Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Thursday, 13 December 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began at 10.04am in public session. 

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Chairperson’s Business

Members considered a request from Ofcom for the Chair to sponsor Ofcom’s Annual Plan event at 11.30am on 6 February 2012 in Room 115.

Agreed: to inform Ofcom that the Chair is content to sponsor the event

Agreed: to raise the issue of roaming charges.

3. Minutes of meeting held on 6  December 2012

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting on 6 December 2012 were amended and agreed.

4. Matters Arising

Members considered a response from the Department to a Committee query on the reference to creationism at the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre.

Agreed: to clarify with the Department to which individual the response refers..

Members considered a response from Invest NI on Overseas Office Costs.

Agreed: to receive from the Department a breakdown by international office of the financial support offered and provided as a result of the work of these offices, and for additional information on the costs of the HQ based Marketing Team, referred to at note 8 of the response.

Members considered a response from the Department to a Committee query on North South Ministerial Council’s consideration of roaming charges.

Steven Agnew joined the meeting at 10.07am.

Agreed: to receive from the Department clarification on representations made by the Department at the EU and at Westminster on the issue of roaming charges and inadvertent roaming.

Agreed: to contact the Oireachtas Committees to formulate a joint approach on the issue of roaming charges.

Members were informed that Phase 2 of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme will be introduced in Summer 2013.

Members considered the Department’s role in the Review of Balance of Competences.

Agreed: to advise the Committee for OFMDFM that the Department will not be responding to the Review but will consider a response to a letter from Vince Cable.

5. Credit Unions and Industrial & Provident Societies Bill: Oral Briefing from DETI

Officials joined the meeting at 10.13 am.

Paul Frew joined the meeting at 10.14am.

Members received an oral briefing from Jackie Kerr, Head of Business Regulation Division and Elaine Cassidy, Deputy Principal, Company Law.

Key issues discussed included: timeframe, extensive pre-consultation process and description of Credit Unions’ additional services.

Stephen Moutray joined the meeting at 10.23am.

Agreed: to receive from the Department clarification on whether it is intended in the future for Credit Unions to be able to avail of DETI funding programmes.

Phil Flanagan left the meeting at 10.30am.

Robin Newton declared an interest as a member of a credit union.

Patsy McGlone declared an interest as a member of a credit union.

Steven Agnew declared an interest as a member of a credit union.

Maeve McLaughlin declared an interest as a member of a credit union.

Sue Ramsey declared an interest as a member of a credit union.

Agreed: to receive from the Department clarification on whether the new legislation has any impact on liabilities for members.

Phil Flanagan returned to the meeting at 10.40am.

Officials left the meeting at 10.42am.

6. January Monitoring 2013: Written Briefing from DETI

Members noted the written briefing.

7. IME3 Electricity Distribution Licensing Exemptions: Written Briefing from DETI

Members considered the written briefing.

Agreed: to receive a written briefing from the Utility Regulator on his role in developing guidance for, and ensuring compliance with, the proposals.

8. PfG Delivery Plans 2011/15 – Monitoring of Performance: Written Briefing from DETI

Members considered the written briefing.

Agreed: to receive from the Department further information on PfG Commitment 7: on the value of loans approved to SMEs to date along with the expected revised figure for the number of loans to be delivered by the end of the current financial year.

Agreed: to receive from the Department further information on PfG Commitment 13b: on what the baseline is from which the 2% target for renewable heat by the end of the financial year has been decided and if this target is expected to be achieved.

9. Draft Forward Work Programme 2013.

Members considered priorities for the draft Forward Work Programme 2013.

Agreed: to ask the Department for an update on progress of the Common Arrangements for Gas Bill.

10. Correspondence

Members considered the following items of correspondence:

i. From the Minister regarding an amendment to the Legislative Consent Motion on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.

Agreed: to receive details from the Department of any consultation undertaken including responses from Northern Ireland stakeholders.

Agreed: to consider a draft Committee report at the meeting on 10 January 2013.

Sue Ramsey left the meeting at 11.05am.

ii. From the Department regarding the Development of a long term vision to 2050 for renewable energy.

Agreed: to receive from the Department details of the strategy and the process.

iii. From the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding the World Police & Fire Games.

Agreed: to forward to the Department for a response as requested.

iv. From Magherafelt District Council regarding Biomass Installations.

Agreed: to receive a copy of the response by the Department to Magherafelt District Council. 

Members noted the following items of correspondence:

v. From Invest NI regarding Invest NI Policy and Programme Screenings.

11. Back to Work Report: Oral Briefing from the  Federation of Small Businesses 

Representatives joined the meeting at 11.13 am.

Members received an oral briefing from Wilfred Mitchell, Policy Chairman; Roger Pollen, Head of External Affairs; and Carolyn Brown, Policy Manager. 

Key issues discussed included: employment law, public procurement, research and regulations.

Alban Maginness left the meeting at 11.20am.

Sue Ramsey returned to the meeting at 11.47am.

Alban Maginness returned to the meeting 11.48am.

Steven Agnew left the meeting at 12.00pm.

Agreed: to receive from FSB further detail on the public sector taking contracts in-house rather than going through the procurement process.

Agreed: to receive information from FSB on difficulties created for small businesses because of regulation.

Agreed: to receive information from FSB on the role of small businesses in the Back to Work report.

Agreed: to receive further information from FSB on overcoming difficulties faced by the small retail business sector.

12. Any Other Business

Members discussed the issue of responsibility for the production of tourism statistics.

Agreed: to receive clarification on why responsibility for tourism statistics is moving to DETI from NITB.

13. Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 10 January 2013 at 10.30pm, Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 12.35pm.

Mr Patsy McGlone
Chair
Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment
10 January 2013

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