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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 Daithí McKay MLA
Mr Mitchel McLaughlin MLA
Mr Declan O’Loan 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)
Mr Colin Pidgeon (Assembly Research)

Mr Simon Hamilton MLA
Mr Adrian McQuillan MLA
Ms Dawn Purvis MLA

The meeting commenced at 10.22am in open session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are as recorded above.

Agreed: that the evidence sessions at Agenda items 5, 6 and 7 are recorded by Hansard and the Official Reports published on the website.

2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 1 December 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.

Equal Pay Settlement and 2009 Pay Award

The Committee noted the Minister of Finance and Personnel’s response to written Assembly questions regarding the 2009 pay award. Members also considered a Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) circular providing an update on equal pay issues.

Agreed: to request DFP officials to cover outstanding issues in respect of the Equal Pay settlement in their forthcoming evidence session on personnel issues; to invite representatives of retired civil servants, who do not benefit from the settlement, to brief the Committee; and to seek details from NIPSA on its position regarding retired civil servants and confirmation of whether any such cases have been referred to an industrial tribunal.

4. Apartment Developments’ Management Reform Bill – Briefing

The Committee received a briefing from Kieran McCarthy MLA, Alliance Party, and Stephen Douglas, Alliance Party Researcher, on the forthcoming Apartment Developments’ Management Reform Bill.

Mr Frew joined the meeting at 10.27am.

Mr McKay joined the meeting at 10.40am.

Mr Girvan left the meeting at 10.56am.

Mr Girvan returned to the meeting at 10.59am.

Agreed: to request an urgent written briefing from the NI Law Commission outlining their views on the Bill, details of any work the Law Commission intends to undertake in this area and a timetable for expediting this work, and advice as to any implications the Bill may have in this regard.

5. Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill – Pre-Introductory briefing

The Committee received a briefing from the following DFP officials: Oswyn Paulin, Departmental Solicitor’s Office and Neil Lambe, Departmental Solicitor’s Office.

Mr McNarry left the meeting at 11.16am.

Mr McKay left the meeting at 11.47am.

Mr O’Loan joined the meeting at 11.53am.

Agreed: the Committee will do all in its power to facilitate the Bill’s passage through Committee Stage within the timeframe set out in Standing Order 33(2); however, members noted that it may be necessary to seek an extension to the Committee Stage to ensure proper scrutiny is afforded to the Bill.

Agreed: to issue a public call for evidence following the First Stage of the Bill and to actively inform key stakeholders of the opportunity to provide evidence.

Agreed: to seek clarification on the scope of the powers of Assembly statutory committees in their scrutiny role.

Mr Frew left the meeting at 12.00pm.

6. European Funding Issues

The Committee held an evidence session with the following officials: Martin Tyrell, DFP; Pat Colgan, Chief Executive, Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB); Shaun Henry, Director, Managing Authority, SEUPB and Howard Keery, Director, Joint Technical Secretariat, SEUPB.

Mr McKay returned to the meeting at 12.02pm.

Dr Farry left the meeting at 12.14pm.

Agreed: the witnesses will provide further information to the Committee as requested during the evidence session.

The Committee agreed to take Agenda Item 9 as the next item of business.

7. Correspondence

The following items of correspondence were noted:

  • DFP: Budget and Spending Review.
  • DFP: Response to CBI Report “Time for Action”.
  • DFP: Delay in Cycle to Work Scheme.

Agreed: to copy the correspondence to the Committee for Regional Development.

  • DFP: Reply to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (COFMDFM) regarding Arms Length Body Review Team.
  • DFP: NIAO Checklist Follow-up.
  • DFP: Civil Registration Bill indicative timetable.
  • DFP: Memo on the First Report from the Public Accounts Session 2010-11.
  • DFP: Accommodation Efficiencies.
  • DFP: Dormant Accounts Query.
  • DFP: PEDU in Department of Education.

Agreed: to copy the response to the Committee for Education.

  • British Bankers’ Association (BBA): Follow up to the Concurrent Meeting on Banking Issues on 17 November.

Agreed: to copy the correspondence to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

Agreed: to request an update from DFP on the Minister’s recent meeting with banking representatives.

  • NI Independent Retail Trade Association: Invitation to Christmas Reception.
  • Advice NI: Press Release “Unemployed Homeowners face further Mortgage Repayment Crisis”.
  • Princes Trust: Cost of Exclusion Report.
  • COFMDFM: Procurement Process Evidence Session – Official Report.
  • Committee for Employment and Learning: December Monitoring Round.

Agreed: to forward the correspondence to DFP.

  • Committee for the Environment: Carbon Reduction Commitment Scheme.

Agreed: to forward the correspondence to DFP.

  • Committee for the Environment: Aggregates Levy Scheme.

Agreed: to forward the correspondence to DFP.

  • Queen’s Student Union: Student Support Funds.
  • DFP: Student Support Funds.

Agreed: to forward a copy of the correspondence to Queen’s Student Union

Mr O’Loan left the meeting at 12.50pm.

7. Resource DEL: Administrative Cost Controls – Assembly Research Briefing

Members received a briefing from Assembly Research on Administrative Cost Controls.

Members noted that decisions with regard to the Research Paper will be deferred for discussion at the Committee’s meeting on 15 December.

7. Committee Work Programme

Members noted that, in view of the heavy agenda for 15 December, the Committee meeting will start at 9.30am.

Members noted that the work programme will be published on the Assembly website.

8. Any Other Business

9. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 15 December 2010 at 9.30am in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting ended at 12.56pm.

Jennifer McCann, Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel
15 December 2010

01 December 10 / Menu

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