COMMITTEE FOR THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST MINISTER AND DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY 16 APRIL 2008
ROOM 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Present: Danny Kennedy (Chairperson)
Naomi Long (Deputy Chairperson)
In Attendance: Damien Martin (Assembly Clerk)
Antonia Hoskins (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Keith McBride (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Lynda Mulholland (Clerical Supervisor)
Marion Johnson (Clerical Assistant)
The meeting opened at 2.08 p.m. in public session
Martina Anderson, Dolores Kelly, Tom Elliott.
Invite from Save the Children
The Chairperson advised Members that he had been invited to a Hearing organised by Save the Children on 21 April 2008, during which young people will be outlining their views on Northern Ireland in the future. The Chairperson advised that he hoped to attend, subject to diary constraints, and encouraged the attendance of Committee Members.
Draft minutes of the meeting held on 9 April 2008
The minutes of proceedings for Wednesday 9 April 2008 were agreed by the Committee.
Response from Ministers on Maze/Long Kesh
The Committee noted the letter received from the First Minister and deputy First Minister in response to the Committee’s request for further information concerning the business case for the Maze/Long Kesh site.
Invite from CAWT Children’s Services Planning and Information Project
Members noted the invite received from CAWT Children’s Services Planning and Information Project, to an event taking place on 17 April 2008 on Integrated Planning for Outcomes for Children and Young People.
Mr McElduff joined the meeting at 2.14 p.m.
Child Poverty Inquiry
The Committee agreed the arrangements for the informal meeting, on 30 April 2008, to review evidence received during the Child Poverty inquiry. It was noted that there would be no Committee meeting on this date.
Responses from the Minister for Regional Development and the Minister for Finance and Personnel
The Chairperson drew Members attention to the responses received from the Minister for Regional Development and the Minister for Finance and Personnel to the Committee’s letters requesting further information on any assessments carried out on the impact on child poverty of proposals relating to domestic charges such as water charges and domestic rates. Members agreed that the responses should be included in the Committee’s final report on Child Poverty.
Child Poverty Inquiry
Oral evidence from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister
Officials from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister joined the meeting at 2.20 p.m.
Members took oral evidence from Dr Gerry Mulligan, Michael Pollock and Dr Stephen Donnelly from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM). A question and answer session followed, at the end of which the officials undertook to provide further information to the Committee. The Chairperson thanked the officials from OFMDFM for attending the meeting.
Hansard recorded the evidence session for publication in the Committee’s report.
Officials from the Office of the first Minister and Deputy First Minister left the meeting at 3.18 p.m.
Mrs Long joined the meeting at 3.20 p.m.
Disability Discrimination (Transport Vehicles) Regulations
Members discussed correspondence from Junior Minister Donaldson and Junior Minister Kelly, which provided an update on the action being taken to progress the regulations.
Departmental Officials joined the meeting at 3.20 p.m.
Departmental Officials, Dr Gerry Mulligan, Martina Campbell and Linda Girvan briefed the Committee on the timetable for development and implementation of the regulations. A question and answer session followed.
Departmental Officials left the meeting at 3.51 p.m.
Following discussion, the Committee agreed that it would wish to see the regulations progressed as quickly as possible and undertook to seek details of the timeline for implementation of the regulations in advance of the next meeting. The Committee also agreed to seek regular updates from OFMDFM concerning the development and implementation of the regulations, including the work of the cross-departmental group charged with taking the regulations forward. In addition, the Committee agreed to press for action by transport service providers, in advance of the introduction of the regulations.
Review of Children and Young People’s Action Plan
Members considered correspondence from Junior Ministers requesting the Committee’s views on the Children and Young People’s Action Plan. The Committee discussed the 10 Year Strategy and the Action Plan and asked the Clerk to draft a response to Junior Ministers setting out the Committee’s recommendations for improving the Action Plan.
Any Other Business
Forward Work Programme
The Committee briefly discussed the Forward Work Programme and the Clerk advised Members of the items of business for next week’s meeting.
Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 23 April 2008 at 2.00 p.m. in the Senate.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.05 p.m.