Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings
The meeting opened in public session at 2.05 p.m.
2. Chairperson’s Business
Restorative Justice Forum
The Committee noted the invitation to attend “Showcasing and Expanding Restorative Approaches in Northern Ireland” in the Long Gallery, on Monday 6 February 2012.
Friends of the Earth
The Committee noted the invitation to attend the launch of “What are they Planning” by Friends of the Earth, in the Long Gallery, on Tuesday 31 January 2012.
The Committee noted the list of current invitations.
3. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2012
Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 11 January 2012 was agreed by the Committee.
4. Matters Arising
Mr Clarke joined the meeting at 2.08 p.m.
Former Military sites
The Committee considered a written briefing from the Department providing an update on the former military sites that are within its remit.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request a list of all former military sites that have been transferred to the Executive since 1998 and a list of those sites that have still to be transferred. The Committee also agreed to request details of the costs of maintaining the sites that have been transferred, and those to be transferred, where information on the latter is available.
January Monitoring Round
The Committee noted a response from the Department in relation to queries on the Department’s January Monitoring Round Proposals.
Review of the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels
The Committee noted a response from junior Ministers to the Committee’s comments in relation to the Review of the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels.
Research Paper – European Commission Work Programme 2012
The Committee noted a Research Paper provided by the Assembly’s Research and Information Service on the European Commission Work Programme 2012.
The Chairperson advised Members that he is attending a meeting of the ECUK Chairpersons’ Group on Monday 23 January 2012. The Chairperson advised that he would forward the agenda to Members for their consideration and asked Members to forward any issues that they wish to be discussed at the meeting to the Committee Office.
List of Outstanding Issues
The Committee noted the list of outstanding issues.
Committee for Regional Development
The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Regional Development in relation to their engagement on European issues.
Economic Impact of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The Committee noted a copy of a Report on the Economic Impact of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Northern Ireland.
The Committee noted an invitation to attend lunch on Wednesday 25 January 2012 to hear about the work of Linking Generations.
The Committee considered correspondence from the Ulster Farmers Union to concerns in relation to localised flooding at the Shackleton site, which is affecting local farmers.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider dates for a visit to the Shackleton site, which would include meeting local farmers affected by the site.
June Monitoring Round
The Committee noted a copy of the statement by the Minister for Finance and Personnel in relation to the January Monitoring Round.
House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee
The Committee noted correspondence from the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee advising of its oral evidence session on the Draft Agreement on a United Patent Court and Draft Statute.
The Committee considered a response from the Department to a request from the Committee for Justice concerning the appointment of the Police Ombudsman. A Member raised concerns in relation to the appointment of an interim Chief Executive by the current Ombudsman.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the Department’s response to the Committee for Justice.
Mr Eastwood left the meeting at 2.20 p.m.
6. Strategic Investment Board
Officials from the Strategic Investment Board joined the meeting at 2.22 p.m.
Mr Spratt joined the meeting at 2.26 p.m.
Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 2.30 p.m.
Mr Eastwood re-joined the meeting at 2.45 p.m.
Mr Brett Hannam, Mr Martin Spollen and Mr Scott Wilson briefed the Committee on the work of the Strategic Investment Board. A question and answer session followed.
Officials from the Strategic Investment Board left the meeting at 2.51 p.m.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the draft Programme for Government and the draft Investment Strategy in closed session at next week’s meeting.
7. REAL Network
Representatives from the REAL Network joined the meeting at 2.53 p.m.
Mr Eastwood left the meeting at 3.44 p.m.
Miss Joanne Sansome, Mr Collie McElroy, Mrs Elizabeth Zammitt and Ms Heather Matthews from the REAL Network briefed the Committee on the work of the REAL Network, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. A question and answer session followed.
Representatives from the REAL Network left the meeting at 4.00 p.m.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a research paper on a number of disability issues.
8. Any Other Business
Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.
The meeting moved into closed session at 4.05 p.m.
9. Proposals to Update Legislation to Reform the Office of the Ombudsman
The Committee had a discussion in relation to the proposals to reform the Office of the Ombudsman.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to use inclusive language in the papers in relation to the Ombudsman.
Mr Eastwood re-joined the meeting at 4.09 p.m.
Mr Clarke left the meeting at 4.20 p.m.
Mr Eastwood left the meeting at 4.35 p.m.
11. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will be in Room 30, Parliament Buildings on Wednesday 25 January 2012 at 2 p.m.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.41 p.m.
Mr Tom Elliott MLA
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister