COMMITTEE FOR FINANCE AND PERSONNEL
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
17 JUNE 2009
ROOM 152, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
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
Dawn Purvis MLA
Shane McAteer (Assembly Clerk)
Vivien Ireland (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Karen Jardine (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Colin Jones (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
David McKee (Clerical Supervisor)
Chris McCreery (Clerical Officer)
Ian Paisley Jnr MLA
Peter Weir MLA
The meeting commenced at 10.02 am in open session.
Apologies are detailed above.
Agreed: that the evidence from InterTradeIreland on the Committee Inquiry into Public Procurement Policy and Practice in Northern Ireland and from Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) officials on the Performance and Efficiency Delivery Unit Review of Public Service Agreement Delivery will be recorded by Hansard and the Official Report published on the website.
2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 10 June 2009
Agreed: for publication on the Assembly website.
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.
Mr O’Loan joined the meeting at 10.06 am.
Members discussed a further draft Committee motion for a plenary debate on senior civil service pay and bonuses, which took account of the Minister of Finance and Personnel’s recent announcement of a review of this area. Members noted that, as agreed last week, the Business Office had been informed of the possibility of a Committee motion being laid following today’s meeting, with a view to a plenary debate before summer recess.
Agreed: that the motion will be laid in the Business Office.
Members considered draft correspondence to the Northern Bank, seeking further information and statistics on the bank’s recent activities.
Agreed: that the correspondence will be issued to the Northern Bank.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 10.16 am.
4. Committee Inquiry into Public Procurement Policy and Practice in Northern Ireland: Evidence from InterTradeIreland
The Committee took evidence from the following representatives from InterTradeIreland: Aidan Gough, Director of Strategy and Policy; and Dr Eoin Magennis, Policy Research Manager. The session was recorded by Hansard.
Mr McQuillan left the meeting at 10.39 am.
Dr Farry left the meeting at 10.45 am.
Members noted further information from both the Ulster Community Investment Trust and the Confederation of British Industry, following their recent oral evidence to the Committee.
Agreed: a media request for photographs to be taken of the Committee immediately prior to the next meeting at 12.45 pm in the Senate Chamber.
5. Performance and Efficiency Delivery Unit (PEDU) Review of Public Service Agreement (PSA) Delivery: Evidence from DFP
Members noted that this evidence session had been rescheduled from last week, due to the late receipt of the accompanying written submission from DFP. Members noted that, as agreed last week, the Chairperson had written to the Minister expressing the Committee’s concern at the late receipt of the submission and that the Committee’s concern will also be recorded at official level.
The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Richard Pengelly, Head of PEDU and Public Spending Director; and Shane Murphy, PEDU.
Agreed: that the DFP officials will forward further information to the Committee as requested during the evidence session.
Agreed: that the written submission from DFP will be forwarded to the other statutory committees, as it contains information on the performance of individual Departments against PSA targets.
Agreed: that DFP will be asked to provide copies of its quarterly monitoring returns on performance against PSA targets and of the annual report on progress against PSA targets in 2008/09, which is due to be published before summer recess.
6. Subordinate Legislation
The Committee considered the Draft Statutory Rule : the Lands Tribunal (Salaries) 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 previously considered DFP’s proposal to make this Statutory Rule at its meeting on 29 April 2009, when the Committee had agreed that it was content with the policy implications of the proposal at that stage.
Agreed: that further information will be requested from DFP on the nature of the appointments detailed in the proposed legislation and that the Draft Statutory Rule will be considered further at the meeting on 24 June.
7. Secretariat Paper on Proposed Procurement Stakeholder Conference
The Committee was informed that efforts to contract an academic institution to take forward commissioned research on the Committee’s behalf, had been unsuccessful to date. Members discussed a number of options for supplementing the oral and written evidence gathered to date as part of the Committee’s ongoing Inquiry.
Agreed: that, as an alternative to commissioning external research, a procurement stakeholder conference will be held after summer recess.
Mr McNarry joined the meeting at 11.55 am.
Ms Purvis left the meeting at 11.56 am.
The Committee noted the following correspondence:
- Minister of Finance and Personnel: Response to Committee’s Report on the Civil Registration Bill;
- DFP: Briefing paper on the draft Legal Complaints and Regulation Bill;
Agreed : that the Committee will seek a briefing on the outcome of the public consultation on the Bill;
- DFP: Response on June 2009 Monitoring Round Position;
- DFP: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) Corporate and Business Plan 2009/10;
- Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (COFMDFM): Response to issues raised by the Committee for Finance and Personnel on Proposals for Tribunal Reform ;
Agreed : that the Committee will inform COFMDFM that it is content with the proposals.
9. Committee Work Programme
Members considered the current draft of the Committee work programme until summer recess.
Agreed: that the current draft 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, 17 June 2009 at 12.45 pm in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11.59 am.