Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo


WEDNESDAY, 12 March 2008
Room 152, Parliament Buildings

Mervyn Storey MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Roy Beggs MLA
Simon Hamilton MLA
Fra McCann MLA
Jennifer McCann MLA
Adrian McQuillan MLA
Declan O’Loan MLA
Peter Weir MLA

In Attendance:
Shane McAteer (Assembly Clerk)
Vivien Ireland (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Colin Jones (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Paula Sandford (Clerical Supervisor)
Mary Thompson (Clerical Officer)

Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (Chairperson)
Dr Stephen Farry MLA
Dawn Purvis MLA

The meeting commenced at 10.03 am in open session.

  1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

  1. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 5 March 2008

Agreed: for publication on the Assembly website.

Agreed: that the briefing from Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) officials on the Department’s Response to the Committee’s Report on the Executive’s Draft Budget will be recorded by Hansard and the final transcript published on the Assembly website.

Mr McQuillan joined the meeting at 10.05am.

  1. Matters Arising

Members noted the outstanding requests for information from DFP.

Members noted the update to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on the Varney Report on Tax Policy in Northern Ireland.

Members considered a response from DFP on targets in its Business Plan for 2007/08 which were ‘likely to be achieved with some delay.’ Members noted that the response included details of delays in respect of Land and Property Services; Workplace 2010 and in the Account NI reform project.

Agreed: that DFP will be asked to provide a detailed update of performance to the end of March 2008, against individual targets in the Department’s Business Plan for 2007/08.

Agreed: that Land and Property Services will be asked to include performance against targets for 2007/08 in its written submission in advance of briefing the Committee on 9 April 2008.

Members noted the latest draft of DFP’s Corporate Plan for 2008 – 2011, which had been submitted to the Committee following approval by the Minister.

Agreed: that, as the Committee had already been briefed on the development of the Corporate Plan, the Committee will note the latest draft, request copies of the published version and subsequently scrutinise progress against targets later in the year.

  1. DFP Response to Committee’s Report on Executive’s Draft Budget

Mr Weir joined the meeting at 10.13am.

Members were briefed by the following DFP officials: Michael Daly, Head of Central Expenditure Division and Paul Montgomery, Central Expenditure Division. The session was recorded by Hansard.

Agreed: that officials will provide further information to the Committee on points of clarification raised by members and will additionally provide a written response to any further issues raised by the Committee.

Agreed: that DFP’s written response to the Committee’s Report will be published on the Assembly website.

  1. Evidence Session on Building Regulations (Amendment) Bill (NI) 2008

The Committee was briefed by the following DFP officials: Seamus McCrystal, Head of Building Standards Branch; Hilda Hagan, Properties Division and Gerry McKibbin, Building Regulations Branch. The session was recorded by Hansard.

Members noted information from DFP on its proposed amendment to the Bill.

Agreed: that DFP will provide a written response to any further issues raised by the Committee.

Members considered which organisations should initially be invited to give oral evidence as part of the Committee Stage of the Bill.

Agreed: that all respondents to DFP’s previous consultation on the provisions in the Bill will be contacted directly to inform them of the Committee’s call for evidence in relation to the Bill.

Agreed: that representatives from Building Control Northern Ireland and from the Northern Ireland Building Regulations Advisory Committee will be invited to give oral evidence.

Agreed: that the six professional bodies which responded to DFP’s consultation will be invited to give oral evidence and that the possibility of grouping these organisations to give evidence to the Committee will be explored.

Agreed: that representatives from building control bodies in other jurisdictions will be contacted regarding the possibility of giving oral evidence.

Agreed: that further oral evidence sessions may be scheduled after consideration of the written submissions received by the closing date of 16 April 2008.

  1. Correspondence

The Committee noted the following correspondence:

  1. Committee Work Programme

Members considered an initial Committee work programme for the period following Easter recess.

Agreed: that the programme will be published on the Assembly website.

  1. Any Other Business

Members noted relevant press articles relating to the work of the Committee.

  1. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 at 10.00 am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.

The Deputy Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.08 pm.

Mervyn Storey, Deputy Chairperson,
Committee for Finance and Personnel.
2 April 2008

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