ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 07 December 2011

Venue: Room 30

The meeting opened at 10.04am in public session.

1. Apologies.

There were no apologies received.

Agreed: that Agenda items 4 and 5 are taken in closed session in line with normal convention for the consideration of such matters.

Agreed: that Agenda item 6 is recorded by Hansard and the Official Report published on the website.

2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 29 November 2011 

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

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: Large Retail Levy – Response to Committee Queries

The Committee noted a response from DFP to queries members had raised in relation to the proposed large retail levy and small business rate relief scheme.

The meeting moved into closed session at 10.06am

4. Report on the Proposed Expansion of the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme and Large Retail Levy – Final Consideration of Draft Report

Members formally considered the final draft of the Report on the Proposed Expansion of the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme and Large Retail Levy.

Agreed: that paragraphs 1-9 stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 10-19 stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 20-33 stand part of the Report;

Mrs Judith Cochrane joined the meeting at 10.15am

Mr Paul Girvan joined the meeting at 10.15am

Agreed: that paragraphs 34-35 as amended stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 36-38 stand part of the Report;

Mr William Humphrey left the meeting at 10.23am

Agreed: that paragraphs 39-48 stand part of the Report;

Mr William Humphrey joined the meeting at 10.31am

Agreed: that paragraph 49 as amended stands part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 50-58 stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 59-60 stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraph 61 as amended stands part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 62-72 stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraph 73 as amended stands part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 74-83 stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraph 84 as amended stands part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 85-90 stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 91-102 stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 103-105 stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 106-111 stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraph 112 as amended stands part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 113-119 stand part of the Report, subject to paragraph 119 being merged with paragraph 118;

Agreed: that paragraph 120 as amended stands part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 121-123 stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 124-130 stand part of the Report;

Mr William Humphrey left the meeting at 11.08am

Agreed: that paragraph 131 as amended stands part of the Report;

Agreed: that paragraphs 132-139 stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that the draft Executive Summary, as amended, stands part of the Report;

 Agreed: that the Appendices stand part of the Report;

Agreed: that the extract of the unapproved Minutes of Proceedings of today’s meeting is checked by the Chairperson and included at Appendix 1.

Agreed: that the Report on the Proposed Expansion of the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme and the Large Retail Levy, as amended, be the First Report of the Committee for Finance and Personnel to the Assembly for the session 2011/12.

Agreed: that the Report on the Proposed Expansion of the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme and the Large Retail Levy, as amended, be printed.

Members were advised that typescript copies of the agreed Report would be laid in the Business Office within 24 hours for the attention of all MLAs. The printed copies of the Report will be issued to all MLAs once available.

Agreed: that the press release, as amended, be issued today.

Agreed: that staff will issue typescript copies of the Report to the media and to stakeholders who had provided evidence, in advance of the printed copies being made available.

5. Briefing by Assembly Legal Services on the Budget Process

The Committee received a briefing from Jonathan McMillen of Assembly Legal Services on the Budget Process.

Agreed: that the legal advice would be used as a basis for informing the Committee’s response to relevant recommendations in the DFP discussion document on the Executive’s Review of the Financial Process.

Agreed: that Secretariat staff would prepare a draft policy discussion document on establishing a pre-draft budget scrutiny stage, to be used to consult other stakeholders, including relevant Assembly committees. 

The meeting moved into open session at 11.46am

Mr Paul Maskey left the meeting at 11.46am

6. Land and Property Service (LPS) – DFP Evidence Session

The Committee took evidence from the following witnesses: John Wilkinson, Chief Executive, LPS; Patricia McAuley, Director of Revenue and Benefits, LPS and Alan Bronte, Director of Mapping and Valuation, LPS.

The Chairperson declared an interest in a vacant family property, as detailed in the Register of Members’ Interests.

Mr Ross Hussey declared an interest as a respondent in a legal process involving a rates dispute.

Mr Ross Hussey left the meeting at 11.56am

Mr Paul Maskey joined the meeting at 12.00pm

Mrs Judith Cochrane left the meeting at 12.03pm

Mr Dominic Bradley left the meeting at 12.10pm

Mr Dominic Bradley joined the meeting at 12.19pm

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin left the meeting at 12.30pm

Agreed: that the LPS officials will provide additional information as requested during the session. 

7. Correspondence

Members noted the following items of correspondence:

  • Correspondence from Member of the Public regarding Equal Pay;
  • Committee for Social Development: Fuel Poverty Event;
  • DFP: Response to Committee regarding forthcoming legislation;
  • DFP: Departmental Savings Delivery Plans;

          Agreed: to request an oral briefing from DFP on this issue.

  • DFP: Commencement of Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Act NI 2011;
  • Committee for Justice: Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Act NI 2011;

Agreed: to forward the DFP correspondence to the Committee for Justice for information.

  • Citizen’s Advice Bureau: Central Procurement Directorate;

 Agreed:  to request an oral briefing on the role of the NI Ombudsman in relation to procurement disputes.

  • Committee for the Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister: Children and Young Peoples Strategy Outcome Model;

Agreed:  to request DFPs view on the model and whether it is suitable for wider application.

  • NI Longitudinal Study Research Support Unit -  Invite to round table discussion;
  • British Insurance Broker’s Association: Response to the Office of Fair Trading’s call for evidence on the cost of motor insurance;
  • Committee for the Environment: January Monitoring Round;

Agreed: to forward the correspondence to DFP for response.

8. Committee Work Programme

Members considered a draft of the Committee work programme.

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

9. Any Other Business

Agreed: to request details of DFP input into the Sexual Orientation Strategy co-ordinated by the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister.

10. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 14 December at 10.00am in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.35pm.

Conor Murphy MP MLA
Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel
14 December 2011

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