COMMITTEE FOR THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST MINISTER AND DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY 4 JUNE 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)
Marion Johnson (Clerical Assistant)
The meeting opened at 2.09 p.m. in public session
Forward Work Programme
Members discussed correspondence from OFMDFM seeking to defer the proposed session on the Performance Management arrangements for Programme for Government on 11 June. The Clerk advised Members of the Forward Work Programme for the remaining weeks before summer recess and of the uncertainties in relation to the scheduling of business relating to the Victims and Survivors Strategy and the Programme for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration for a Shared and Better Future. Members agreed to invite the Commissioners for Victims and Survivors to meet with the Committee on the 18 June 2008.
Draft minutes of the meeting held on 28 May 2008
The minutes of proceedings for Wednesday 28 May 2008 were agreed by the Committee.
Advisory Council on Infrastructure and Investment
The Committee noted the letter from OFMDFM, which advised the Committee that Ministers will be considering a different framework for effective engagement in taking forward infrastructure investment and the Committee will be consulted in due course.
OFMDFM response to the Social Development Committee
Members noted the copy response from OFMDFM to the Committee for Social Development concerning the Neighbourhood Renewal.
Public Appointments Process
The Chairperson advised Members that he met with Paul Maskey, the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, to discuss the Committee’s response to the Public Accounts Committee Report, which commented on the Public Appointments Process. The Chairperson advised Members that a response has been passed on to the Public Accounts Committee.
Members also noted a response from OFMDFM in relation to the letter the Committee received from the Commissioner for Public Appointments
Civic Forum Review
The Committee noted the response from OFMDFM to the Committee’s request for more information on the review. Members agreed to request a briefing on the work of the new Institutional Review Division, early in the next session.
Correspondence from the Committee for the Environment
Members noted the correspondence from the Committee for the Environment concerning the Disability Discrimination (Transport Vehicles) Regulations and agreed to share this response with the Omnibus Partnership.
Correspondence from Junior Ministers
Members discussed the correspondence from the Junior Ministers concerning the rescheduling of the Youth Debate. Members agreed to seek clarification from OFMDFM on a number of issues in relation to the Youth Debate.
Review of Sustainable Development
Members noted the correspondence from Sustainable NI concerning the Committee’s recent briefing from OFMDFM and its concerns regarding the issues discussed.
Officials from the Sustainable Development Commission joined the meeting at 2.32 p.m.
Jim Kitchen and Clare McKeown from the Sustainable Development Commission briefed the Committee on their role and their views on progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Strategy and how delivery of sustainable development objectives could be improved. A question and answer session followed. The Chairperson thanked Jim and Clare for attending the meeting.
Martina Anderson left the meeting at 2.55 p.m.
Officials from the Sustainable Development Commission left the meeting at 3.02 p.m.
Members discussed the matters it would wish to address in its response to OFMDFM on sustainable development. Members agreed that the Clerk draw up a draft submission to OFMDFM on sustainable development for consideration at next week’s meeting. Members also agreed to write to other statutory committees on the issue of monitoring progress towards sustainable development objectives.
Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
Members noted the information provided by OFMDFM on CEDAW and that Junior Minister Kelly will represent the Executive at the forthcoming meeting of the United Nations Investigating Committee on compliance with CEDAW, which is to take place in New York on 10 July 2008. The Committee agreed to return to the issue when the Committee considers the implementation of the Gender Equality Strategy. The Committee also agreed to seek feedback from Junior Minister Kelly on the outcome of the meeting to examine the UK’s compliance with CEDAW.
Cloona Child Contact Centre
Members noted the correspondence from the Cloona Child Contact Centre, inviting the Chairperson to the presentation of the findings of its evaluation for the period July 06 to July 07.
Council for Education in World Citizenship Northern Ireland (CEWC NI)
Members agreed to forward to OFMDFM the correspondence from CEWC NI concerning funding issues for the Council.
Committee for Employment and Learning
Members agreed to forward the correspondence from the Committee for Employment and Learning, which enclosed a copy of the “Diversity Works” research study, to the First Minister and deputy First Minister.
Love for Life
Members noted the copy correspondence from Love for Life to the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, in response to the launch of her Sexual Health Policy paper.
Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister
Members noted the correspondence from OFMDFM, which enclosed a copy of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 – Commencement Order.
Members noted correspondence from Include Youth, enclosing details of the child poverty consultation recently carried out by Include Youth.
Officials from OFMDFM joined the meeting at 3.20 p.m.
Departmental officials, Alan Maitland, June Wilkinson and Kyle Alexander briefed the Committee on the Outline Business Case for the Maze/Long Kesh regeneration. A question and answer session followed on the current stage of the decision making process, the impact of changing land values, the cost of the process to date and alternative proposals.
Jim Shannon left the meeting at 3.58 p.m.
The meeting moved into closed session at 3.59 p.m.
Departmental officials briefed the Committee on the procurement process and on the assessment of affordability. A question and answer session followed.
Martina Anderson joined the meeting at 4.12 p.m.
Dolores Kelly left the meeting at 4.20 p.m.
Barry McElduff left the meeting at 4.23 p.m.
Officials from OFMDFM left the meeting at 4.26 p.m.
Child Poverty Inquiry
The Committee considered and discussed the draft report on Child Poverty. Following discussions, the Committee agreed revisions to the section of the report on poverty proofing and to include the seven stages of the EQIA process as an appendix. Members also agreed to include supporting information on the British Irish Council report on child poverty, to make the link with the Sustainable Development Strategy and on the importance of public transport. The Committee also agreed a revision to the section of the report dealing with rural poverty.
Stephen Moutray left the meeting at 4.58 p.m.
Table of Contents, read and agreed
Executive Summary, read and agreed
Summary of Recommendations, read and agreed
Section 1 Introduction, read and agreed
Section 2 Approach of the Committee and focus of the report, read and agreed
Section 3 Definition and measurement of child poverty, read and agreed
Section 4 The evidence-base for the prevention of child poverty, read and agreed
Section 5 Strategies to tackle child poverty in Northern Ireland, read and agreed
Section 6 Policies to increase income, read and agreed
Section 7 Tackling rising costs and financial exclusion, read and agreed
Section 8 Promoting employment, read and agreed
Section 9 Measures to tackle long-term disadvantage, read and agreed
Section 10 Cross-cutting approaches, read and agreed
Section 11 Conclusions, read and agreed
The Committee agreed that the following papers should be appended to the Committee’s report:
Minutes of Proceedings
Minutes of Evidence
List of Written Submissions Received
Written Submissions to the Committee
List of Witnesses Who Gave Evidence to the Committee
List of Research Papers
List of Other Evidence Considered by the Committee
Other Evidence Considered by the Committee
List of Abbreviations
The Committee ordered the report to be printed (as revised).
Any other business
The Chairperson advised Members that he had received a request from Sir Nigel Hamilton, Head of the Civil Service, to address the Committee. Members agreed this would take place during the meeting on 2 July 2008.
Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 11 June 2008 at 2.00 p.m. in Room 144.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 5.19 p.m.