COMMITTEE FOR FINANCE AND PERSONNEL
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY, 16 APRIL 2008
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
Adrian McQuillan MLA
Declan O’Loan MLA
Peter Weir MLA
Shane McAteer (Assembly Clerk)
Vivien Ireland (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Colin Jones (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Paula Sandford (Clerical Supervisor)
Mary Thompson (Clerical Officer)
Dawn Purvis MLA
Jennifer McCann MLA
The meeting commenced at 10.05 am in open session.
Apologies are detailed above.
Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 9 April 2008
Agreed: for publication on the Assembly website.
Mr Storey joined the meeting at 10. 12 am.
Members noted the outstanding requests for information from the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP).
Members considered a draft response to the Minister of Finance and Personnel on the Economic Research Institute of Northern Ireland (ERINI) investigation into a Small Business Rate Relief scheme.
Agreed: response to the Minister of Finance and Personnel as amended.
DFP Briefing on the Performance and Efficiency Delivery Unit (PEDU)
Members were briefed by the following DFP officials: Leo O’Reilly, Second Permanent Secretary, DFP; Shane Murphy, PEDU, DFP; and Mark Millican, PEDU, DFP
Mr McQuillan left the meeting at 10.30 am.
Mr McQuillan returned to the meeting at 10.37 am.
Mr McQuillan left the meeting at 10.44 am.
Agreed : that DFP will provide its views to the Committee on how PEDU can interact with other statutory committees. It was also agreed that DFP will follow up on issues raised by members regarding the impact of efficiencies on front line services.
Mr O’Loan left the meeting at 10.51 am.
Dr Farry left the meeting at 10.54 am.
Evidence Session on Building Regulations (Amendment) Bill (NI) 2008 – Northern Ireland Building Regulations Advisory Committee
The Committee took evidence from Trevor Martin, Chairman of Northern Ireland Building Regulations Advisory Committee. The session was recorded by Hansard.
Mr Weir left the meeting at 10.57 am.
Mr O’Loan returned to the meeting at 10.57 am.
Mr Weir returned to the meeting at 11.04 am.
Mr Weir left the meeting at 11.14 am.
Mr Beggs left the meeting at 11.15 am.
Mr Beggs returned to the meeting at 11.21 am.
Mr McCann left the meeting at 11.22 am.
Mr McCann returned to the meeting at 11.25 am.
Mr Weir returned to the meeting at 11.26 am.
Agreed : that Northern Ireland Building Regulations Advisory Committee will provide a written submission in follow up to a number of the issues discussed with the Committee.
Evidence Session on Building Regulations (Amendment) Bill (NI) 2008 – Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists and Chartered Institute of Building in Ireland
The Committee took evidence from the following officials: Eddie Weir, Continued Professional Development Officer, Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists NI Region; David Traynor, National Councillor, Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists NI Region; Noel McKee, Chairman, Northern Centre of the Chartered Institute of Building in Ireland; and Alan Mairs, Northern Centre of the Chartered Institute of Building in Ireland. The session was recorded by Hansard.
Mr Weir left the meeting at 11.57 am.
Evidence Session on Building Regulations (Amendment) Bill (NI) 2008 – Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Northern Ireland
The Committee took evidence from the following officials: Liam Dornan, Head of Building Control Faculty, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Northern Ireland; and Ben Collins, Director, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Northern Ireland. The session was recorded by Hansard.
Agreed: that the submission from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Northern Ireland will be forwarded to DFP for comment.
Mr McQuillan returned to the meeting at 11.50 am.
The Committee had previously considered the Department’s proposals for this statutory rule on 13 February 2008 and had raised issues relating to the detail of the proposed changes in fees, and whether there was a need for Equality or Regulatory Impact Assessments. These issues were addressed by DFP on 20 February, at which stage the members were content.
The statutory rule had been included in the Thirteenth Report of Session 2007-08 by the Examiner of Statutory Rules and no issues were raised from the Examiner’s technical scrutiny.
Question put and agreed: ‘That the Committee for Finance and Personnel has considered the General Register Office (Fees) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2008 and recommends that it be affirmed by the Assembly’.
The Committee noted the following correspondence:
- DFP Corporate Plan 2008-11 and Operational Plan 2008-11;
- The Consumer Council: Reuniting consumers with their money in forgotten accounts;
- Committee for Employment and Learning: Committee briefing on the functions and responsibilities of the Central Procurement Directorate ;
- Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance: Workplace 2010 Clare House Evaluation Report;
- Minister for Finance and Personnel: ‘Take-Up Study – Rate Relief and Disabled Person’s Allowance’, March 2008, carried out by Help the Aged and Age Concern.
Agreed: that a written submission will be requested from The Consumer Council.
Agreed: that clarification will be sought on the status of the report and members will be advised accordingly. It was also agreed that the Department will be requested to provide an oral briefing on the report.
Building Regulations (Amendment) Bill (NI) 2008 - Timetable
The Committee considered the revised timetable for the Committee Stage of the Bill and a draft motion seeking Assembly agreement for an extension to 27 June 2008.
Agreed: Motion for extension to the Committee Stage of the Bill to be laid in the Business Office.
Members were advised that next week evidence will be taken from the Institute of Civil Engineers, the Association of Building Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers.
Members noted a response from the Energy Saving Trust on the Building Regulations (Amendment) Bill (NI) 2008.
Agreed: that the Energy Saving Trust will be invited to give oral evidence.
Members also considered inviting witnesses from other jurisdictions to explain their experience of implementing similar Building Regulations to those proposed in the Bill.
Agreed : that an evidence session will be arranged with representatives from the Republic of Ireland. It was also agreed that a written submission will be sought from a representative from the Local Authority Building Control for England and Wales.
Committee Work Programme
Members considered the Committee work programme for the period up to summer recess.
Agreed : that the programme will be published on the Assembly website.
Any Other Business
Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 23 April 2008 at 10.00 am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.18 pm.