Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2013/2014

Date: Wednesday, 03 July 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began at 2.02 pm in public session.

1. Apologies

As detailed above.

2. Chairperson's Business

Young at Art

The Committee considered a request from Young at Art to meet with Members to discuss the work it undertakes with young people in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from Young at Art to the Department to ask what interaction it has had with the organisation. The Committee also agreed to write to Young at Art to advise that the Committee will be in contact when it has further developed its forward work programme for the next session.

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman Report

The Committee considered a draft motion for a debate on the Committee's Report on a Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman Bill.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the draft motion.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to issue pre-release copies of its Report to the Department, the Northern Ireland Ombudsman, the Northern Ireland Office and the Speaker.

Mr Maskey joined the meeting at 2.07 p.m.

Freedom of Information Requests during Summer Recess

Agreed: The Committee agreed to delegate authority to the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson to submit views on releasing or withholding information in any non-routine/contentious Freedom of Information requests received during periods of recess.

Historical Institutional Abuse

The Committee considered a request from Amnesty International to brief the Committee on research it has undertaken on those victims and survivors who fall outside the current remit of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing from Amnesty International in the next session.

Mr Lyttle joined the meeting at 2.08 p.m.

Public Services Pensions Bill

The Committee considered a request from the Committee for Finance and Personnel seeking views on the provisions of the Bill which affect pension schemes within the remit of Departments and Arm's Length Bodies.

Agreed: The Committee to agreed write to the Department to establish if any of the schemes in questions fall within the remit of the Department and to discover the implications for the Department.

3. Draft Minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2013

Agreed: The draft minutes of the proceedings of the 26 June 2013 were agreed by the Committee.

4. Matters Arising

Race Relations - Seafarers

The Committee noted a response from the Department in relation to the Committee's request for clarification on the financial implications of extending race relations legislation to all nationalities.

List of Outstanding Issues
Members considered the list of outstanding issues.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward a list of the outstanding responses to the Department and seek comment on the cause of delay and an indicative timing for response.

Committee for Social Development

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Social Development providing an update on progress at the Fort George site.

Northern Ireland Ombudsman Annual Report 2012 - 13

The Committee noted a copy of the Northern Ireland Ombudsman's Annual Report for 2012-13.

5. Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Rules (Northern Ireland) 2013

The Committee considered the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Rules (NI) 2013.

Agreed: That the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister has considered Statutory Rule 2013/171 - The Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Rules (Northern Ireland) 2013 and has no objection to the rule.

6. Correspondence

Strategic Investment Board

The Committee noted a copy of the Strategic Investment Board's Annual Report for 2012-13.

Committee for Regional Development

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Regional Development to the Department in relation to the Disability Strategy and Delivering Social Change.

Committee for Education

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Education to the Department in relation to the Children and Young People's Strategy.

Investing Activity Report

The Committee noted a copy of the Investment Strategy Investing Activity Report for June.

Committee for Finance and Personnel

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel providing a copy of a research paper on financial forecasting performance in Departments.

Big Lottery Fund

The Committee noted correspondence from the Big Lottery Fund providing further information on its Reaching Out: Supporting Families Programme.

7. Programme for Government

Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.18 p.m.

Departmental officials Dr Mark Browne, Dr Denis McMahon, Mr Tim Losty, Mr Henry Johnston and Mr Tony Cavanagh provided the Committee with an update on progress of the Programme for Government commitments. Questions and discussion followed. Officials agreed to provide the Committee with further clarification on a number of issues.

Departmental officials left the meeting at 4.08 p.m.

8. Report of the EU Project Manager

The Clerk briefed the Committee on the Report of the EU Project Manager and provided an overview of the recommendations in the Report.

9. Forward Work Programme

The Committee noted the draft forward work programme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it would hold a planning meeting on Wednesday 4 September 2013 to consider the Committee's forward work programme.

10. Any Other Business

None.

11. Date, Time and Location of next meeting

The next meeting will be held in on Wednesday 4 September 2013 2.00 p.m., venue to be confirmed.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.23 pm

Mr Mike Nesbitt MLA
Chairperson,
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister

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