ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Thursday, 27 June 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began at 10.12am in public session:

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Chairperson's Business

Members deferred correspondence from the Minister regarding GSNI until the next meeting.

Robin Newton left the meeting at 10.14am

Members were briefed on the Chair and Deputy Chair's informal meeting with Members of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications on the topic of roaming charges.

Agreed: to issue a press release on the visit to the Oireachtas on roaming charges.

Members noted that tablet computers were available for collection. A demonstration on use and further support is available.

3. Minutes of meeting held on Thursday 20 June 2013.

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting on 20 June were agreed.

4. Matters Arising

Members noted a response from the Department regarding the extension of the natural gas network.

Members noted a response from the Department to Committee queries regarding the June Monitoring papers.

Members noted a response from the Department regarding outstanding actions in relation to the Committee report on the inquiry into Renewable Energy and the Strategic Energy Framework Implementation Strategy.

Members considered responses from the Department, resulting from the Brussels' Visit queries, regarding Horizon 2020 and Smart Specialisation Strategy and a response from the Department for Finance and Personnel regarding EU Public Procurement.

Agreed: To ask the Department for a written briefing on how the COSME programme can benefit businesses here and details of the awareness training planned.

Members considered a response from the Department for Employment and Learning to Committee queries regarding any consideration given to subdividing the North as a region for the youth unemployment budget.

Agreed: To forward a copy of the response to the Committee for Employment and Learning for information.

Members considered a response from the Department regarding Portadown Diamond Credit Union.

Agreed: To ask the Department for details of any previous 'cause for concern' close monitoring arrangements which it has had in place with any credit union.

5. World Police and Fire Games - Oral Briefing from the Tourist Board

Representatives joined the meeting at 10.18am

Members received an oral briefing from Alan Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of the Tourist Board and Kathryn Thompson, Chief Operating Officer of the Tourist Board.

Key issues discussed included: World Police and Fire Games, accommodation, visitor information and legacy opportunities and the NI2012 report.

Members also received a written briefing on the Rugby World cup and the Tourism Development Scheme

Paul Frew joined the meeting at 10.18am

Stephen Moutray left the meeting at 11.00am

Agreed: Department to provide a geographical breakdown by constituency of the 15 Tourism Development projects.

Agreed: Department to provide the full NI2012 evaluation report to the Committee.

Representatives left the meeting at 11.16am

6. Generation Adequacy Report - Oral Briefing from SONI

Representatives joined the meeting at 11.16am

Members received an oral briefing from Robin McCormick, General Manager, SONI and Dick Lewis, Manager of Grid Planning, SONI.

Key issues discussed included: future generation capacity, security of supply, challenges with forecasting demand and the use of renewables.

Stephen Moutray returned to the meeting at 11.29am

Gordon Dunne left the meeting at 12.00am

Agreed: to send further questions from Members to SONI for consideration and response.

Representatives left the meeting at 12.04pm

7. Review of Electricity Policy

Members considered the proposal, including the terms of reference, for the forthcoming review of electricity policy.

Agreed: that the Terms of Reference are accepted as amended.

8. Operating Plan 2012/13 outturn figures – written briefing from DETI

Members considered the outturn figures for the period 2012/13.

Agreed: To ask the Department, with specific reference to the 9 indicators which are coloured red at present, what measures have been taken to find out why these have stalled and what has been done to rectify the issues.

9. Operating Plan 2012/13– written briefing from DETI

Members noted the DETI operating plan for the period 2012/13.

10. Draft Innovation Strategy – Written briefing from DETI

Members considered the draft Northern Ireland Innovation Strategy spanning the period 2013 – 2025 which is to be opened to public consultation by the Department.

Members also received an update on the progress in relation to the Committee's recommendations drawn from the Innovation and Research and Development Inquiry.

Agreed: To ask the Department for a summary of consultation responses when they are available.

11. Financial Forecasting Data – Written briefing from Committee for Finance and Personnel

Members noted the memo from the Committee for Finance and Personnel giving an analysis of forecasting performance by each Department.

12. Correspondence

Members noted the following items of correspondence for action

i. From DETI regarding Energy Efficiency Directive.

Agreed: Members are content for the Department to proceed as proposed.

ii. From the Department regarding Statutory Instrument concerning the Export and Import of Hazardous Chemicals.

Agreed: Members are content for the Department to proceed as proposed.

iii. From the Department regarding an update on Titanic replacement activity in the EU Competitiveness Programme.

Agreed: To ask the Department for details of the specific procurement problem which led to the withdrawal from the EU Competitiveness Programme.

iv. From the Irish League of Credit Unions regarding banking and credit unions.

Agreed: Chair and Deputy Chair to meet with the Irish League of Credit Unions.

Members noted the following items of correspondence

v. From the Committee for Employment and Learning to the Minister regarding the Economic Inactivity Strategy.

vi. From the Department regarding consultation on proposed amendment of the Reach Enforcement Regulations 2008.

13. Any other business

Members considered proposals to discuss priorities for the Forward Work Programme for the next session.

Agreed: to discuss priorities for the Forward Work Programme at the end of next week's meeting.

14. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on 4 July at 10.00 am in Room 30 Parliament Buildings.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 12.12pm

Mr Phil Flanagan
Deputy Chair
Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment

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