ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened at 10.04am in public session. 

1. Apologies.

There were no apologies.

Agreed: that Agenda items 4, 5 and 6 are covered by Hansard and the Official Report published on the Assembly website.

2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 7 March 2012

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

3. Matters Arising

Table of Requests for Information from the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP)

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

Committee meetings

Agreed: to reschedule the meeting planned for 28 March to 27 March.  

Superannuation Bill

Agreed: to take evidence from the Trade Unions on the Superannuation Bill on 27 March.

Agreed: to publish any DFP briefing papers in relation to the Superannuation Bill on the Committee website.

DFP Letter to Chairperson of Audit Committee

Members noted a response from the DFP Minister to the Chair of the Audit Committee regarding the process for agreeing the draft budget and estimates for the Northern Ireland Audit Office.

Agreed: to write to the Audit Committee advising that the Committee will be publishing a discussion paper on improving the overall budget process and that the issues raised will be taken into consideration as part of this exercise.

Judith Cochrane joined the meeting at 10.06am

William Humphrey joined the meeting at 10.07am

Ross Hussey joined the meeting at 10.09am

4. Devolution of Corporation Tax – DFP Evidence Session

The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Bill Pauley, Head of Strategic Policy Division, Central Finance Group (CFG), DFP and Paul Montgomery, Strategic Policy Division, CFG, DFP. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.

Adrian McQuillan joined the meeting at 10.15am

Paul Girvan joined the meeting at 10.20am

David Hilditch joined the meeting at 10.30am

Judith Cochrane left the meeting at 10.40am

5. Legislative Consent Motion: GB Finance Bill – Devolution of Air Passenger Duty – DFP Evidence Session

The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Bill Pauley, Head of Strategic Policy Division, CFG, DFP and Tony Simpson, Strategic Policy Division, CFG, DFP. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.

Mitchel McLaughlin left the meeting at 11.19am

Ross Hussey left the meeting at 11.21am

William Humphrey left the meeting at 11.21am

William Humphrey returned to the meeting at 11.22am

Agreed: to invite written and oral evidence from key stakeholders on the Committee website and to publish the DFP briefing papers in relation to Air Passenger Duty.

Agreed: to schedule evidence sessions with key stakeholders including representatives from the airlines and airports, the tourism industry and relevant economists, including PwC.

Agreed: to commission research into the issues arising in relation to the devolution of Air Passenger Duty.

6. Flexible Working – DFP Evidence Session

The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Derek Baker, Director of Personnel for the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS), Corporate HR, DFP; Robert Fee, Information Strategy and Innovation Division, Corporate Services Group, DFP and Philip Irwin, Head of Properties Division, Corporate Services Group, DFP.  The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.

Adrian McQuillan left the meeting at 11.37am

William Humphrey left the meeting at 11.44am

Mitchel McLaughlin returned to the meeting at 11.46am

Ross Hussey returned to the meeting at 11.56am

Leslie Cree left the meeting at 12.00pm

Paul Maskey left the meeting at 12.00pm

Judith Cochrane returned to the meeting at 12.01pm

Adrian McQuillan returned to the meeting at 12.06pm

Agreed: that DFP will provide information on flexible working projects across NICS departments for the purpose of informing the Committee inquiry.

7. NICS Pay and Grading Review – DFP Briefing

The Committee received a briefing from Derek Baker, Director of Personnel for the NICS, Corporate HR, DFP.

Paul Girvan left the meeting at 12.16pm

Paul Girvan returned to the meeting at 12.19pm

David Hilditch left the meeting at 12.24pm

Leslie Cree returned to the meeting at 12.29am

Agreed: that DFP will provide a list of the categories of staff regarded as NI Civil Servants who will be included within scope of the review.

8. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee considered seven items of subordinate legislation:

SL1 – The Buildings Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: that the Committee has considered DFP’s proposal for subordinate legislation under The Building Regulations (NI) 2012, and has no objection to the policy implications of the proposed legislation at this stage.

SR – The Rates (Deferment) (Revocation and Savings) Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: that the Committee has considered The Rates (Deferment) (Revocation and Savings) Regulations (NI) 2012 and recommends that it be affirmed by the Assembly.

SR – 2012/49 The Superannuation (Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice) Order (NI) 2012

Agreed: that the Committee has considered The Superannuation (Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice) Order (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule.

SR 2012/51 The Superannuation (Police Ombudsman for NI) Order (NI) 2012

Agreed: that the Committee has considered The Superannuation (Police Ombudsman for NI) Order (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule. 

David Hilditch returned to the meeting at 12.32pm

SR 2012/51 The Superannuation (Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Law Commission) Order (NI) 2012

Agreed: that the Committee has considered The Superannuation (Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Law Commission) Order (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule.

SR 2012/79 The Rates (Social Sector Value) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: that the Committee has considered The Rates (Social Sector Value) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule.

SR - The Road Traffic (Financial Penalty Deposit) (Interest) Order (NI) 2012

Agreed: that the Committee has considered The Road Traffic (Financial Penalty Deposit) (Interest) Order (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the rule.

9. Correspondence

Members considered the following items of correspondence:

  • Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment: Review of budget allocations.

Agreed: to write to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment advising it that the Committee will include the issues raised in its forthcoming discussion paper on improving the budget process.  

  • DFP: Consultation on the proposed European sales law.

Agreed: to request a briefing from DFP following the conclusion of the consultation phase.

Agreed: to forward the correspondence to the committees for Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister.

  • DFP: NICS staffing issues.

Agreed: to request a response from DFP on whether current policy provides for sufficient flexibility in relation to staff redeployment and transfers.

  • Committee for the Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister (COFMDFM): Public Procurement;

Agreed: to forward the correspondence to DFP to request a response on whether it is aware of the proposal for an EU Directive on Public Procurement, whether it has made any submission in this regard and for its views on the detail of the proposals.

Judith Cochrane left the meeting at 12.37pm

  • BBC News article “NAMA to offer NI investors loans”;
  • COFMDFM: EU Structural Funds.

Agreed: to copy the responses from DFP and the Special European Programmes Body to COFMDFM when received.

  • COFMDFM: Consultation on the Abolition of the Department for Employment and Learning.

Agreed: to request details of DFP involvement in the process and indicative timeframes to inform the Committee’s response to COFMDFM. 

10. Committee Work Programme

Review of Budget Allocations 2013-14 and 2014-15

The Committee reconsidered correspondence from the DFP Minister suggesting that the Committee coordinates a response on the Review.

Agreed: to write to the Minister requesting further information on the Review process to inform the Committee’s decision on whether to coordinate a response.

Members considered a draft of the Committee work programme.

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

11. Any Other Business

12. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 21 March at 10.00am in Room 30, Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.40pm

Conor Murphy MP MLA
Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel
21 March 2012

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