Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo


Minutes of Proceedings


Present: Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (Chairperson)
Simon Hamilton MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Dr Stephen Farry MLA
Fra McCann MLA
Jennifer McCann MLA
Adrian McQuillan MLA
Declan O’Loan MLA
Ian Paisley Jnr MLA
Dawn Purvis MLA
Peter Weir MLA

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

Apologies: David McNarry MLA

The meeting commenced at 10.12 am in open session.

  1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

  1. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 24 September 2008

Agreed: for publication on the Assembly website.

  1. Matters Arising

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

Members noted that further clarification had been sought from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), on the protocol for statutory committee scrutiny of areas which are already being investigated by PAC. A response is expected for consideration at next week’s meeting.

Members considered a draft letter to DFP seeking further information arising from last week’s briefing from representatives of the Construction Industry Forum for Northern Ireland.

Agreed : that the request will issue to DFP.

Mr O’Loan joined the meeting at 10.15 am.

Members considered DFP’s response to the Committee’s request for Departmental Monthly Forecast Outturn reports, which the Committee had requested on a monthly basis to facilitate its role in scrutinising the work of DFP’s Central Finance Group in managing underspend across departments. It was noted that DFP had declined to send the information as requested.

Agreed : that, as DFP’s Central Finance Group has a key role in overseeing the spending of departments, including the management of underspend, the Committee therefore has a responsibility to scrutinise this work. DFP officials will therefore be asked to brief the Committee on the role of Central Finance Group in this regard. This session will also provide an opportunity for the Committee to set out the information which it requires from DFP in order to fulfil its role in scrutinising this area.

  1. Correspondence

The Committee noted the following correspondence:

Agreed : that DFP’s response will be sent to the Participation Network;

Agreed : that DFP’s response will be sent to the Landscape Institute;

Agreed : that this information will be circulated to all statutory committees;

  1. Briefing on the Report on the Independent Review of Policy on the Location of Public Sector Jobs

The Committee was briefed by Professor Sir George Bain, Chairperson of the Review Panel.

Agreed : that information on the implementation of the Report will be requested from DFP.

Dr Farry, Mr McQuillan and Mr Paisley left the meeting at 11.57am.

  1. Briefing from DFP on Procurement Awareness

The Committee was briefed by Des Armstrong, Director, Central Procurement Directorate, DFP, Aileen Edmund, Central Procurement Directorate, DFP and Ruth Fee, University of Ulster.

Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 12.57 pm.

  1. Briefing on Public Sector Procurement and Social Economy Provision

The Committee was briefed by Paul Roberts, Chief Executive, Ashton Community Trust and Colin Finnegan, Business Development Director, Capita Group Sales.

Agreed : that information will be requested from DFP on the inclusion of social clauses in contacts awarded by the public sector.

  1. Any Other Business


  1. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 8 October 2008 at 10.00 am Room 152, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.11 pm.

Mitchel McLaughlin, Chairperson,
Committee for Finance and Personnel.
8 October 2008

24 September / Menu