COMMITTEE FOR THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST MINISTER AND DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY 21 MAY 2008
ROOM 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Danny Kennedy (Chairperson)
Naomi Long (Deputy Chairperson)
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 2.05 p.m. in public session
2. Chairperson’s Business
Meeting with voluntary and community sector members of the Ministerial Forum established as part of the Lifetime Opportunities Strategy
The Chairperson advised the Committee that he met with members of the Ministerial Forum on 14 May 2008 and highlighted the key matters raised. The Committee agreed to write to OFMDFM to seek clarification on the UK Budget announcement of £125 million over 3 years targeting the poorest families. Members also agreed to hold regular informal meetings with the voluntary and community sector members of the Ministerial Forum.
Invite from the Northern Ireland Affairs Group
The Chairperson advised Members that he has been invited to speak to the Northern Ireland Affairs Group’s summer reception. The Chairperson advised that he is hoping to contribute, subject to diary constraints.
Correspondence from OFMDFM on Programme for cohesion, sharing and integration for a shared and better future.
Members discussed correspondence from OFMDFM seeking to defer Committee consideration of the Programme for cohesion, sharing and integration for a shared and better future. Members agreed to write to OFMDFM agreeing to the 2 week deferment, but advising that the Committee expects this to be the final deferment of this issue.
Mr Shannon joined the meeting at 2.13 p.m.
Members noted that the recent research papers completed for the Committee on the Lisbon Treaty and Protection for People with Disabilities will shortly be published on the website.
Invite to Launch of Cross-Border Celebration of Achievement in Childcare Training
The Chairperson advised Members that he hopes to accept an invite to the Launch of Cross-Border Celebration on Achievement in Childcare Training on Thursday 22 May.
Invite to a key-note address by the Co-Chairs of the Consultative Group on the Past
The Chairperson advised Members of an invitation to attend a key-note speech by the Co-Chairs of the Consultative Group on the Past, taking place on 29 May 2008. The Chairperson advised that all Members are invited and if any Member wishes to attend, they should provide their names to the Committee Secretariat.
3. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 14 May 2008
The minutes of proceedings for Wednesday 14 May 2008 were agreed by the Committee.
4. Matters Arising
The Committee noted the response received from the OFMDFM in response to the Committee’s letter expressing support to the First Minister and deputy First Minister in their negotiations with the Prime Minister.
Disability Discrimination (Transport Vehicles) Regulations
Members noted the response from OFMDFM advising that it could not meet the Committee’s request to start the consultation at the beginning of August, but that they would aim to progress these regulations as quickly as possible. Members also noted correspondence from the Committee for Regional Development, which enclosed a letter from the Minister for Regional Development.
Review of the Civic Forum
The Committee noted the letter from OFMDFM, which advised the Committee of progress on the work plan. The response also advised there would be no change to the work plan following the appointment of a review leader.
Mrs Long joined the meeting at 2.16 p.m.
Register of Public Appointments
Members noted the copy response from OFMDFM to the Public Accounts Committee concerning the register of public appointments.
Response from the Minister for Finance and Personnel
Members noted the response from the Minister for Finance and Personnel concerning the outline business case for the Maze/Long Kesh site and agreed to request a copy of the outline business case before the next meeting of the Committee and to request a briefing from officials on 4 June 2008.
Mrs Kelly joined the meeting at 2.19 p.m.
5. Northern Ireland NGO Alternative Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
The Committee considered and discussed the NGO’s alternative report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The Committee agreed that it would request a research briefing from the Assembly’s Research and Library Services on the Report and Alternative Reports.
The Committee agreed to request an in-confidence copy of the UK Children’s Commissioners alternative report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Members also agreed to write to OFMDFM requesting that Northern Ireland is represented at Ministerial level at the meeting with the UN Committee in September.
6. Sustainable Development
Members discussed the handling arrangements for its review of sustainable development and agreed to invite the Sustainable Development Commission to brief the Committee following the briefing from officials in OFMDFM.
Committee for Finance and Personnel on the Performance and Efficiency Delivery Unit (PEDU)
Members noted correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the Performance and Efficiency Delivery Unit. Members agreed that they would consider the role of PEDU when the Committee considers the Performance Management Framework for the Programme for Government.
Committee for Finance and Personnel on the work of Sir David Varney on the NI economy
Members considered the correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the work of Sir David Varney on the NI economy. Members agreed to make a submission to the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the issues arising from Sir David Varney’s work.
Assembly and Executive Review Committee
Members noted the copy correspondence from the Chairperson of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee to OFMDFM.
OFMDFM on the Youth Debate
Members considered a letter from OFMDFM confirming the date of the Youth Debate Junior Ministers are hosting. Members agreed to seek further information from OFMDFM on the Youth Debate and its timing.
Save the Children
Members agreed to sponsor an event to launch Save the Children’s second annual report on child poverty in September.
Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment
Members noted the correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment concerning a briefing they received on rising energy costs.
Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM)
Members noted the correspondence from NICEM and were advised that NICEM have now received a copy of the letter sent to OFMDFM concerning funding for ethnic minorities.
The meeting moved into closed session at 2.42 p.m.
8. Child Poverty Inquiry
The Committee considered Sections 1-3 of the report on its inquiry into child poverty in Northern Ireland and proposed a number of suggested amendments.
Mr Molloy joined the meeting at 3.31 p.m.
Mr Moutray left the meeting at 3.31 p.m.
9. Any Other Business
10. Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 28 May 2008 at 2.00 p.m. in Room 144.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 3.37 p.m.