COMMITTEE FOR FINANCE AND PERSONNEL
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2011
SENATE CHAMBER, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
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 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 Jim Nulty (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr Dominic O’Farrell (Clerical Officer)
Mr Gareth Brown (Bursary Student)
Ms Jennifer McCann MLA
Mr Adrian McQuillan MLA
The meeting commenced at 10.10am in open session.
Apologies are detailed 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 2 February 2011
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.
Agreed: that, in line with convention, the working draft of the Committee’s Report on the Executive’s Draft Budget 2011-15 will be considered in closed session.
The meeting moved into closed session at 10:11 am
4. Executive’s Draft Budget 2011-15 – Consideration of Working Draft Report
The Committee considered the first working draft of its Report on the Executive’s Draft Budget 2011-15.
Mr Hamilton joined the meeting at 10.14am
Agreed: members will forward any comments or suggested amendments to the draft report to the Committee secretariat by 12.00pm on Friday 11 February 2010.
Mr Frew joined the meeting at 10.17am
5. Executive’s Draft Budget 2011-15 – Ministerial Briefing
The Committee took evidence from the Minister of Finance and Personnel and Michael Brennan, Head of Central Expenditure Division, Central Finance Group (CFG), DFP on the Executive’s Draft Budget 2011-15.
Ms Purvis left the meeting at 11.50am
Ms Purvis returned to the meeting at 11.53am
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 12.17pm
Mr Frew left the meeting at 12.20pm
Mr O’Loan left the meeting at 12.24pm
Mr McNarry returned to the meeting at 12.31pm
The Chairperson left the meeting at 12.31pm
The Deputy Chairperson took the Chair at 12.31pm
Ms Purvis left the meeting at 12.40pm
Agreed: that the DFP officials will provide any further information that may be requested by the Committee.
Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 12.41pm
The Chairperson returned to the meeting and took the Chair at 12.42pm
6. Damages (Asbestos- Related Conditions) Bill
The Committee took evidence from Professor Anthony Seaton, University of Aberdeen and Dr Richard Shepherd, Consultant Respiratory Physician (recently retired from practice at Belfast City Hospital).
Agreed: a draft press release which could be published in the event that the Assembly agrees to extend Committee Stage of the Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill on Monday 14 February 2011.
Ms Purvis returned to the meeting at 12.45pm
Mr McNarry left the meeting at 12.46pm
Mr Hamilton returned to the meeting at 12.52pm
Mr Girvan left the meeting at 12.52pm
Mr McNarry returned to the meeting at 12.58pm
Mr Girvan returned to the meeting at 1.19pm
7. Rating Issues – DFP Evidence Session
The Committee took evidence from Brian McClure, Head of Rating Policy Division, DFP, on the following matters: two proposals for subordinate legislation in respect of rates; energy efficiency rate reliefs and the Green New Deal; and industrial derating and the recycling of manufacturing rates.
Mr Girvan left the meeting at 1.27pm
Ms Purvis left the meeting at 1.27pm
Ms Purvis returned to the meeting at 1.28pm
Mr Farry left the meeting at 1.28pm
Mr Girvan returned to the meeting at 1.34pm
Mr Farry returned to the meeting at 1.45pm
Mr Hamilton left the meeting at 1.48pm
Mr Farry left the meeting at 1.50pm
The Committee considered two proposals for Statutory Rules from DFP:
SL1 - The draft Non-Domestic Rating (Unoccupied Hereditaments) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2011
Agreed: the Committee for Finance and Personnel has considered DFP’s proposal for subordinate legislation under The draft Non-Domestic Rating (Unoccupied Hereditaments) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2011 and has no objection to the policy implications of the proposed legislation at this stage.
SL1 - The Rates (Completion Notices) (Financial Adjustments) Regulations (NI) 2011
Agreed: That the Committee for Finance and Personnel has considered DFP’s proposal for subordinate legislation under The Rates (Completion Notices) (Financial Adjustments) Regulations (NI) 2011and has no objection to the policy implications of the proposed legislation at this stage.
Agreed: the Committee is content with the Minister of Finance and Personnel’s proposal to close DFP’s existing energy efficiency rate relief schemes and reallocate the funding from the schemes into the Green New Deal.
The following items of correspondence were noted:
- DFP: Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS) Response;
Agreed : to request details of the Administrator’s risk assessment and business plan from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment via the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (CETI). The Committee will also request further clarification on the details of a schedule for repayments for PMS savers.
Agreed: to request clarification from DFP on the status of HM Treasury’s £25 million contribution to the mutual access fund.
- DFP: Corporate HR Response;
- DFP: Invitation to Procurement Conference;
Agreed : members will advise the Committee staff of their availability to attend the Procurement Conference by Thursday 10 th February.
- Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure: Missing Artworks in the NICS;
Agreed : to forward the correspondence to the Minister of Finance and Personnel.
Agreed: to request clarification from DFP on whether this matter has been referred to the Police Service of NI (PSNI).
- DFP: Response to Committee on December Monitoring;
- DFP: Industrial Derating – Recycling of Manufacturing Rates Revenue;
- Minister of Finance and Personnel: Equal Pay settlement and the Civil Service Pensioners’ Alliance (CSPA);
Agreed: to copy the correspondence from the Minister to CSPA for information.
Agreed: to seek information from DFP with regard to its role in the consideration of equal pay settlements for staff in PSNI and, the reason for any delays in this regard.
Agreed: to request information from the Justice Committee on any consideration it is making of the PSNI equal pay issues.
- CETI: Launch of report on its Renewable Energy Inquiry; and
- Correspondence from the Social Development Committee requesting the Committee for Finance and Personnel’s consideration of the Rate Relief for Carers issue.
Agreed: to forward relevant papers on the issue to the Committee for Social Development
The Committee also noted that the following routine correspondence had been emailed to members prior to the meeting:
- Response from the Minister of Finance and Personnel regarding the creation of a Credit Review Office in Northern Ireland; and
- DFP Memo on the Second Report from the Public Accounts Committee Session 2010-2011 – Management of Substitution Cover for Teachers.
9. Committee Work Programme
Members considered a draft of the Committee work programme.
Agreed: that the work programme is amended to reflect any decisions made today, and that the revised programme is published on the Assembly website.
10. Any Other Business
11. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 16th February 2011 at 10.00am in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.
The meeting ended at 1.51pm.
Daithí McKay, Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel
16 February 2011
02 February 11 / Menu