COMMITTEE FOR FINANCE AND PERSONNEL
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
20 MAY 2009
ROOM 152, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (Chairperson)
Simon Hamilton MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Dr Stephen Farry MLA
Fra McCann MLA
David McNarry MLA
Adrian McQuillan MLA
Declan O’Loan MLA
Dawn Purvis MLA
Shane McAteer (Assembly Clerk)
Vivien Ireland (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Colin Jones (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
David McKee (Clerical Supervisor)
Chris McCreery (Clerical Officer)
Jennifer McCann MLA
The meeting commenced at 10.03 am in open session.
Apologies are detailed above.
Agreed: that the evidence sessions from the Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) officials and the representatives from the Construction Industry Group Northern Ireland Professional College (CIGNI) on the Committee Inquiry into Public Procurement Policy and Practice in Northern Ireland will be recorded by Hansard and the Official Report published on the website.
2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 6 May 2009
Agreed: for publication on the Assembly website.
3. Matters Arising
The Committee noted the composite request for information from the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) which provided an update on any matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda.
Members considered a proposal put forward by Mr O’Loan to write to the Department expressing concern at the delay in resolving the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) equal pay claim. In conjunction with this, the Committee also considered a further proposal put forward by the Chairperson to ascertain the chronological details of the meetings to date between DFP officials and representatives of the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) on the equal pay issue, as well as the reasons for any postponements of scheduled meetings.
Ms Purvis joined the meeting at 10.05 am.
Mr McNarry joined the meeting at 10.08 am.
Agreed: that the Committee will write to DFP expressing its concern at the delay in resolving the NICS equal pay issue. The Committee also agreed to ask NIPSA to provide chronological details of the meetings between its representatives and DFP officials on the equal pay issue and the reasons for any meetings being postponed at short notice.
Members noted the response from DFP on the date for completion of the Annual Review Report on the Investment Strategy.
Agreed: to request a copy of the Annual Review Report on the Investment Strategy through the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister.
4. Committee Inquiry into Public Procurement Policy and Practice in Northern Ireland: Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Access to Public Contracts: Evidence from DFP’s Central Procurement Directorate (CPD)
The Committee took evidence from the following CPD officials: David Carson, Director of Policy and Support Division; Roy Mitchell, Works Procurement Division and Tom Gilgunn, Strategic and Information Communication Technology Procurement. The session was recorded by Hansard.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 10.59 am.
Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 11.07 am.
Mr McNarry returned to the meeting at 11.10 am.
Dr Farry left the meeting at 11.14 am.
Mr Hamilton returned to the meeting at 11.20 am.
Ms Purvis left the meeting at 11.23 am.
Ms Purvis returned to the meeting at 11.25 am.
Mr McCann left the meeting at 11.31 am.
Mr McCann returned to the meeting at 11.32 am.
Agreed: that the CPD officials will provide information on a number of issues as requested by the Committee during the evidence session.
5. Committee Inquiry into Public Procurement Practice in Northern Ireland: Evidence from Construction Industry Group Northern Ireland Professional College (CIGNI)
The Committee took evidence from the following CIGNI officials: Dr Lynda Martin, Chairperson; John Finlay, Vice-Chairperson and George Coulter, Secretary. The session was recorded by Hansard.
Mr McCann left the meeting at 11.44 am.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 12.13 pm.
Agreed: that the Committee will write to CIGNI if it requires any further information on the issues discussed during the session.
Agreed: that the Committee will request that Assembly Research and Library Services draw up a list of ‘expert witnesses’ on public procurement for the Committee to consider in terms of inviting additional oral evidence to inform the Committee inquiry.
Agreed: to defer consideration of the agenda items on Subordinate Legislation and Correspondence until next week’s meeting.
6. Committee Work Programme
Members considered the current draft of the Committee work programme until summer recess.
Agreed: a range of broad subject areas to be covered in the upcoming sessions with the local mortgage lenders and banks. It was also agreed that the secretariat will collate all the previous papers on this subject and issue these to members in advance of the oral hearings.
Agreed: that Assembly Research and Library Services will be asked to prepare a paper on the NI Mortgage Market to inform the Committee’s deliberations on this issue.
Agreed: that the current draft of the programme will be published on the Assembly website.
7. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 27 May 2009 at 10.00 am in Room 152, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.34 pm.