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Date: 26 September 2007

F&P 08/07


The Committee for Finance and Personnel were briefed today by The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) on its role and responsibilities. This was the first occasion on which this North/South body had given evidence to the Committee, as provided for in the St Andrews Agreement.

The Department of Finance and Personnel also gave a briefing on the consultation on the Review of Domestic Rating, and provided an update on the Department’s position regarding the forthcoming Budget.

Committee Deputy Chairperson, Mervyn Storey, MLA, said:
“This was the first opportunity for the Committee to scrutinise the work of this cross-border body and it has been a beneficial and timely exercise given that the new EU Programmes for 2007-2013, including PEACE III and INTERREG IV, are being finalised. “The briefing from Department of Finance and Personnel officials also proved beneficial in informing the Committee on the progress of the Review of Domestic Rating. “Budget 2008 and the Comprehensive Spending Review is an ongoing issue and the Minister is to announce the draft Budget in the coming weeks.
“The Committee will have important contributions to make on both these issues.”

Notes for editors:

1. The Committee for Finance and Personnel is one of 11 Statutory Committees of the Northern Ireland Assembly, which are set up to advise and assist each Northern Ireland Minister in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within his/her responsibilities as a Minister. Statutory Committees have powers as described in Strand One of the Belfast Agreement i.e. a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role with respect to the department with which each is associated, together with a role in the initiation of legislation.
2. As per paragraph 9 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement, Statutory Committees have the power to:
 Consider and advise on departmental budgets and annual plans in the context of the overall budget allocation;
 Approve relevant secondary legislation and take the Committee stage of relevant primary legislation;
 Call for persons and papers;
 Initiate inquiries and make reports; and
 Consider and advise on matters brought to the Committee by its minister.
3. Committee Members:

Mitchel McLaughlin (Chairperson) (Sinn Fein)
Mervyn Storey (Deputy Chairperson) (DUP)
Roy Beggs (UUP)
Dr Stephen Farry (Alliance)
Simon Hamilton (DUP)
Fra McCann (Sinn Fein)
Jennifer McCann (Sinn Fein)
Adrian McQuillan (DUP)
Declan O’Loan (SDLP)
Dawn Purvis (PUP)
Peter Weir (DUP)

Media enquiries should be addressed to:
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Further information on the work of the Committee is available on the Committee pages of the Northern Ireland Assembly website: