ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 09 November 2011

Venue: Room 30

The meeting opened at 10.03am in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

Agreed: that Agenda items 4, 6 and 7 are recorded by Hansard and the Official Reports published on the website.

2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 26 October 2011

Agreed: that the minutes are published on the Assembly website.

3. Matters Arising

Table of Requests for Information from DFP

The Committee noted the table of requests for information from the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) which provided an update on any matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda.

DFP: Response to Committee regarding NICS disciplinary procedures

The Committee considered a response from DFP regarding NICS Disciplinary procedures.

Agreed: to copy the reply from DFP to the member of the public who had written to the Committee on this issue.

DFP: Briefing Paper on Vulnerable Witnesses

The Committee noted correspondence from DFP explaining why the briefing paper for the evidence session on Vulnerable Witnesses, held at the meeting on 26 October 2011, was received late.

Equal Pay

Members considered a paper prepared by the Committee secretariat on residual issues arising from the NICS equal pay settlement.

Agreed: that the paper will be considered formally by the Committee at the next meeting. In the meantime, members will consider if there are any additional issues they wish to add.

Mrs Judith Cochrane joined the meeting at 10.08am.

Mr Ross Hussey joined the meeting at 10.10am

4. EU Structural Funds: Proposals for improving approval processes – DFP Evidence Session

The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Mr Brian McClure, European Division Director, Central Finance Group and Mr Martin Tyrrell, European Division, Central Finance Group. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.

Agreed: that the DFP officials will provide follow-up information as requested. The Committee also agreed that DFP and the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) will brief the Committee on the implementation of the new approvals processes at a later date.

5. Research Briefing: Proposed Large Retail Levy – Scottish Experience

The Committee received a briefing from Assembly Research and Information Service on the briefing note, The proposed large retail levy, including the Scottish experience.

Agreed: that the Researcher will provide any follow-up information as requested.

6. Outcome of Consultation on Large Retail Levy and Small Business Rates Relief – DFP Evidence Session

The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Mr Brian McClure, Head of Rating Policy Division, Central Finance Group and Dr Veronica Holland, Rating Policy Division, Central Finance Group. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.

Agreed: that the DFP officials will provide follow-up information as requested during the session.

7. Large Retail Levy and Small Business Rates Relief – Evidence from stakeholders

The Committee took evidence from the following witnesses: Mr Joe Jordan, Belfast Chamber of Trade & Commerce; Ms Sinead McLaughlin, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce; and Mr Cathal Austin, Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.

Mr Paul Maskey left the meeting at 12.08pm.

Agreed: that the Committee will invite representatives from the NI Retail Consortium, B&Q, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, to form a panel of large retailers to give evidence at the meeting on 23 November.

8. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee considered one proposal for subordinate legislation and two statutory rules:

SL1 - Superannuation (Commissioner for Older People for NI) Order (NI) 2011

Agreed: the Committee has considered DFP’s proposal for subordinate legislation under the Superannuation (Commissioner for Older People for NI) Order (NI) 2011, and has no objection to the policy implications of the proposed legislation at this stage.

SR 2011 No. 347 - The Registration of Deeds (Fees) Order (NI) 2011

The Committee noted that the Examiner of Statutory Rules had no points to raise by way of technical scrutiny in relation to the Rule.

Agreed: the Committee has considered The Registration of Deeds (Fees) Order (NI) 2011 and recommends that it be affirmed by the Assembly.

SR 2011 No. 348 - The Land Registry (Fees) Order (NI) 2011

The Committee noted that the Examiner of Statutory Rules had no points to raise by way of technical scrutiny in relation to the Rule.

Agreed: the Committee has considered The Land Registry (Fees) Order (NI) 2011 and recommends that it be affirmed by the Assembly.

The Rates (Information Requirement) (Appointed Day) Order (NI) 2011

The Committee also noted correspondence from DFP regarding the Rates (Information Requirement) (Appointed Day) Order (NI) 2011. The order is not subject to any laying requirement or subject to any Assembly procedure.

9. Correspondence

Members noted the following items of correspondence:

  • DFP: Response regarding Performance and Efficiency Delivery Unit (PEDU) reports;
    Agreed: to forward DFP’s response to the other statutory committees for information.
  • DFP: Retained functions study report;
    Agreed: to forward the report to the other statutory committees for information.
  • DFP: SEUPB Follow up information on FAIR and SAVER-NAVER Projects;
    Agreed: to enquire how the Department intends to deal with the funding to be recovered from the FAIR and SAVER-NAVER projects.
  • Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure: Committee inquiry into maximising the potential of Creative Industries;
    Agreed: to forward the correspondence to DFP for response.
  • DFP: Follow up to Banking Issues session on 5 October;
  • Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (CETI): SME Event on 17 November 2011;
    Agreed: that members will respond to this invitation individually.
  • DFP: Response to Committee for Employment and Learning query on the funding of thematic officers;
  • DFP: Forecast Outturn Data;
  • Committee for Social Development: Fuel Poverty Event;
  • DFP: Update on Post Project Evaluations Q/E 30 Sept 2011;
    Agreed: to forward DFP’s response to the other statutory committees for information.
  • DFP: Response regarding Public Procurement;
    Agreed: to forward DFP’s response to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
  • DFP: Response regarding Ministerial working group on Corporation Tax.

The Committee also noted the following routine correspondence, which had been emailed to members prior to the meeting:

  • Advice NI – E-Newsletter

12. Committee Work Programme

Members considered a draft of the Committee work programme.

Agreed: that the work programme is amended to reflect decisions made today, and the revised programme is published on the Assembly website.

13. Any Other Business

Agreed: to seek clarification of when the information from the Department for Social Development on the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) scheme will be available.

14. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 16 November at 10.00am in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The Deputy Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.28am.

Conor Murphy MP MLA
Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel.
16 November 2011 

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