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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

In Attendance:
Mr Shane McAteer (Assembly Clerk)
Miss Karen Jardine (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mrs Kathy O’Hanlon (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mr Jim Nulty (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr Dominic O’Farrell (Clerical Officer)
Mr Gareth Brown (Bursary Student)


The meeting commenced at 10.07am in open session.

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

Agreed: that the evidence sessions at Agenda items 4 and 5 are recorded by Hansard and the Official Reports published on the website.

2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 17 November 2010

Agreed: that the minutes are published on the Assembly website.

3. Matters Arising

Composite Request

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.

Banking Issues: Concurrent Meeting of 17 November 2010

The Committee noted press cutting regarding last week’s concurrent meeting with the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (CETI) on banking issues.

The Committee noted the draft minutes of proceedings from the concurrent meeting with CETI on 17 November. The minutes will be published on the website when agreed by the Chairperson of each Committee.

Mike Smyth: Follow up to evidence session on 17 November 2010

The Committee noted papers provided by Mike Smyth, University of Ulster, in follow up to the evidence session on 17 November.

4. Spending Review and Budget 2011-2015

The Committee took evidence from the following witnesses: Dr Esmond Birnie, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and Dr Graham Brownlow, Queen’s University Belfast. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.

Ms Purvis joined the meeting at 10.13am.

Mr Girvan joined the meeting at 10.20am.

Mr McQuillan joined the meeting at 10.21am.

Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 10.47am.

Mr Frew left the meeting at 10.54am.

Mr McLaughlin joined the meeting at 11.00am.

Dr Farry left the meeting at 11.10am.

Mr McNarry left the meeting at 11.14am.

Mr Hamilton returned to the meeting at 11.20am.

Dr Farry returned to the meeting at 11.21am.

The Committee noted a response from DFP regarding the UK Government’s Paper on Rebalancing the NI Economy. The Committee also noted the uncorrected transcript of oral evidence to the NI Affairs Committee on Corporation Tax on 10 November.

Agreed: to request details on what interaction Departmental economists have with local private sector and academic economists; and clarification on the transparency of economic data that is available via Departmental websites.

5. Spending Review and Budget 2011-15

The Committee took evidence from Colm McCarthy, University College Dublin on potential lessons from the experience of the Republic of Ireland in terms of the work of An Bord Snip Nua and the current debt crisis.

Mr Girvan left the meeting at 11.27am.

Mr Girvan returned to the meeting at 11.29am.

Mr Frew returned to the meeting at 11.52am.

Mr McKay left the meeting at 12.04pm.

Ms Purvis left the meeting at 12.09pm.

Mr McKay returned to the meeting at 12.10pm.

Mr Girvan left the meeting at 12.18pm.

8. Correspondence

The following items of correspondence were noted:

  • DFP: Energy Performance of Buildings Directive;
  • Committee for the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister (COFMDFM): Report of Activity on European Issues.

Agreed: the Secretariat will prepare a draft paper for consideration by the Committee.

Mr Girvan returned to the meeting at 12.24pm.

  • COFMDFM: European Issues: North Sea and Channel Region.

Agreed: to forward the correspondence to DFP for response.

  • NI Statistical and Research Agencey: Recommendations for Future Research into Spatial Development.
  • COFMDFM: Arms Length Bodies Review Team Report.

Agreed: to forward the correspondence to DFP for response.

  • Committee for Social Development: NI Housing Council Report.

Agreed: to request DFP’s views on the Report.

  • DFP: Update on the Aggregates Levy Credit Scheme.

Agreed: to copy the correspondence to the committees for Regional Development and the Environment for information.

  • Committee for Regional Development: Aggregates Levy Credit Scheme.

Agreed: to forward the correspondence to DFP.

  • Chairpersons’ Liaison Group: Note of key issues from 16 November 2010.
  • Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure: NICS Art Collection.

Agreed: to forward the correspondence to DFP for response.

  • Special EU Programmes Body: Public Affairs Bulletin.

10. Committee Work Programme

Minister of Finance and Personnel: Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill (NI) 2010

The Committee noted that a pre-introductory briefing will be provided by DFP officials on 1 December, subject to Executive agreement regarding the introduction of the Bill.

Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health (NIAMH): Request to Brief Committee

Agreed: to advise NIAMH of the Committee’s remit regarding budgets and financial scrutiny, and to request a written submission in the first instance.

Agreed: that the work programme is published on the Assembly website.

Mr McQuillan left the meeting at 12.29pm.

11. Any Other Business

Presbyterian Mutual Society Rescue Scheme

Agreed: to write to DFP requesting details of the scheme, including the related budgetary implications and departmental responsibilities.

Dormant Accounts Scheme

Agreed: to seek an update on the current position regarding the Dormant Accounts scheme.

Mr Frew left the meeting at 12.31pm.

Christmas Cards

Agreed: that the Committee will send e-cards to witnesses who have provided evidence to the Committee this year.

12. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 1 December 2010 at 10.00am in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting ended at 12.32pm

David McNarry, Deputy Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel
1 December 2010

17 November 10 / Menu

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