COMMITTEE FOR THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST MINISTER AND DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY 14 MAY 2008
ROOM 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Danny Kennedy (Chairperson)
Damien Martin (Assembly Clerk)
Antonia Hoskins (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Keith McBride (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Marion Johnson (Clerical Assistant)
Tim Moore (Senior Researcher)
Tom Elliot, Naomi Long, Stephen Moutray, Jim Wells.
The Committee agreed to receive a lunchtime briefing on Public Procurement from DFP’s Central Procurement Directorate.
Draft minutes of the meeting held on 07 May 2008
The minutes of proceedings for Wednesday 07 May 2008 were agreed by the Committee.
Masterplan Costs for MLK - Copy letter to the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure
The Committee noted the copy letter from the First Minister and deputy First Minister, in response to the request from the Committee for Culture,
Arts and Leisure for further information on the overall Masterplan costs attributed to the multi-sports stadium.
Older People’s Commissioner
Members noted the response from OFMDFM regarding the Committee’s submission on examining the Case for a Commissioner for Older People. The Committee agreed to examine the issue when OFMDFM brings detail of the timetable to establish a Commissioner and the role and remit of the Advocate before the Committee.
Draft Public Authorities Reform Bill
Mr Spratt joined the meeting at 2.15 p.m.
Mr Shannon joined the meeting at 2.20 p.m.
In its consideration of the Draft Public Authorities Reform Bill, the Committee discussed information from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister on the reasons for overturning decisions on the abolition of eight quangos. Members also considered correspondence from the Committee for Social Development and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development in relation to the Draft Public Authorities Reform Bill.
Members agreed to write to the Department to seek assurances on the operation of the UK-wide Disability Living Allowance Advisory Board, to request details of any cost benefit analyses relating to the decisions to retain those quangos, which under the original RPA decision were to be abolished, and to forward the letter from the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development, outlining that Committee’s views on the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board, to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
Briefing on the Implications of Provisions within the EU Reform Treaty
Tim Moore (Senior Assembly Researcher) briefed the Committee on the provisions contained in the protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, which forms a part of the Lisbon Treaty. Following discussion the Committee requested that theClerk bring forward proposals to form a sub-committee on European issues.
The Chairperson advised Members that the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee is undertaking an inquiry on the role of national parliaments under the Lisbon Treaty. The Committee agreed to write to express its interest in the inquiry and request that it be kept informed of progress.
Committee Visit to Europe
Ms Anderson left the meeting at 2.55 p.m.
The Committee agreed to undertake a visit to Brussels on 24 and 25 June 2008, to gain an understanding of the role of European Institutions and the impact and influence of the institutions on Northern Ireland and of the role of the Executive’s Regional Office in Brussels.
Programme for Cohesion and Integration
The Committee considered a written briefing from the Assembly’s Research and Library Service on the Programme for Cohesion and Integration. Following discussion, the Committee agreed a list of stakeholders with whom it wishes to engage in pre-consultation consideration of the Programme for Cohesion and Integration, following the briefing by OFMDFM.
The meeting moved into closed session at 3.02p.m.
Child Poverty Inquiry
The Committee considered the framework for the report on its inquiry into child poverty in Northern Ireland.
Ms Anderson re-joined the meeting at 3.45 p.m.
Mr McElduff left the meeting at 3.56 p.m.
Northern Ireland Antipoverty Network
Members noted correspondence from the Northern Ireland Antipoverty Network regarding funding and agreed to forward it to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
Members noted the correspondence from Action Renewables seeking support for the Climate Change No day Named Motion.
Climate Change Coalition Northern Ireland
Members discussed the correspondence from the Climate Change Coalition Northern Ireland seeking a meeting with the Committee. The Committee agreed to arrange a meeting with the Chairperson at a future date.
Rose Energy Biomass Power Plant
The Committee noted the correspondence received seeking the Committee’s support for the Rose Energy Biomass Power Plant. Members were informed that the Committee for the Environment has considered this matter.
Letter from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety
Members agreed to forward the correspondence from the Chairperson of the Committee for Health Social Services and Public Safety to the First Minister and deputy First Minister requesting information on polices that address climate change.
Together 4 All Strategy Document
The Committee noted the Together 4 All Strategy Document on an early year’s intervention strategy in Craigavon/Lurgan Area and agreed to Mrs Kelly’s request to forward the report to OFMDFM, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and to the Department of Education.
Forward Work Programme
Correspondence from OFMDFM on the Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted the correspondence from OFMDFM requesting that consideration of the Programme for Cohesion and Integration be deferred until the 28 May and the Victims Strategy until the 4 June 2008.
The Clerk updated the Committee on issues and prioritiesrelating to the forward work plan for May/June 2008.
Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 21 May 2008 at 2.00 p.m. in Room 144.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.12 p.m.