MEETING OF THE CHAIRPERSONS’ LIAISON GROUP
TUESDAY 18 JANUARY 2011
Mrs Dolores Kelly MLA (Chairperson)
Mr Paul Butler MLA (attending on behalf of Mr Alban Maginness)
Mr Tom Elliott MLA
Mr Simon Hamilton MLA
Ms Jennifer McCann MLA
Mr Barry McElduff MLA
Mr Declan O’Loan MLA
Mr Trevor Reaney, Clerk to the Assembly
Ms Nuala Dunwoody, Clerk Assistant
Mr Damien Martin, Clerk Assistant
Ms Stella McArdle, Clerk to the Liaison Group
Mr Stephen Welch, Director of Facilities (Item 10 only)
Ms Louise Friel, Sustainable Development Manager (Item 10 only)
Ms Elaine Farrell, Assistant Clerk
Mr George McClelland, Clerical Supervisor
Mr Oliver Bellew, Clerical Officer
Mr Cathal Boylan MLA
Lord Browne MLA
Mr Fred Cobain MLA
Mr Alban Maginness MLA
Lord Morrow MLA
Mr Mervyn Storey MLA
12.37 p.m . The meeting opened in closed session
Apologies are detailed above.
2. Minutes of the meeting on 16 November 2010
The minutes of the meeting on 16 November 2010 were agreed.
3. Legacy Reports
The Liaison Group agreed that agenda item 5 would be considered next.
The clerk gave a briefing on Legacy Reports and advised that committees may wish to consider producing Legacy Reports as well as End of Session Reports.
Agreed : It was agreed that guidance on Legacy Reports should issue to committee teams for completion by early March.
Agreed : It was agreed that financial information, which is factual, will be added to the End of Session Reports when it becomes available.
4. Lessons learnt from the operations of committees in the current mandate
The Liaison Group agreed that agenda item 8 would be considered next.
The Liaison Group noted the paper on Lessons Learnt from the Operation of Committees and Members made a number of suggestions for improvements which will be added to the paper.
Agreed : It was agreed to write to the Committee on Procedures regarding the feasibility of smaller committees.
Agreed : The Clerk agreed to prepare figures for the next meeting on party proportions for committees.
5. Northern Ireland Assembly Spending Review for 2011/12 – 2014/15
The Liaison Group agreed that agenda item 6 would be considered next.
Mr Trevor Reaney, Clerk and Director General updated the Liaison Group on the Spending Review for 2011/12 – 2014/15 and the submission by the Assembly Commission to the Executive. Members expressed concern on the implications for the business of the Assembly if the budget is significantly reduced, as outlined by Mr Reaney.
Agreed : The Liaison Group agreed to write to the Assembly Commission regarding its concerns on the implications of the Northern Ireland Assembly Spending Review.
6. Matters arising
- Staff Training and Development
The Liaison Group noted the paper on Staff Training and Development.
- Committee volunteers for IT project
The Liaison Group noted that the Regional Development Committee and the Employment and Learning Committee have volunteered to take part in apilot project on the provision of electronic papers to committee members using Assist.
- Executive Budget/Spending Review process
Ms McCann, Chairperson of the Committee for Finance and Personnel briefed the Liaison Group on the position of the Committee for Finance and Personnel in relation to the Executive Budget and Spending Review process.
Agreed : The Liaison Group agreed to write to the Finance and Personnel Committee expressing concerns regarding the timeliness and lack of detail surrounding the Executive Budget.
7. December Monitoring Round and the Committee Budget
The Liaison Group noted the paper on the implications of the December monitoring round on the budget for committees. A breakdown of expenditure against budget headings for each committee will be provided at the next meeting.
8. Preparations for next Assembly mandate
Ms Dunwoody briefed the Liaison Group on the preparations for the next Assembly mandate.
9. Legislative Programme and Bills in Committee
Mr Damien Martin updated chairpersons on the legislative programme including:
- Bills that are currently before the Assembly;
- Bills that are unlikely to progress during the current mandate;
- Bills that are expected to be introduced during the final session; and
- Plenary Bill stages expected between now and dissolution.
10. Sustainable Development
The Chairperson welcomed Ms Louise Friel, Sustainable Development Manager and Mr Stephen Welch, Director of Facilities and invited Louise to make her presentation on Sustainable Development.
Mr Welch advised that Facilities would be available to offer advice to party constituency offices in relation to the purchase of computer printers and photocopiers.
11. Forward Work Programme
The Liaison Group considered the draft forward work programme for the period February 2011 to March 2011.
Agreed : Chairpersons would advise the clerk of any other items for inclusion in the work programme.
12. Any other business
There was no other business.
13. Date, time and venue of next meeting
The next meeting of the Liaison Group will take place on Tuesday 1 March 2011 at 12.30 p.m. in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.
1.50 p.m. The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.
Mrs Dolores Kelly, Chairperson
1 March 2011
16 November 2010 / Menu