draft Programme for Government / Investment Strategy
The Committee considered further information from OFMDFM in relation the draft Programme for Government / draft Investment Strategy and Budget and agreed to seek clarification on a number of issues.
The Committee considered its draft response on the draft Programme for Government/draft Investment Strategy and agreed a number of additions and amendments. The Committee agreed to give further consideration to the response at the next meeting.
The Committee noted the report of the capability of the private sectors to deliver the Infrastructure Investment Strategy and the summary of the report of the capability of the public sector and agreed to again request a copy of the full Public Sector report.
6. Civic Forum
The Committee considered the information provided by OFMDFM setting out the background to the review of the Civic Forum and how it will be progressed.
The Committee agreed to request notification of the appointment of the independent facilitator, an update on the progress of the review at the end of February 2008 and a briefing on the emerging findings of the review in April 2008.
7. Child Poverty Inquiry
A Senior Assembly Researcher briefed the Committee on measuring levels of poverty both before and after housing costs and answered Members’ questions.
8. SL1 Ombudsman Salary
The Committee noted proposals from OFMDFM for a Statutory Rule relating to a salary increase for the Assembly Ombudsman for Northern Ireland / Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints and had no objections.
9. Amendments to the Race Relations Order
Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.31p.m.
Departmental Officials Pascal McCulla and Ken Fraser presented proposals to the Committee on a Statutory Rule which would implement amendments to the Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 2003. Officials answered questions and agreed to provide clarification on a number of issues raised.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 3.46 p.m.
Following consideration the Committee agreed that it was content with the proposed approach to amend the Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 and that it wished to see the proposed text when available.
Members also agreed that a further briefing on race relation issues should be included in the Forward Work Programme.
Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities
The Deputy Chairperson informed the Committee that the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities had requested a meeting in relation to the Programme for Government and agreed that arrangements should be made for the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson to meet with the Council and that all Members should be invited to attend.
11. Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 12 December 2007 at 2.00 p.m. in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.
A further meeting will be held on Wednesday 19 December at 2.00 p.m. in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.
The Committee agreed that the sections of the meetings on 12 and 19 December 2007 to discuss the draft report on the draft PSG/ISNI and the interim Child Poverty report would be held in closed session.
The Deputy Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 3.50 p.m.