MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 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
Shane McAteer (Assembly Clerk)
Vivien Ireland (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Paula Sandford (Clerical Supervisor)
Mary Thompson (Clerical Officer)
The meeting commenced at 10.06 am in open session.
Draft Minutes of Proceedings 21 November 2007
Agreed: for publication on the Assembly website.
Agreed: that Official Reports (Hansard recordings) will be made of the three Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) evidence sessions which were listed on the agenda as items 4, 5 and 6. In addition, it was agreed that agenda items 7 and 8, which involved considerations of draft Committee reports/responses will be held in closed session.
Members noted the following:
- correspondence to Committee for the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (COFMDFM) regarding Strategic Investment Board;
- outstanding requests for information from DFP;
- update from DFP on the judgement made on Workplace 2010;
- DFP’s response to strategic budget issues raised by the Committee following last week’s evidence session; and
- response to the Committee query regarding Single Pensioner Rates Discount.
DFP Evidence Session on Performance and Efficiency Delivery Unit (PEDU)
The Committee received oral and written evidence from DFP officials: Leo O’Reilly, 2 nd Permanent Secretary and Richard Pengelly, Budget Director (Acting) on the proposed PEDU, which will examine the scope for generating additional cash-releasing efficiencies and improving delivery and performance across departments.
Mr Storey left the meeting at 10.10 am.
Mr Storey returned to the meeting at 10.15 am.
Mr Farry joined the meeting at 10.18 am.
Ms McCann joined the meeting at 10.20 am.
Mr McCann joined the meeting at 10.20 am.
Ms Purvis left the meeting at 11.10 am.
Ms Purvis returned to the meeting at 11.12 am.
Mr Weir left the meeting at 11.18 am.
Mr Weir returned to the meeting at 11.21 am.
Mr Farry left the meeting at 11.47 am.
Mr Farry returned to the meeting at 12.12 pm.
Agreed: that the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson will take up an offer by the Minister to be briefed on the composition of PEDU and will report back to the Committee.
Agreed: that any further issues which the Committee wished to raise will be forwarded to DFP officials for a written response.
DFP Evidence Session on Capital Realisation Taskforce
The Committee was briefed by Leo O’Reilly, 2 nd Permanent Secretary, DFP and Richard Pengelly, Budget Director (Acting), DFP on the role of the Capital Realisation Taskforce, which is to examine the scope for more efficient and economically effective use of the asset base, held by departments, realising additional resources through the disposal of surplus or under utilised assets.
Agreed: that the Committee will be briefed on the interim report due from the Taskforce at the end of November or early December. It was also agreed that any further issues which the Committee wished to raise will be forwarded to DFP officials for written response.
DFP Evidence Session on Public Procurement Delivering Best Value for Money
The Committee was briefed by DFP officials: Leo O’Reilly, 2 nd Permanent Secretary, Des Armstrong Divisional Director, Construction and Advisory, Central Procurement Directorate and Brendan O’Neill, Divisional Director, Policy Support, Central Procurement Directorate on public procurement delivering best value for money.
Agreed: that a copy of the public procurement strategic plan will be forwarded to the Committee when available.
Mr Storey left the meeting at 12.19 pm.
Mr Beggs left the meeting at 12.25 pm.
Mr O’Loan left the meeting at 12.37 pm.
Ms McCann left the meeting at 12.38 pm.
Agreed: that the DFP officials will provide a written response to a number of issues raised by the Committee.
Mr O’Loan returned to the meeting at 12.38 pm.
Members noted that DFP officials and representatives from the University of Ulster will be arranging a seminar for MLAs on public procurement and that members will be briefed again when details are confirmed.
Meeting continued in closed session at 12.39 pm.
Consideration of Emerging Themes for Committee Report on Draft Budget 2008-11
Members considered the proposed structure for the Committee’s Report on the Draft Budget.
Agreed: the structure, including key themes of the Committee’s Report on the Draft Budget.
Agreed: that the report should consider the extent of read across between the Draft Budget and the Draft Programme for Government.
The Committee were advised that the individual responses from statutory committees on the draft budgets of their respective departments were due today and will be considered at next week’s meeting.
Consideration of Response to COFMDFM on Draft Programme for Government and Investment Strategy Northern Ireland
Members considered the draft response to COFMDFM on the Draft PfG and ISNI.
Agreed: the response to issue and be published on the Assembly website in due course.
Meeting continued in open session at 12.45 pm.
Committee Work Programme
Members considered the updated Committee work programme until Christmas recess.
Agreed: that the updated work programme will be published on the Assembly website.
Any Other Business
Members were advised that the Chairperson will be issuing Christmas cards on behalf of the Committee to each organisation that has contributed to the work of the Committee.
Members noted the following correspondence:
- DFP response to the Committee for Regional Development request for briefing on the capacity of Land and Property Services in respect of water bills;
- Information from the Consumer Council regarding the National Payments Plan;
- Letter from DFP Minister regarding Mandatory Microgeneration in new buildings; and
- DFP response to the Committee for Social Development regarding the Inquiry into Town Centre Regeneration.
Agreed: that further information will be requested from DFP on the background to the 3% efficiency savings figure.
Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 05 December 2007 at 10.00 am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.57 pm.
Mitchel McLaughlin, Chairperson,
Committee for Finance and Personnel.
05 December 2007