COMMITTEE FOR THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST MINISTER AND DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER
WEDNESDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2008
ROOM 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Mr Danny Kennedy (Chairperson)
Mrs Naomi Long (Deputy Chairperson)
Ms Martina Anderson
Mr Tom Elliott
Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Ian McCrea
Mr Barry McElduff
Mr Francie Molloy
Mr Stephen Moutray
Mr Jim Shannon
Mr Jimmy Spratt
Mrs Cathie White (Assembly Clerk)
Mrs Linda Gregg (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mrs Lynda Mulholland (Clerical Supervisor)
Ms Helena Maginness (Clerical Officer)
2.00 p.m. The meeting opened in public session
2.01 p.m. Mr Shannon joined the meeting
2.01 p.m. Mr Spratt joined the meeting
2. Chairperson’s Business
The Chairperson welcomed Trevor Reaney, Clerk/Director-General to the meeting.
Meeting with Ministerial Forum set up as part of the Lifetime Opportunities Strategy
The Chairperson advised Members that he met with the NGO Members of the Forum established as part of the Lifetime Opportunities Strategy on Wednesday 22 October 2008 to discuss a number of issues concerning poverty and targets and the need for progress on the adoption of the Lifetime Opportunities Strategy. The group asked a specific question concerning DARD’s anti-poverty budget.
Agreed : Members agreed that the Committee will write to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development seeking clarification on the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Anti-Poverty Budget.
Appointment of an Older People’s Advocate for Northern Ireland
The Chairperson advised Members that he and the Deputy Chairperson met with Junior Ministers on Monday 3 November 2008 when they were advised that Dame Joan Harbinson had been appointed as Older People’s Advocate for Northern Ireland.
Agreed : Members agreed to send a letter of congratulations to Dame Joan Harbinson on her appointment.
3. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 5 November 2008
Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings were agreed by the Committee.
4 . Child Poverty Inquiry
The Chairperson advised Members that a letter had been received from the Department stating that the response to the Child Poverty Report needs to be considered and agreed by the Executive, therefore the Junior Ministers will not be in a position to discuss the matter.
Agreed: Members agreed to defer the matter.
2.05 p.m. Ms Anderson joined the meeting
2.05 pm Junior Ministers joined the meeting
5. Children and Young People Draft Action Plan 2008-11
6. Un Committee on the Rights of the Child
7. Children and Young People’s Priorities
2.12 p.m. Mrs Long joined the meeting
Junior Ministers briefed the Committee on the Children and Young People Draft Action Plan 2008-11, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and Children and Young People’s Priorities. This was followed by a question and answer session.
2.56 p.m. Mrs Kelly left the meeting
Agreed : Members agreed that the Committee will write to the Department seeking clarification on which of the 144 key actions in the one year Action Plan have been implemented; partially implemented and if partially implemented what still has to be done; and those which are still to be implemented.
Agreed : Members agreed to request the Terms of Reference for the departmental Children’s Champions. Members also agreed to seek clarification regarding what form the consultation will take with children and young people on the action plan and issues such as the play policy and what the timeframe for that consultation will be.
Agreed : Members agreed to emphasise to the Department the need to ensure that priorities from the Programme for Government are carried through in individual departments; and of the need to consider advocating the ring-fencing of funding within departments for work regarding children and young people.
Agreed : Members agreed that the Committee will write to the Department asking that results of discussions with Whitehall on the need for better provision of facilities for asylum-seeking children are shared with the Committee.
3.19 p.m. Junior Ministers left the meeting
3.22 p.m. Mrs Kelly rejoined the meeting
3.22 pm. Officials from OFMDFM joined the meeting
8. Review of the Economic Research Institute NI
Mr Damian Prince, Mr Bobby Clulow and Mr John McKenna briefed the Committee on the Review of the Economic Research Institute NI. This was followed by a question and answer session.
3.36 p.m. Mr McElduff left the meeting
3.43 p.m. Officials from OFMDFM left the meeting
3.45 p.m. Officials from OFMDFM joined the meeting
9. Review of British Irish Council
Mr Frank Duffy and Mr Conor McParland briefed the Committee on the output of the most recent meeting of the British Irish Council. This was followed by a question and answer session.
4.01 p.m. Officials from OFMDFM left the meeting
4.04 p.m. Officials from OFMDFM joined the meeting
10. Fair Employment (Specification of Public Authorities) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008
Ms Martina Campbell and Mr David McGowan briefed the Committee on the Fair Employment (Specification of Public Authorities) (Amendment) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008.
4.06 pm. Officials from OFMDFM left the meeting
11. Matters arising
Members noted the Assembly Research and Library Services’ briefing papers on Budgets for cross-cutting working and cross-border partnerships for cancer care.
NIAUR Sustainability Consultation
At its meeting on 15 October 2008 the Committee agreed a response to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (ETI) on the NIAUR Sustainability Consultation. Members considered the request from the Utility Regulator, forwarded by the Committee for ETI to publish Committee responses on its website and to refer to those responses in its analysis.
Agreed : Members agreed to the Utility Regulator’s request.
12. Any Other Business
Draft Committee input to Assembly Commission Annual report
Members considered the content of the draft input to the Assembly Commission Annual Report.
Agreed: Members agreed the content of the Committee input.
Apology for meeting on 12 November 2008
Mrs Kelly indicated that she would be unable to attend the next meeting and offered her apology.
13. Date of next meeting
The next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 12 November 2008, at 2.00 p.m. in Room 144.
4.09 p.m. The Chairperson adjourned the meeting