ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Venue: Room 30

The meeting opened at 10.05am in public session.

1. Apologies.

There was one apology.

Mr Humphrey joined the meeting at 10.05am.

Agreed: that Agenda items 6, 7 and 8 are recorded by Hansard and the Official Report published on the website.

Agreed: that the Committee will move into closed session following the evidence sessions on the Devolution of Corporation Tax powers, for initial consideration of its response to the Treasury consultation.

Mrs Cochrane joined the meeting at 10.06am.

2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 8 June 2011

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

3. Matters Arising

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’s queries relating to the Review of Financial Process and the work of the Budget Review Group

The Committee noted a reply from DFP to the Committee’s queries on the terms of reference for the Review of Financial Process and the work of the Budget Review Group.

Agreed: to inform its input to the DFP-led Review of Financial Process, the Committee will commission an Assembly research paper on budget processes in other jurisdictions and international best practices, which will be considered at the meeting on 22 June 2011.

4. Consideration of Committee Report on Legislative Consent Motion: Finance (No. 3) Bill (Mutual Assistance Recovery Directive)

The Committee considered its report on Legislative Consent Motion: Finance (No. 3) Bill (Mutual Assistance Recovery Directive).

Agreed: that paragraphs 1 to 2 stand as part of the report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 3 to 5 stand part of the report;

Agreed: that paragraph 7 is amended to clarify that OFMDFM made no response to DFP regarding the proposed Legislative Consent Motion;

Agreed: that paragraph 8 is amended to reflect the response from DFP to issues raised by the Committee during the evidence session on 8 June 2011;

Agreed: that paragraphs 6 – 9 as amended stand part of the report.

The Committee considered a suggested amendment to paragraph 10, arising from the change of wording for the plenary motion on the proposed Legislative Consent Motion.

Agreed: that paragraph 10 as amended stand part of the report.

Agreed: that the appendices stand part of the report.

Agreed: That the Committee report, as amended, on the proposed Legislative Consent Motion on the Finance (No. 3) Bill is made to the Assembly.

Agreed: to seek clarification from DFP on the lines of responsibility for notifying devolved administrations of the implications of potential policy/legislative changes impinging on transferred matters, including from EU Directives, and if proactive measures are required at local level.

Ms Ruane left the meeting at 10.17am.

5. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee considered the following subordinate legislation:

SR 2011 No. 141 Land Registration (Amendment) Rules (NI) 2011

The Committee noted that, while the formal report is not yet available, the Examiner of Statutory Rules has indicated that there are no points to raise by way of technical scrutiny in relation to the Rule.

Agreed: that the Committee for Finance and Personnel has considered The Land Registration (Amendment) Rules (NI) 2011 and has no objection to the Rule.

SR 2011 No. 158 Land Registration (Electronic Communications) Order (NI) 2011

The Committee noted that, while the formal report is not yet available, the Examiner of Statutory Rules has indicated that there are no points to raise by way of technical scrutiny in relation to the Rule.

Agreed: that the Committee for Finance and Personnel has considered The Land Registration (Electronic Communications) Order (NI) 2011 and has no objection to the Rule.

Ms Ruane returned to the meeting at 10.21am.

6. Proposed Superannuation Bill – DFP Evidence Session

The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Grace Nesbitt, Head of HR Policy, Pay and Pensions Policy, Corporate HR, DFP and Kieran Hargan, Civil Services Pensions Branch, Corporate HR, DFP. The session was recorded by Hansard.

Mr Girvan joined the meeting at 11.03am.

Agreed: that the DFP officials will provide additional information in writing as requested.

Agreed: to copy the DFP briefing paper to the NI Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) for comment.

7. Devolution of Corporation Tax Powers: The Impact of Reducing Corporation Tax on the NI Economy – Economic Advisory Group Evidence Session

The Committee took evidence from the following witnesses: Kate Barker CBE, Chair, Economic Advisory Group and Mark Nodder, Managing Director, Wright Group Ltd. The session was recorded by Hansard.

Mr Humphrey left the meeting at 12.04pm.

8. Devolution of Corporation Tax Powers – DFP Evidence Session

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

Agreed: that the Committee will forward the update provided by DFP on Air Passenger Duty to the Committee for Regional Development, the Committee for the Environment and the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

Mr Bradley left the meeting at 12.08pm.

Ms Ruane left the meeting at 12.13pm.

The meeting moved into closed session at 12.25pm

9. Initial consideration of Committee response to Treasury consultation on Devolution of Corporation Tax Powers

Mr Bradley returned to the meeting at 12.24pm.

Agreed: that a draft response will be prepared for the Committee’s consideration, which outlines the issues identified for further clarification and refers to the outcome of the plenary debate on the issue on 28 June 2011.

The meeting moved into open session at 12.31pm

10. Correspondence

Members noted the following items of correspondence:

  • Committee for Regional Development: June Monitoring Round.
  • DFP: Request for extension to reply to equal pay queries.
  • Social Development Committee: Legislative Consent Motion: Welfare Reform Bill; and DFP correspondence regarding the Legislative Consent Motion on the Welfare Reform Bill;

Agreed: to forward the DFP correspondence to the Committee for Social Development.

  • DFP: Response regarding forthcoming legislation.

The Committee also noted the following piece of routine correspondence which was e-mailed to members prior to the meeting:

  • Notice from the Cabinet Office website regarding The Big Society Bank, which will be funded from dormant accounts.
11. Draft Forward Work Programme

The Committee considered the draft work programme containing a schedule of business until summer recess.

Agreed: that the Work Programme is updated to reflect any decisions taken today and published on the Committee’s website.

Agreed: to request a briefing note from DFP setting out the accountability arrangements for Permanent Secretaries and the Head of the Civil Service, including the relevant extracts from the NICS handbook and/or code of conduct relating to disciplinary procedures for departmental Permanent Secretaries.

The Committee noted correspondence from the Construction Employers Federation and the Rural Community Network requesting the opportunity to brief the Committee.

Agreed: to request written briefings explaining the relevance of the issues to the remit of DFP in the first instance.

12. Any Other Business
13. Date, time and place of next meeting.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.37pm.

Conor Murphy MP MLA
Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel.

22 June 2011 

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