Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings
The meeting opened in closed session at 2.12 p.m.
1. Proposals for Legislation to Reform the Office of the Ombudsman
The Committee discussed the process for taking forward the Committee's final proposals for legislation to reform the Office of the Ombudsman.
The meeting moved into public session at 2.19 p.m.
2. Chairperson's Business
List of Invitations
The Committee noted the list of current invitations.
Tabled Items - Updated PfG Delivery Plans
The Committee noted that updated PfG Delivery Plans for today's briefing had been tabled.
3. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2013
Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 6 March 2013 was agreed by the Committee.
4. Programme for Government
Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.21 p.m.
Mr Lyttle joined the meeting at 2.30 p.m.
Miss Fearon left the meeting at 3.48 p.m.
Departmental officials, Dr Denis McMahon, Mr Henry Johnston and Dr Paul Geddis briefed the Committee on the Department's progress in relation to its Programme for Government commitments. A question and answer session followed.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 3.50 p.m.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the First Minister and deputy First Minister to suggest a regular system of briefings on progress against the Department's Programme for Government commitments.
5. Matters Arising
Explanatory Memorandum – Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived
The Committee noted a response from the Department in relation to the Committee's request for the Department's view on whether this EU proposal is consistent with the principle of subsidiarity.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request its views on the policy merits of this proposal.
List of Outstanding Issues
The Committee noted the list of outstanding issues.
Victims of Clerical Abuse
The Committee considered correspondence from a representative on behalf of victims of clerical abuse advising that they are undertaking research with Amnesty International in relation to clerical abuse.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the representative to request a written briefing on the research when available.
Miss Fearon re-joined the meeting at 4.07 p.m.
Review of the Gender Equality Strategy
The Committee noted correspondence from the Department advising that there will be a review of the Gender Equality Strategy 2006-16 which will be overseen by a steering group, chaired by OFMDFM, and carried out by NISRA.
Proposed Fair Employment (specification of Public Authorities) (Amendment) Order (NI) 2013
The Committee noted correspondence from the Department advising that it proposes to make this statutory rule.
Committee for Finance and Personnel
The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel, enclosing correspondence from the Department for Finance and Personnel in relation to the recently agreed European Budget.
The Committee noted correspondence from the Electoral Commission providing a progress report on the implementation of the Commission's recommendations following the 2011 Assembly elections.
Investing Activity Report
The Committee noted February's Investment Strategy Investing Activity Report.
Investment Strategy – 3rd Quarter Update
The Committee noted correspondence from the Department providing a copy of the 3rd Quarter Report for the Investment Strategy 2011-21.
Korean War Veterans
The Committee considered correspondence from a representative on behalf of Korean War Veterans in relation to the dedication of a Memorial in Seoul for those of Irish Heritage who were killed in the Korean War.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department for consideration.
7. Equal Pay Code of Practice
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland joined the meeting at 4.12 p.m.
Representatives from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, Mrs Evelyn Collins and Ms Jacqui McKee briefed the Committee on the revised Equal Pay Code of Practice. A question and answer session followed.
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland left the meeting at 4.30 p.m.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content with the revised Code of Practice.
8. Any Other Business
The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.
9. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will be held in Room 30, Parliament Buildings on Wednesday 20March 2013 at 2 p.m.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.43 p.m.
Mr Mike Nesbitt MLA
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister