ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

2.02pmThe meeting commenced in Closed Session.

The Chairperson welcomed Members to the first Committee meeting of the new mandate. The Committee was introduced to the staff from the Committee Office, Communications Office and Research and Information Service (RaISe).

Mark Allen and Sinead Mulligan gave the Committee a briefing on the role of RaISe.

2.04pm Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

Agreed: Members agreed that the meeting should be opened to the public.

2.12pmThe meeting moved into Open Session

1. Apologies

None.

2. Committee Membership

The Committee noted the Membership of the Committee .

3. Committee Office Details

The Committee noted the details of the Committee Office .

4. Declaration of Interests

The Chair briefed the Committee on the procedures involved in the Declaration of Interests.

The Following Members declared interests: Mr Swann, Mrs Dobson, Mr Buchanan and Mr Irwin.

5. Committee Procedures

The Clerk briefed the Committee on the procedures for the conduct and disposal of business.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to publish research papers, routinely, on the Assembly’s website.

6. Timescales for Interaction between Committees and Departments

The Clerk briefed the Committee on the agreed arrangements for interaction between the Committee and the Department and the timescales for presentation of papers.

Members expressed some concern about the late receipt of papers for agenda items 10 and 11.

2:21pm Mr T Clarke and Mr McMullan joined the meeting.

7. 2007-2011 Mandate Legacy Report

The Clerk briefed the Committee on the work and achievements of the previous Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development and drew attention to potential key areas of interest.

8. Subordinate Legislation

The Chairperson proposed the following:

“That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development, under Standing Order 43, resolves to delegate to the Examiner of Statutory Rules the technical scrutiny of statutory rules referred to the Committee under the above mentioned Standing Order.

The Committee further resolves that in carrying out this function the Examiner shall be authorised to report his technical findings on each statutory rule to the Assembly, and to the relevant Department, as well as to the Committee itself and to publish his report.”

Question put and agreed to.

9. DARD Strategic Overview (Recorded by the Office of the Official Report)

The following Officials joined the meeting:

Gerry Lavery - Permanent Secretary; 
Dr Mark Browne - Grade 3 -Deputy Secretary (Policy); 
Roy McClenaghan - Grade 3 - Deputy Secretary (Delivery); 
Bert Houston - Grade 3 - Chief Veterinary Officer; and 
Wendy Johnston - Acting Grade 3 - Senior Finance Director

Mr Lavery and his colleagues gave a strategic overview of the role of the Department and this was followed by a question and answer session.

2:41pm Mr McCarthy re-joined the meeting. 
2.59pm Mr McMullan left the meeting. 
3.15pm Mr Murphy and Mr T Clarke left the meeting.

10. DARD Budget Settlement (Including Savings Plans) (Recorded by the Office of the Official Report)

The following Official joined the meeting:

John Smith - Grade 5 - Assistant Secretary.

Mr Smith briefed the Committee on the Departmental Budget and Savings Plan and this was followed by a question and answer session.

3.33pm Mr McMullan re-joined the meeting.

3.56pm Mrs Kelly left the meeting.

3.58pm Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

11. DARD June Monitoring Round (Recorded by the Office of the Official Report)

The following Official joined the meeting:

John Smith - Grade 5 - Assistant Secretary.

Mr Smith briefed the Committee on the Department’s bids and reclassification requirements in this monitoring round and this was followed by a question and answer session. .

4.04pm Mrs Kelly re-joined the meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed to support the Department’s proposed bids and reclassification requirements.

12. DARD NI Rural Development Programme (Recorded by the Office of the Official Report)

The following Officials joined the meeting:

Pauline Keegan - Grade 5 – Assistant Secretary;

Gareth Evans - Grade 7 – Principal Officer; and 

Lorraine Lynas -   Grade 7 –  Principal Officer.

Mrs Keegan and her colleagues briefed the Committee on the Rural Development Programme and this was followed by a question and answer session.

13. Draft Forward Work Plan

The Committee considered a draft Forward Work Plan .

Agreed : The Committee agreed the Forward Work Plan as drafted.

14. Correspondence

(a) Correspondence issued

The Committee noted correspondence issued since the meeting of 15 March 2011.

(b) Correspondence received

The Committee noted correspondence received since the meeting of 15 March 2011.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to meet the Ulster Potato Association.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chair and Deputy Chair should meet with Dairy UK.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to meet the Farmers for Action group.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a written brief from the Big Lottery Fund.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chair and Deputy Chair should attend the Committee for OFMDFM event on 20 June 2011.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chair and Deputy Chair should visit Granville Foodcare Ltd on behalf of the Committee and that Members would join the visit if possible.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chair and Deputy Chair should meet with the Livestock and Meat Commission.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider a Proposal for a Legislative Consent Motion at the next meeting.

15. Date of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 7 June 2011.

The meeting was adjourned at 5.27pm

Mr Paul Frew 
Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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