Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo


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

In Attendance:
Shane McAteer (Assembly Clerk)
Vivien Ireland (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Colin Jones (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
David McKee (Clerical Supervisor)
Chris McCreery (Clerical Officer)


The meeting commenced at 10.04 am in open session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

Agreed : that the evidence from Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) officials on the Implications of the Chancellor’s Budget for Northern Ireland; and on the Interim Report from the Construction Industry Forum for Northern Ireland Procurement Task Group will be recorded by Hansard and the Official Reports published on the website.

2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 22 April 2009

Agreed: for publication on the Assembly website.

Mr McCann and Ms McCann joined the meeting at 10. 06 am.

3. Matters Arising

The Committee noted the composite request for information from DFP which provided an update on any matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda.

Members considered a response from DFP on how the Departmental Board will monitor performance in providing information requested by the Committee.

Agreed : that the Committee will continue to monitor the situation, given the recent pattern of slippage which has emerged.

Members noted that, despite the Committee issuing a reminder, DFP had still not yet confirmed whether the restricted classification, which Departmental officials had placed on the submission to accompany the session on Financing Strategic Investment on 1 April 2009, could be lifted.

Members considered the suggested amendments, received from DFP, to the secretariat note of the session with DFP and Strategic Investment Board officials on Financing Strategic Investment

Agreed : that the suggested amendments will be made before forwarding the paper to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (COFMDFM).

Members noted that the paper was still restricted.

Members noted that the secretariat was collating the information received from DFP on senior civil servants pay and bonuses and that this should be available next week.

Members noted that DFP had indicated that it was unlikely to respond to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) consultation on value accreditation and regulation.

Agreed : that the Committee will write to the RICS, requesting the outcomes from the consultation which are within the remit of DFP.

Agreed : that the Committee will request an oral briefing from DFP on the secondment of a DFP official to the DG Regio’s Office in Brussels.

4. Implications of the Chancellor’s Budget for Northern Ireland: Evidence from DFP

The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Richard Pengelly, Budget Director and Paul Montgomery, Central Expenditure Division. The session was recorded by Hansard.

Mr Weir joined the meeting at 10.37 am.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 10.59 am.

The Chairperson reminded officials that the Committee had previously requested a submission from DFP on the implications of the Chancellor’s Budget for Northern Ireland, which was due by 1 May 2009.

Agreed : that the DFP officials will determine whether the deadline for Departmental submissions on the June 2009 Monitoring Round can be postponed for a week, given that several statutory committees will not meet in week commencing 1 June 2009, due to the European elections.

Dr Farry left the meeting at 11.10 am.

5. Interim Report from the Construction Industry Forum for Northern Ireland Procurement Task Group: Evidence from DFP

The Committee took evidence from Des Armstrong and Stewart Heaney from DFP’s Central Procurement Directorate. The session was recorded by Hansard.

Mr Paisley left the meeting at 11.46 am.
Dr Farry joined the meeting at 11.47 am.

Agreed : that the DFP officials will provide further information as requested by the Committee during the evidence session and will update the Committee on progress on implementing the Report’s recommendations in October 2009.

6. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee considered Statutory Rule 2009 No. 150: the Superannuation (Health and Social Care Bodies) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2009 and the accompanying explanatory memorandum, which had been laid in the Business Office by DFP.

The Committee noted the relevant Report from the Examiner of Statutory Rules, which raised no issues by way of technical scrutiny.

The Committee noted that it had considered DFP’s proposal to make this Statutory Rule at its meeting on 18 March 2009, when the Committee had agreed that it was content with the policy implications of the proposal at that stage.

Agreed : that the Committee for Finance and Personnel has considered the Superannuation (Health and Social Care Bodies) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2009 and has no objection to the Rule.

The Committee considered a proposal from DFP to make a Statutory Rule under the Lands Tribunal (Salaries) Order ( Northern Ireland) 2009.

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

7. Committee Inquiry into Public Procurement Practice in Northern Ireland: Consideration of Written Submissions and Scheduling of Oral Evidence Sessions

The Committee noted the thirty three written submissions received, and information on those organisations which had indicated that they would be prepared to give oral evidence. Members noted that the Committee’s work programme to summer recess could facilitate approximately ten oral evidence sessions.

Agreed : that the Committee will consider the forthcoming oral evidence before deciding whether to invite further evidence from the legal sector.

Agreed : that a further paper on potential oral evidence sessions will be considered at next week’s meeting.

Mr O’Loan left the meeting at 12.24 pm.
Ms Purvis left the meeting at 12.25 pm.

Members noted that the Committee’s bid for commissioned research to supplement the inquiry had been successful. Consideration was given to a secretariat paper setting out advice from the Assembly’s Head of Procurement on sourcing the commissioned research.

Agreed : that, on the basis of the advice received, appropriate academic institutions will be approached to carry out the research and that a specification of requirements will be drawn up for the Committee’s consideration.

Agreed : that an audit of Departmental action to promote social and environmental clauses in procurement contacts will be conducted as part of the research commissioned by the Committee.

Mr McCann left the meeting at 12.32 pm.

8. Correspondence

The Committee noted the following correspondence:

Agreed : that the correspondence will be forwarded to the other statutory committees and that the Committee will examine the issue of the Varney’s recommendations, when considering DFP’s Regional Economic Strategy or its equivalent;

Agreed : that the request will be copied to COFMDFM and the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment for information and to determine whether these committees are planning to consider this issue;

Mr Paisley joined the meeting at 12.38 pm.

9. Committee Work Programme

Members considered the current draft of the Committee work programme until summer recess.

Agreed : that representatives from Northern Ireland’s main banks will be invited for a follow up evidence session and that representatives from other mortgage lenders operating in Northern Ireland will also be invited to present oral evidence.

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

10. Any Other Business


11. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 6 May 2009 at 10.00 am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.40 pm.

Mitchel McLaughlin, Chairperson,
Committee for Finance and Personnel.
6 Mayl 2009
22 April 09 / Menu