Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo


WEDNESDAY, 23 April 2008
Room 152, Parliament Buildings

Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (Chairperson)
Roy Beggs MLA
Dr Stephen Farry MLA
Simon Hamilton MLA
Jennifer McCann MLA
Adrian McQuillan MLA
Declan O’Loan MLA
Dawn Purvis MLA

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

Fra McCann MLA
Mervyn Storey MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Peter Weir MLA

The meeting commenced at 10.05 am in open session.

  1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

  1. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 16 April 2008

Agreed: for publication on the Assembly website.

Dr Farry joined the meeting at 10.05 am.

  1. Matters Arising

Members noted the outstanding requests for information from the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP).

  1. Briefing from the Northern Ireland Law Commission

Ms McCann joined the meeting at 10.12 am.

Members were briefed by the following representatives from the Northern Ireland Law Commission: Mr Justice Morgan, Chairperson and Ms Judena Goldring, Chief Executive.

  1. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee considered proposals for subordinate legislation from DFP in relation to the following:

Agreed: that the Committee was content with the policy implications of the proposed legislation at this stage.

  1. Correspondence

The Committee noted the following correspondence:

  1. Update on the Study of Take - Up of Rate Relief and Disabled Person’s Allowance

Ms Purvis joined the meeting at 10.55 am.

The Committee was briefed by the following officials: Brian McClure, Head of Rating Policy Division, DFP; Duane Farrell, Policy Manger, Help the Aged; Elaine Campbell, Policy Manager, Age Concern and Zoë Anderson, Content Officer, A2B: Access to Benefits.
Agreed: that DFP will provide a written response to issues raised during the briefing, including how the report’s recommendations will be taken forward.

  1. Evidence Session on Building Regulations (Amendment) Bill 2008 – Association of Building Engineers and Institute of Structural Engineers

Mr Beggs declared an interest as a representative of Carrickfergus Borough Council on the Northern Area Group Building Control Committee.

The Committee took evidence from the following officials: Billy Gillespie, Council Member, Association of Building Engineers; Joseph Birt, Member, Association of Building Engineers and Joe McGlade, Institution of Structural Engineers, Northern Ireland Branch. The session was recorded by Hansard.

Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 12.29pm.

Agreed: that the Association of Building Engineers will provide the wording for its suggested amendments to the Bill.

Members noted submissions from the Sustainable Energy Association, from Northern Ireland Environment Link and DFP’s response to the submission from Building Control NI.

Agreed: that the submissions from the Sustainable Energy Association; Northern Ireland Environment Link; the Association of Building Engineers and the Energy Saving Trust will be forwarded to DFP for comment, along with the official report of today’s evidence.

Agreed: that the Northern Ireland Environment Link will be invited to give oral evidence.

  1. Committee Work Programme

Members considered the latest draft of the Committee work programme for the period up to summer recess.

Agreed: that representatives from Local Authority Building Control in England will attend to give oral evidence on 30 April in respect of the Building Regulations (Amendment) Bill 2008.

Agreed: that Assembly Research will present a paper on the Reliability and Costs of Renewable Technology on 30 April.

Agreed: that, given the Committee’s heavy schedule for next week, DFP briefings on the Benefits Realisation Taskforce and progress on PEACE II closure and PEACE III funding will be rescheduled. The briefing from the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance on Workplace 2010 and an Assembly Research briefing on a potential Inquiry into budget process and scrutiny will also be rescheduled.

Members noted that, as previously decided by the Committee, officials from other jurisdictions are being invited to brief the Committee on their experiences relating to the relocation of public sector jobs. A briefing from the relevant officials in Scotland had been arranged for 14 May and efforts were continuing to arrange a briefing by representatives from the Republic of Ireland.

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

  1. Any Other Business

In response to a query from Ms McCann, members noted that the briefing from DFP and the Special EU Programmes Body on progress relating to PEACE II closure and the distribution of PEACE III funding had been provisionally rescheduled for 7 May.

  1. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 10.00 am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.43 pm.

Mitchel McLaughlin, Chairperson,
Committee for Finance and Personnel.
30 April 2008

16 April 08 / Menu