NI Assembly Banner

Homepage > The Work of the Assembly > Committees > Finance and Personnel > Minutes


Mr Daithí McKay 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 Mitchel McLaughlin MLA
Mr Adrian McQuillan 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)

Ms Jennifer McCann MLA
Ms Dawn Purvis MLA

The meeting commenced at 10.10am in open session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

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 19 January 2011

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.

DFP: Transfer of Functions Order

The Committee noted correspondence from DFP regarding the proposed order to transfer functions from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) to DFP.

Agreed: to copy the correspondence to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (CETI) as requested.

Take Note Debate on Executive’s Draft Budget 2011-15

Members noted that the Business Committee has allowed up to three hours for the Committee’s “take note” debate on the Draft Budget 2011-15 on Monday 31 January 2011.

Mr McQuillan joined the meeting at 10.11am.

4. Departmental Draft Budget 2011-15 and Business Plan 2011-12: DFP Evidence Session

The Committee held an evidence session with the following DFP officials: David Orr, Corporate Services Director, Corporate Services Group (CSG); Deborah McNeilly, Finance Director, CSG; Colm Doran, Head of Business Planning and Corporate Governance, CSG; and Brigitte Worth, Finance Division, CSG. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.

Mr McNarry joined the meeting at 10.14am.

Mr Frew joined the meeting at 10.17am.
Dr Farry left the meeting at 10.29am.
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 10.47am.
Mr McNarry returned to the meeting at 10.53am.
Dr Farry returned to the meeting at 10.54am.

Agreed: that the DFP officials will provide further information to the Committee as requested during the evidence session. The Committee will also forward additional issues not covered during the evidence session to DFP for written response.

5. Draft Budget 2011-15 – NI Assembly Commission Evidence Session

The Committee took evidence from Trevor Reaney, Clerk to the NI Assembly/Director General, on the Draft Budget 2011-15 allocation for the NI Assembly. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.

Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 11.26am.
Mr Girvan left the meeting at 11.47am.
Dr Farry left the meeting at 12.00pm.

Agreed: to write to the Minister of Finance and Personnel to register the Committee’s serious concern at the implications of the proposed allocation in the Executive’s Draft Budget 2011-15 for the effective functioning of the Assembly. The Committee’s concerns will also be reflected in both the Chairperson’s contribution to the “take note” debate on Monday 31 January and the Committee’s forthcoming co-ordinated report on the Executive’s Draft Budget 2011-15.

Agreed: that, as part of its Third Budget Scrutiny Inquiry Report, the Committee will examine the arrangements for setting future Assembly budgets, in the context of good practice elsewhere in terms of ensuring the independence of the legislature.

Mr McNarry left the meeting at 12.12pm.

6. Subordinate Legislation

SL1 – the draft Rate Relief (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2011

Agreed: that the Committee has considered DFP’s proposal for subordinate legislation under The draft Rate Relief (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2011 and has no objection to the policy implications of the proposed legislation at this stage.

Mr Girvan returned to the meeting at 12.14pm.

7. Annually Managed Expenditure- Assembly Research Briefing

Members received a briefing from Assembly Research on the economic implications of the cuts to Annually Managed Expenditure.

Dr Farry returned to the meeting at 12.16pm.

Mr McNarry returned to the meeting at 12.22pm.

Agreed: that the Researcher will provide additional information to the Committee as requested.

Agreed: to copy the paper to the Department for Social Development via the Committee for Social Development.

8. Draft Budget 2011-2015: Consideration of Responses

The Committee noted the responses received to date from other Assembly statutory committees and stakeholders regarding the Executive’s Draft Budget 2011-2015. The Committee also noted two responses regarding DFP’s liaison with economists.

9. Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill: Consideration of Issues Outstanding

The Committee considered a number of issues currently outstanding in relation to the Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill.

Agreed: that a paper on the options for the way forward will be prepared for consideration at next week’s meeting.

Agree: that, subject to any decisions taken on the way forward at next week’s meeting, the Committee would wish to seek additional evidence, including from the medical community and from people who have pleural plaques.

10. Correspondence

The following items of correspondence were noted:

  • Construction Employers Federation: Alternative Finance Report.
  • Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (COFMDFM): House of Lords EU Budget Review – Call for Evidence.
    Agreed: to request a copy of any submission made by DFP to the review/inquiry.
    Agreed: to ask that the Committee is kept informed of the outcome of the inquiry.

Dr Farry left the meeting at 12.55pm.

  • DFP: Administrative Cost Controls.
  • Committee for Social Development: Response to CBI report “Time for Action”.
  • DFP: Draft Budget Strategic Issues Follow-up.
  • CETI: NICS Office Consumables Contract.
    Agreed: to forward the correspondence to DFP for response.
  • CETI: Consultation on the NI Executive’s Economic Strategy – Priorities for Sustainable Growth.
    Agreed: to respond to CETI stating that, given current work commitments, the Committee is not in a position to give a considered reply to the consultation but would like to receive a copy of the analysis of responses received by DETI.

The Committee also noted that the following routine correspondence had been emailed to members prior to the meeting:

  • Response from the Minister for Finance and Personnel to the Chair of the Committee for the Environment regarding the Planning Bill;
  • Response from DFP to COFMDFM regarding the North Sea, Channel Regions and macro-regional cooperation; and
  • Response from DFP to the Committee for the Environment regarding the Carbon Reduction Commitment Scheme.

11. Committee Work Programme

Members considered a draft of the Committee work programme and noted that it will be necessary to hold a longer meeting on 2 February 2011 in the Senate Chamber.

The Committee noted that the Minister will attend the meeting on 9 February to discuss the Draft Budget 2011-15.

Agreed: to invite the Minister to also attend a further Committee meeting, possibly on 9 March, to discuss the Committee’s co-ordinated report on the Draft Budget 2011-15, in advance of the Executive finalising the Draft Budget.

Members noted that the issue of a reduced rate of Corporation Tax was raised with the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (ETI) during Question Time on Monday 17 January 2011. The ETI Minister indicated that a draft version of the UK Government’s consultation paper on rebalancing the economy was received by the Executive on 16 December 2010.

Agreed: to request an update from the Minister of Finance and Personnel on his ongoing involvement in the discussion about reducing the rate of Corporation Tax; and to ask if the Minister will share the paper on rebalancing the economy with the Committee, to help inform the Committee’s co-ordinated report on the Draft Budget 2011-15.

Agreed: that the work programme is amended to reflect decisions made today, and that the revised programme is published on the Assembly website.

12. Any Other Business

13. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 2nd February 2011 at 10.00am in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting ended at 12.59pm.

Daithí McKay, Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel
2 February 2011

19 January 11 / Menu

Contact Us           Jobs            Sitemap            Links           Search            RSS Feeds