COMMITTEE FOR FINANCE AND PERSONNEL
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY, 15 SEPTEMBER 2010
ROOM 30, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Ms Jennifer McCann MLA (Chairperson)
Mr David McNarry MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Dr Stephen Farry MLA
Mr Paul Frew MLA
Mr Paul Girvan MLA
Mr Simon Hamilton MLA
Mr Daithí McKay MLA
Mr Mitchel McLaughlin MLA
Mr Adrian McQuillan MLA
Mr Declan O’Loan MLA
Ms Dawn Purvis MLA
Mr Shane McAteer (Assembly Clerk)
Miss Karen Jardine (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mrs Kathy O’Hanlon (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mr David McKee (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr Dominic O’Farrell (Clerical Officer)
The meeting commenced at 10.05 am in open session.
There were no apologies.
Dr Farry joined the meeting at 10.05am.
The Committee noted that Mr Paul Girvan had replaced Mr Jonathan Craig as a member of the Committee; Mr Daithí McKay had replaced Mr Fra McCann as a member of the Committee; and Mr Paul Frew had been appointed to the Committee to fill the position previously held by Mr Ian Paisley Jnr. The Chairperson welcomed the new members, and acknowledged the contributions of Mr Craig, Mr McCann and Mr Paisley Jnr to the work of the Committee.
Members noted the declarations of interest for Mr Frew and Mr McKay as recorded in the Register of Interests, and that Mr Girvan will make a submission to the Register by 2 October. Mr Frew and Mr Girvan confirmed they had no additional interests to declare.
Mr Hamilton joined the meeting at 10.06am.
Ms Purvis joined the meeting at 10.06am.
2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 8 September 2010
Agreed: that the minutes are published on the Assembly website.
Agreed: that the evidence sessions at Agenda items 4, 6 and 7 are recorded by Hansard and the Official Reports published on the website.
Agreed: that the evidence session on the Budget Process Action Plan and the Department’s response to the Committee’s Second Budget Scrutiny Inquiry Report will be held in closed session, as the Committee’s Report will remain embargoed until the start of the debate in plenary on Monday 20 September. The evidence session will be recorded by Hansard, and the Official Report published on the website after the plenary debate has taken place.
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.
Committee for Enterprise Trade and Investment: Joint meeting on Banking Issues
The Committee noted correspondence from the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee regarding the proposed joint meeting on banking issues.
Agreed: the Committee agreed the structure of the evidence sessions.
Agreed: to request information on a number of issues from the banks in advance of the evidence session, including: proposed actions in response to the Church Leaders’ statement; the level of take up of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme; the Standard Variable Rates for business loans; the number of customers in mortgage arrears and the number one month behind in mortgage payments; the lending rates for both secured and unsecured loans; and recent changes in overdraft rates.
Mr McQuillan joined the meeting at 10.09am.
Mr McKay joined the meeting at 10.10am.
4. Outcome on Consultation on Draft Damages (Asbestos–Related Conditions) Bill (NI) 2010 - DFP Evidence Session
The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Oswyn Paulin, Head of Departmental Solicitors Office; and Laura McPolin, Legal Policy Advisor, Departmental Solicitors Office. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.
Agreed: that the DFP officials will provide the full consultation responses to the Committee, together with a report analysing the issues raised by respondents and setting out the Department’s position on each issue.
Agreed: to commission Assembly Research to investigate the number and costs of previous and potential claims; and to examine whether pleural plaques is a compensatable condition in other jurisdictions.
Agreed: the Secretariat will prepare a list of issues for Committee consideration and subsequent DFP response in advance of the formal introduction of the Bill.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 10.55am.
Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 10.59am.
Mr McNarry returned to the meeting at 11.01am.
Mr Hamilton returned to the meeting at 11.09am.
Mr McKay left the meeting at 11.20am.
Mr McKay returned to the meeting at 11.25am.
Dr Farry left the meeting at 11.25am.
Mr Frew left the meeting at 11.35am.
Mr McQuillan left the meeting at 11.36am.
Mr Frew returned to the meeting at 11.37am.
Mr Girvan left the meeting at 11.37am.
Mr Girvan returned to the meeting at 11.42am.
Ms Purvis left the meeting at 11.44am.
5. Construction Contracts (Amendment) Bill – Research Briefing
Members received a briefing from Assembly Research on the Construction Contracts (Amendment) Bill.
Ms Purvis returned to the meeting at 11.47am.
6. Construction Contracts (Amendment) Bill – DFP Evidence Session
The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Stewart Heaney, Divisional Director Construction and Advisory Division, Central Procurement Directorate; and Robin McKelvey, Construction Initiatives Manager, Central Procurement Directorate. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 11.48am.
7. Outcome of June Monitoring Round – DFP Evidence Session
The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Michael Brennan, Head of Central Expenditure Division, Central Finance Group; Joanne McBurney, Central Expenditure Division, Central Finance Group. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.
Agreed: that the DFP officials will provide further information as requested by the Committee during the evidence session
Mr McNarry returned to the meeting at 11.53am.
Mr Frew left the meeting at 11.53am.
Mr McQuillan returned to the meeting at 12.03pm.
The meeting moved to closed session at 12.06pm.
8. Budget Process Action Plan and DFP Response to the Committee’s Second Budget Scrutiny Inquiry Report
The Committee took evidence from Michael Brennan, Head of Central Expenditure Division, Central Finance Group, DFP. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.
Mr Frew returned to the meeting at 12.10pm.
Agreed: to copy the Executive’s Budget Process Action Plan and related correspondence together with the DFP response to the Committee’s Second Budget Scrutiny Inquiry Report to other statutory committees, in advance of the debate on the Report in plenary on Monday 20 September.
Agreed: to publish the DFP response to the Committee’s Second Budget Scrutiny Inquiry Report on the Committee’s website after the plenary debate.
Mr McLaughlin left the meeting at 12.23pm.
Dr Farry returned to the meeting at 12.35pm.
9. End of Session Report: Consideration of Draft Report
The Committee considered a draft End of Session Report 2009-10.
Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 12.40pm.
Agreed: that pages 1 – 2 stand part of the Report;
Agreed: that pages 3 – 4 stand part of the Report;
Agreed: that pages 5 – 6 stand part of the Report;
Agreed: that pages 7 – 8 stand part of the Report;
Agreed: that pages 9 – 10 stand part of the Report;
Agreed: that pages 11 – 12 as amended stand part of the Report;
Dr Farry left the meeting at 12.43pm.
Agreed: that Annex A stands part of the Report.
Agreed: the Clerk will notify the Secretariat management team that the Committee believes consideration should be given to achieving savings from more targeted advertising of Committee “calls for evidence”.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 12.45pm
The meeting moved to open session at 12.45pm.
10. Preliminary Inquiry into Public Sector Efficiencies: DFP Response to Inquiry Report
The Committee considered correspondence from DFP regarding the delay in the Department’s response to the Committee’s Report on the Preliminary Inquiry into Public Sector Efficiencies.
Agreed: to request clarification of the reasons for the prolonged delay and a date that the Committee can expect to receive the response.
Members noted the extract from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s newsletter regarding the Committee’s report on the Preliminary Inquiry into Public Sector Efficiencies.
11. Subordinate Legislation
The Committee considered SR 2010 No. 218 The Census Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2010 and the First Report of the Examiner of Statutory Rules, which raised no issues by way of technical scrutiny.
Agreed: that the Committee for Finance and Personnel has considered SR 2010 No. 218 The Census Regulations ( Northern Ireland) 2010 and has no objection to the Rule.
The Committee considered the following correspondence:
- Committee for Education: Budget 2010;
- Communities Against Lough Neagh Incinerator: Request to Brief Committee on Proposed Rose Energy Incinerator;
Agreed: that a briefing would not be received as this issue is outside the remit of the Committee;
- Committee for the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister: Departmental input to the programme for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration;
- Members Attendance at Committee Meetings held between 01/09/2009 and 31/08/2010;
- Action for Children Northern Ireland: NI Government Department Spending Review 2010/11;
- Institute of Directors : Financing a Private Sector Recovery;
Agreed: Committee staff will check if any other members wish to attend as the Chair and Deputy Chair are unavailable;
Agreed:to request documentation relating to the event for the Committee’s information;
- Committee for Regional Development: Rebate on the Aggregates Levy;
- Construction Employers Federation: Invitation to Gala Dinner for Chairperson;
- DFP: Resource Accounts for year ending 31 March 2010;
- Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency: Annual Report and Accounts 2009-10;
- DFP: Memorandum on the Seventeenth and Nineteenth Reports from the Public Accounts Committee Session 2009-10
13. Committee Work Programme
Members considered a draft of the Committee work programme.
The Committee noted correspondence from DFP regarding the work programme.
Agreed: that the work programme is published on the website.
14. Any Other Business
15. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be a concurrent meeting with the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, which will be held on Wednesday 22 September 2010 at 11.30am in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.
The meeting ended at 12.53pm.
Jennifer McCann, Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel
29 September 2010
08 September 10 / Menu