COMMITTEE FOR FINANCE AND PERSONNEL
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY, 23 JUNE 2010
ROOM 30, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Ms Jennifer McCann MLA (Chairperson)
Mr David McNarry MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Jonathan Craig MLA
Dr Stephen Farry MLA
Mr Simon Hamilton MLA
Mr Declan O’Loan MLA
Mr Fra McCann MLA
Mr Shane McAteer (Assembly Clerk)
Miss Karen Jardine (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mrs Kathy O’Hanlon (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mr Christopher McNickle (Clerical Officer)
Mr Dominic O’Farrell (Clerical Officer)
Mr Mitchel McLaughlin MLA
Mr Adrian McQuillan MLA
Ms Dawn Purvis MLA
The meeting commenced at 10.31 am in open session.
Apologies are detailed above.
2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 16 June 2010
Agreed: that the minutes are published 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.
Rating of Empty Homes
The Committee noted correspondence from DFP following the Committee’s decision last week to support the proposal for the introduction of the rating of empty homes on 1 April 2011 subject to careful consideration of a number of issues raised by members.
Review of Senior Civil Service Pay
Members noted correspondence from DFP following a request for clarification on the reasons for the postponement of this evidence session.
Agreed: to reschedule the evidence session to the first meeting after recess, noting that the Minister of Finance and Personnel’s commitment to allow the Committee to make its own assessment of the review report before final decisions are made, still stands.
The Committee agreed to defer agenda item 4 until later in the meeting.
4. Social Value Toolkit – briefing by Strategic Investment Board Ltd
The Committee received a briefing from Ms Mary McKee OBE, Strategic Adviser, Strategic Investment Board Limited; and Mr Stuart Cairns, Director, McGrigors Belfast, on the Strategic Investment Board Social Value Toolkit on delivering social benefits through public procurement.
Mr Craig joined the meeting at 10.39am.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 10.42am.
Mr Hamilton joined the meeting at 10.45am.
Mr McNarry returned to the meeting at 10.53am.
Dr Farry left the meeting at 11.00am.
Agreed: that the witnesses will keep the Committee informed of further developments in this area.
5. DFP’s Role in Review of Economic Policy
Members received a briefing on DFP’s Role in the Review of Economic Policy from the following DFP officials: Mr Bill Pauley, Head of Strategic Policy Division, Central Finance Group; Mr Peter Jakobsen, Strategic Policy Division, Central Finance Group.
Dr Farry returned to the meeting at 11.20am.
Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 11.22am.
Mr Hamilton returned to the meeting at 11.30am.
Mr McCann left the meeting at 11.30am.
Mr Craig left the meeting at 11.32am.
Agreed: to forward the DFP briefing paper to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment for information.
6. Subordinate Legislation
The Committee considered SR 2010 No. 194 The Rate Relief (Amendment) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2010 and noted correspondence from the Examiner of Statutory Rules which indicated that there are unlikely to be any points to make by way of technical scrutiny. This will be confirmed in the Eighteenth Report from the Examiner of Statutory Rules which is due out on 25 June 2010.
Agreed: that the Committee for Finance and Personnel has considered SR 2010 No. 194 The Rate Relief (Amendment) Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2010, and subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules’ final report, has no objection to the rule.
Mr McCann returned to the meeting at 11.52am.
The Committee considered the following correspondence:
- DFP: Follow up to Multiple Deprivation session on 2 June 2010;
- DFP: Response to NI Audit Office- “Improving Public Sector Efficiency: Good Practice Checklist for Public Bodies”;
Agreed: to schedule an evidence session with DFP officials on the outcome of the Departmental Board’s use of the checklist.
- News Release: Churches come together to criticise behaviour of banks;
- Mr Iain Houston: Information from Scottish Government on payment of invoices;
Agreed: to copy the correspondence to DFP highlighting the comparison with the performance of the NICS; requesting an updated position on the performance across the NICS; and requesting an evidence session with officials on this issue following summer recess.
Agreed:to write to Mr Houston acknowledging his correspondence and the issues raised.
- NISRA: Equality Statistics for the Northern Ireland Civil Service;
Agreed: to schedule an evidence session with DFP officials on this matter following summer recess.
- DFP: The Northern Ireland Executive’s Programme for Government 2008-11 Delivery Report;
- DFP: Follow up to Progress Against PSA and Departmental Targets 2009-10 session on 9 June 2010;
- Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure: External Advisors;
Agreed: that returns from all statutory committees will be collated and presented to members once all have been received.
- Assembly Research: Briefing note on “ Total Place”;
- DFP: Letter from Minister on Dormant Accounts Scheme; and
- DFP: Minister’s meeting with Chairs and Deputy Chairs of DFP and ETI Committees in relation to INTERREG IVA.
Agreed: to copy the correspondence to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment for information.
The Committee agreed to return to agenda item 4.
8. Second Report on the Budget Scrutiny Inquiry – Consideration of Draft Report
The meeting moved into closed session at 11.55am.
Members considered a working draft of the Committee’s Second Report on the Budget Scrutiny Inquiry.
Agreed: that the draft Report will be amended, taking account of points raised, and will be brought to the Committee for formal consideration at next week’s meeting.
The Committee also considered a response from the Committee of Culture Arts and Leisure on the Inquiry.
Agreed: that the correspondence is included in the evidence base of the Inquiry Report.
Agreed: that evidence sessions with the Strategic Investment Board and appropriate DFP officials will be scheduled in the autumn to seek clarification on the roles and responsibilities in respect of capital allocations and the delivery of the investment strategy.
The Committee moved in to open session at 12.21pm.
9. Committee Work Programme
Members considered the current draft of the Committee work programme until June 2010.
Agreed: that the work programme is published on the website.
10. Any Other Business
11. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 30 June 2010 at 10.00am in Room 135, Parliament Buildings. Members noted that, given the heavy agenda, it will be necessary to extend the meeting until approximately 2.00pm.
The meeting ended at 12.24pm.