Lord Morrow MLA (Chairman)
Mr Raymond McCartney MLA (Deputy Chairman)
Mr Tom Elliott MLA
Mr Alban Maginness MLA
Mr Conall McDevitt MLA
Mr David McNarry MLA
Mr John O’Dowd MLA
Mr Alastair Ross MLA
Mrs Christine Darrah (Assembly Clerk)
Mrs Roisin Donnelly (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mr Vincent Gribbin (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mr Joe Westland (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr Kevin Marks (Clerical Officer)
Mr Jonathan Bell MLA
Ms Carál Ní Chuilín MLA
The meeting commenced at 2.02 p.m. in public session.
Apologies are detailed above.
2. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 17 June 2010
Agreed: The Committee approved the draft minutes of the meeting of 17 June 2010.
3. Matters arising
i The Committee noted arrangements for the Committee to meet Mr John Vine, the Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency at 1.00 pm on Monday 28 June in Parliament Buildings.
Agreed: Members would inform the Committee Clerk of their intention to attend the meeting.
ii The Committee considered correspondence in relation to the funding for Desertcreat Training College.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to request an oral briefing by Departmental officials on the implications if the College is not pursued on a joint basis with the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.
iii The Committee considered a response from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety on the Tribunal Service Reform Programme.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to refer the response to the Department of Justice and request information on how the issues raised by the Health Committee would be addressed in taking the Reforms forward.
4. Consideration of Written Departmental Briefing on the Department of Justice draft Programme for Government Addendum
The Committee considered a Departmental briefing paper on the proposed Department of Justice addendum to the Programme for Government. A discussion took place during which a number of issues in relation to the proposed Key Goals section were raised.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that Departmental officials should attend the meeting on 1 July 2010 to provide clarification on the issues.
6. Briefing on the Department of Justice budget and financial position
Anthony Harbinson, Director of Resources, Glyn Capper, Deputy Director, Finance Division and Sean Laverty, Head of Financial Planning and Control, joined the meeting at 2.20 p.m.
Mr Harbinson outlined the Department of Justice budget and financial position and answered questions from Members on a range of issues including; the key elements of spend; the possible impact to frontline services of substantial budget cuts; the key issue of whether the Department of Justice budget would continue to be ring-fenced; the cost of police hearing loss claims and the process followed; the cost of legal aid; and the 2010 Budget process.
During the question and answer session officials agreed to provide the Committee with further information on a range of matters.
2.55 p.m. Mr Ross left the meeting.
The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.
The Chairman thanked the officials for the briefing.
Mr Harbinson, Mr Capper and Mr Laverty left the meeting.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to request further information in relation to police hearing loss claims from the PSNI.
The Committee discussed the possible need to meet during the summer recess period to consider budget maters.
7. Departmental briefing on draft Community Safety Strategy and issues of Anti-Social Behaviour
Mark Goodfellow, Head of the Community Safety Unit and Gillian Ardis and Eamon Jones of the Community Safety Unit joined the meeting at 3.22 p.m.
The officials outlined the proposals for the development of a future Community Safety Strategy and provided information on the issue of Anti-Social Behaviour. A question and answer session followed during which issues including; the disparity in the number of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders issued and incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour; the funding for Community Safety projects; the range of interventions for dealing with ant-social behaviour; and the links between socio-economic background and anti-social behaviour were discussed.
During the question and answer session officials agreed to provide the Committee with further information on one issue.
4.00 p.m. Mr Ross rejoined the meeting.
4.13 p.m. Mr Maginness left the meeting.
The Committee noted that a further briefing would take place in September 2010 to provide an update on the pre-consultation work and possible content of the consultation document on the draft Strategy.
The Chairman thanked the officials for the briefing.
Mr Goodfellow, Ms Ardis and Mr Jones left the meeting.
8. OFMDFM Consultation – Public Assemblies, Parades and Protests in Northern Ireland
John O’Dowd declared a relevant interest as a member of the Parades Working Group established by the First Minister and deputy First Minister that brought forward the proposals.
The Committee considered a response from the Department of Justice outlining the relevant issues for it in the consultation paper on Public Assemblies, Parades and Protests (PAPP) in Northern Ireland Bill referred by the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister. The Committee noted that a draft Code of Conduct for the PAPP Bill has now issued for consultation.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the information provided by the Department of Justice to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and to request that the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister if the timetables for both consultations could be amalgamated to allow both documents to be considered together within a common timescale .
Agreed: The Committee agreed to request information on the operational impact of the proposals on the Police Service and the Courts and Tribunals Service when available together with a copy of Department of Justice response to the consultation exercise.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that once the results of the operational impact was available, it would consider further what input, if any, it should make in relation to this issue.
i The Committee noted a letter from the Minister of Justice updating the position in relation to Police Injury Award Scheme.
ii The Committee noted correspondence from the Department of Justice containing a copy of the speech by the Minister for Justice to the National Community Safety Network Conference on 15 June 2010.
iii The Committee noted correspondence from the Department of Justice advising that a Working Environment Audit across the Northern Ireland Prison Service had commenced.
iv The Committee noted correspondence from the Department of Justice providing copies of 5 protocols, concordats and intergovernmental agreements which had been introduced or prepared for the devolution of justice and policing. The Committee noted that the draft Policing Architecture Protocol would be provided for consideration at the meeting on 1 July 2010.
v The Committee noted correspondence from the Department of Justice outlining action to be taken to assess the effectiveness of data protection measures in the Department.
vi The Committee considered correspondence from the Clerk to the Social Development Committee regarding extending support for the Preventing Possession Initiative from the Legal Aid budget.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department of Justice on the issues raised.
vii The Committee noted an invitation to the third NIACRO, Justice Series Event on “the Business Case for Resettlement”in Parliament Buildings on Tuesday 29 June 2010 at 12.30 p.m.
viii The Committee noted a Consultation Paper on Business Tenancies from the Northern Ireland Law Commission.
10. Any Other Business
11. Date and Time of next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Monday 1 July 2010 at 2.00 p.m. in Room 21 Parliament Buildings.
4.26 p.m. The Chairman adjourned the meeting.