Minutes of Proceedings
WEDNESDAY, 30 MAY 2007
Room 152, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (Chairperson)
Mervyn Storey MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Roy Beggs MLA
Dr Stephen Farry MLA
Simon Hamilton MLA
Fra McCann MLA
Jennifer McCann MLA
Adrian McQuillan MLA
Declan O’Loan MLA
Dawn Purvis MLA
Peter Weir MLA
Alan Patterson (Principal Clerk)
Shane McAteer (Assembly Clerk)
Vivien Ireland (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Colin Jones (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Paul Woods (Clerical Supervisor)
Mary Thompson (Clerical Officer)
The meeting commenced at 10.05am in open session.
Apologies are detailed above.
Draft Minutes of Proceedings 23 May 2007
These were agreed for publication on the Assembly website.
Members noted that the information requested on 2006-07 year-end spend, on Priority Funding Packages would be available prior to the briefing on strategic underspend, scheduled for 20 June.
Members noted that the response from the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) on its responsibilities in taking forward the ‘Cost of Division – Shared Future Strategy’ would be available at the next meeting.
Members noted follow-up information from Assembly Research, comparing Northern Ireland tax rates with the rest of the United Kingdom.
Members considered a revised draft of the Committee work programme.
Agreed that the revised work programme should be published on the Assembly website.
The Chairperson updated members on last week’s informal meeting with Sir David Varney and his officials. It was noted that an invitation for the Committee to make a further submission to the review would issue shortly.
Agreed that the initial submission for the meeting with Sir David Varney should be published on the Assembly website.
Agreed that a paper would be prepared for consideration at the next meeting, highlighting key issues and suggested approach.
Agreed that the Clerk would seek information on DFP’s approach to the Review and also how other relevant statutory committees were taking this forward, so that potential submissions could be co-ordinated.
Briefing on the Role of the Assembly Bill Office
Members were briefed by Martin Wilson, Principal Clerk, Assembly Bill Office on the procedures for progressing Bills through the Assembly and the respective roles of Committees, individual members and the Bill Office.
Briefing on the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Bill
Members were briefed on the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Bill by Clare Irvine, Principal Legal Officer, Departmental Solicitor’s Office. It was noted that the Bill was going through Westminster and that the Minister for Finance and Personnel will put a motion to the Assembly, seeking approval for Westminster to legislate for Northern Ireland on this issue on the grounds of expediency.
Agreed that a copy of the Bill should be requested from officials.
The Chairperson put the motion: that the Committee for Finance and Personnel supports the Department of Finance and Personnel in seeking the Assembly’s endorsement of the principle of the extension of the provisions of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Bill to Northern Ireland.
The motion was agreed.
Briefing on EU Programmes
Mr Beggs declared an interest as a member of Carrickfergus Borough Council and as Treasurer, Carrickfergus Neighbourhood Development Group.
Mr Weir declared an interest as a member of North Down Borough Council and as a member of North Down Local Strategy Partnership.
Dr Farry declared an interest as a member of North Down Borough Council.
Mr McCann declared an interest as a member of the West Belfast Partnership Board and as a member of the Divis Joint Development Committee.
Ms McCann declared an interest as a member of the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership.
Ms Purvis declared an interest as a board member of Healing Through Remembering.
Mr Hamilton declared an interest as a member of Ards Borough Council and as a member of the East Border Region Committee.
Mr McQuillan declared an interest as a member of Coleraine Borough Council.
Mr Storey declared an interest as a member of Ballymoney Borough Council, member of Ballymoney Local Strategy Partnership and as a member of Peace II Monitoring.
Mr O’Loan declared an interest as a member of Ballymena Borough Council and as a member of the Community Relations Council.
The Committee received a briefing on EU Programmes from the following DFP officials: Leo O’Reilly, Budget Director, Central Finance Group; Bill Pauley, Head of EU Division; and Colette Fitzgerald, Head of Structural Funds, Policy and Management Unit.
Mr Storey left the meeting at 12.20pm.
Correspondence to Note
The Committee noted the following correspondence from:
- Mourne, Slieve Croob & South Resident’s Action Group (22 May 2007);
- Building Projects (5 May 2007); and
- CBI Northern Ireland (24 May 2007).
Any Other Business
The Chairperson reminded members that the informal briefing from DFP officials on the annual budget would take place once the meeting had been adjourned.
Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 6 June 2007 at 10.00am in Room 152 Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.50pm.
Mitchel McLaughlin Chairperson,
Committee for Finance and Personnel.
6 June 2007.