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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIRST MEETING HELD IN THE SENATE
CHAMBER, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
1. Election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman
Present:Mr F Agnew (Chairman)
In Attendance:Mr M RickardMiss J Adair
The Committee met at 10.35 am.
1.Election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman
The Clerk opened the meeting by introducing himself and the other Committee staff in attendance. Following agreement by the Committee, the Clerk conducted the election of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman in accordance with the relevant provisions contained within the Assembly's Standing Orders.
Nominations for Chairman.
(i)Mr P Robinson proposed Mr F Agnew for Chairman. This was seconded by Mr K Robinson.
Mr E McGrady proposed Mr D Ford for Chairman. This was seconded by Ms J Morrice.
The members indicated their preference by a show of hands. The following votes were cast:-
Mr F Agnew9 votes
Mr D Ford8 votes
Mr F Agnew was elected as Chairman.
Nominations for Deputy Chairman.
(ii)Mr B Armstrong proposed Mr D Hussey for Deputy Chairman. This was seconded by Mr F Agnew. Mr E McGrady proposed Mr D Ford for Deputy Chairman. This was seconded by Mr A Maskey.
The Members indicated their preference by a show of hands. The following votes were cast:-
Mr D Hussey8 votes
Mr D Ford9 votes
Mr D Ford was elected as Deputy Chairman.
The newly elected Chairman took the Chair.
2.Determination of Committee Procedure.
Following a briefing from the Clerk, the Chairman asked for the Committee Members views on the following aspects of the Committee's procedures.
(i)Terms of Reference
The Chairman reminded Members of the Committee's Terms of Reference. Members indicated that they would wish to make comment on the question of the Secretary of State's intention to make these Regulations.
It was proposed and agreed the meetings of the Committee should be held in public.
(iii)Power to call witnesses
Following discussion on the question of the Committee's power to call witnesses it was agreed that the Clerk would clarify the position and report back at the next meeting.
Mr J Dallat joined the meeting at 10.48 am.
The Committee agreed that in the unavoidable absence of Committee Members deputies may attend. However, given the tight time scale to which the Committee was working and so to avoid the rebriefings having to take place at Committee meetings members agreed that it is the responsibility of each party to brief its substitute Committee member.
Following discussion the Committee agreed that the Clerk should research and establish the voting practices of other Assembly Committees particularly in relation to the handling of reports.
(vi)Format of Report
This will be an issue for discussion at a future meeting.
On request from the Chairman the Clerk briefed the Committee on the possible time scale of the work programme.
Members noted that the time was very limited and the key milestones to be met if the Committee is to report by 16 October.
The work programme took account of these points and the availability of staff and accommodation.
Members indicated general discontent with the use of the Senate Chamber and suggested using other Committee Rooms.
It was agreed that the Clerk should explore the availability of other Committee Rooms in Parliament Buildings.
4.Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Monday 25 September 2000 at 4.00 pm. The Clerk will confirm the venue with Members as soon as possible.
The meeting closed at 11.10 am.
MR FRASER AGNEW
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