COMMITTEE FOR FINANCE AND PERSONNEL
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY, 30 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
Dawn Purvis MLA
Peter Weir MLA
Shane McAteer (Assembly Clerk)
Colin Jones (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Paula Sandford (Clerical Supervisor)
Mary Thompson (Clerical Officer)
Meadhbh McCann (Assembly Research)
Jennifer McCann MLA
The meeting commenced at 10.02 am in open session.
Apologies are detailed above.
2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 23 April 2008
Agreed: for publication on the Assembly website.
Mr Storey joined the meeting at 10. 06 am.
Dr Farry joined the meeting at 10.10 am.
3. Matters Arising
The Committee noted the outstanding requests for information from the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP).
4. Assembly Research Briefing on Reliability and Costs of Renewable Technology
The Committee was briefed by Assembly Research on a research paper on the Reliability and Costs of Renewable Technology.
Agreed: that the research paper will be published on the Assembly website and included in the Committee Report on the Building Regulations (Amendment) Bill 2008.
Mr McCann joined the meeting at 10.16 am.
5. Building Regulations (Amendment) Bill 2008 – Evidence from Local Authority Building Control, England and Wales
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 Paul Everall, CBE, Chief Executive, Local Authority Building Control, England and Wales. The session was recorded by Hansard.
6. Building Regulations (Amendment) Bill 2008 – Evidence from Building Standards/Environment Assessment, Republic of Ireland
The Committee took evidence from Chris O’Grady, Head of Building Standards Section, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Republic of Ireland and Sarah Neary, Senior Building Standards Advisor, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Republic of Ireland. The session was recorded by Hansard.
Agreed: that the witnesses will provide a written response to issues raised during the evidence session.
Agreed: that future projections on the number of inhabitants living in existing housing stock and new builds in Northern Ireland will be requested from DFP.
7. Building Regulations (Amendment) Bill 2008 – Evidence from Energy Saving Trust, Northern Ireland
The Committee took evidence from Noel Williams, Head of Energy Saving Trust, Northern Ireland. The session was recorded by Hansard.
Agreed: that Mr Williams will provide a written response to issues raised during the evidence session.
Agreed: that Assembly Research will be asked to provide a synopsis of the Republic of Ireland Government’s regulatory impact assessment of its decision on mandatory renewables and a brief update on similar developments in Scotland.
Members noted DFP’s response to the submission from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Agreed: that the submissions from today’s witnesses and the official report of the evidence sessions will be forwarded to DFP for comment.
Agreed: that the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government’s submission on the Republic of Ireland’s planning exemptions for renewable technologies will be forwarded to the Committee for the Environment for information.
The Committee noted the following correspondence:
- Save the Children: Child Poverty and Fuel Prices.
9. DFP Submissions to the Committee
The Committee considered a proposed template for DFP submissions to the Committee and accompanying guidance for DFP officials.
Agreed: that the template will be issued to DFP and implemented for future meetings
The Committee considered a proposed template for departmental quarterly monitoring round submissions, which had been received from DFP in response to recommendations agreed by the Committee and forwarded to other statutory committees for comment.
Agreed: a response for issue to DFP.
10. Committee Work Programme
Members considered the latest draft of the Committee work programme for the period up to summer recess. It was noted that Sir David Varney’s report on the Review of Northern Ireland’s Competitiveness was due to be published shortly and that, following publication, a session will be arranged to enable Sir David to brief the Committee.
Agreed: that a draft list of key stakeholders to be asked to provide a critique of the Varney reviews will be considered at the next meeting.
Agreed: that the latest draft of the programme will be published on the Assembly website.
11. Any Other Business
Members were reminded of the importance of maintaining a quorum at next week’s meeting as it will include a number of evidence sessions, including a briefing from officials from the Republic of Ireland on their experiences of relocating public sector jobs.
Members noted that the Committee’s Clerical Officer, Mary Thompson, will be leaving on Friday 2 May to take up new employment and thanked her for her valuable contribution to supporting the work of the Committee.
12. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 7 May 2008 at 10.00 am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.53 pm.