COMMITTEE FOR FINANCE AND PERSONNEL
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
ONE HUNDRED AND FIRST MEETING
TUESDAY, 3 SEPTEMBER 2002
COMMITTEE ROOM 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS
Present: Mr Francie Molloy (Chairman)
Mr Roy Beggs (Deputy Chairman)
Mr Billy Bell
Mr Seamus Close
Mr Derek Hussey
Ms Patricia Lewsley
Mr Alex Maskey
Mr Maurice Morrow
Mr Peter Weir
In attendance: Mr Alan Patterson (Principal Clerk)
Mr Shane Mc Ateer (Clerk)
Mr Joe Sloan (Assistant Clerk)
Ms Shauna McDaid (Executive Support)
Mr Stephen Ball (Administrative Support)
The Chairman declared the meeting open at 2.07 p.m.
1.1 Mr Roger Hutchinson.
2. Minutes of Proceedings.
2.1 The Committee considered the Minutes of Proceedings for 27 August 2002.
Resolved: The Committee agreed the Minutes of Proceedings of 27 August 2002.
3. Matters arising.
3.1 The Committee discussed the lack of consultation regarding the movement of Committee staff.
3.2 The Committee noted its letter to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in response to the Executive's development of its Programme for Government for the 2003/04 financial year.
3.3 The Committee noted its letter to the Minister of Finance and Personnel presenting its report in response to the Executive's Position Report.
4. Marriage Bill.
4.1 The Principal Clerk briefed the Committee on the number of submissions received in relation to the Committee's consideration of the Bill.
4.2 The Principal Clerk briefed the Committee on proposals for oral evidence sessions.
Resolved: The Committee agreed that all the groups who have submitted, or which intent to submit written evidence should be called to give oral evidence and that the Principal Clerk should arrange oral evidence sessions for 10th and 17th September 2002.
4.3 The Committee was briefed on a research paper in relation to the Bill and the submissions received to date.
Mr Hussey attended the meeting at 2.34 p.m.
4.4 Mr Michael Foster from the Office of Law Reform attended the meeting and discussed the scope of the Bill with the Committee.
Mr Maskey attended the meeting at 2.55 p.m.
5. Committee Business Programme.
5.1 The Committee noted its extensive Business Programme for the session.
5.2 The Committee recognised the possible requirement for two meetings in some weeks to manage the business, particularly for legislative areas of work and major strategic reviews.
Resolved: The Committee agreed to hold an oral evidence session on Wednesday 11th September 2002 and a work-shop on the morning of 24th of September in relation to the Review of Rating Policy
6. Statutory Rule - Births, Deaths and Marriages (Fees).
6.1 The Principal Clerk advised the Committee that the Business Office had sent this statutory rule to the Committee in error for scrutiny as it had been debated and approved by the Assembly on the 2 July 2002. The Department had however, incorrectly laid the SR and this needed to be corrected.
7.1 The Committee noted the NI Human Rights Commissions statement on the Commission's Bill of Rights project.
7.2 The Committee noted the CBI's correspondence regarding its intention to make a written response to the Committee's public consultation on the Rating Policy Review.
7.3 The Committee noted the Ulster Farmers' Union's written response to the Committee's public consultation on the Rating Policy Review.
7.4 The Committee noted the Methodist Church's written response to the Committee's public consultation on the Marriage Bill.
7.5 The Committee noted the correspondence received from Mr Des McConaghy regarding Masternet and Public Audit.
Resolved: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department of Finance and Personnel for advice and comment.
8. Any other Business
8.1 The Committee discussed the difficulties regarding deeds for property experienced by home owners who had completed property sales by cash transactions or had had property bequeathed.
Resolved: The Committee agreed to write to the Department on this matter.
8.2 The Committee discussed the concerns of some senior civil servants regarding retirement age and pension rights, which had been brought to the attention of Mr. Bell.
Resolved: The Committee agreed that Mr. Bell could invite the group to write to the Principal Clerk noting their concerns for the Committee's consideration.
8.3 The Committee noted the seminar in relation to the Rating Policy Review arranged by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Belfast Europa Hotel on Monday 23 September 2002.
9. Date of next meeting.
9.1 The next meeting was agreed as Tuesday 10 September 2002 at 2 p.m. in room 144.
The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 3.12pm.