Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings
The meeting opened in public session at 2.02 p.m.
1. Chairperson’s Business
Welcome to Thomas Buchanan
The Chairperson welcomed Mr Thomas Buchanan to the Committee. The Committee noted Mr Buchanan’s Declaration of Interests and Mr Buchanan updated the Committee on changes.
The Committee noted the list of current invitations. The Committee also noted an invitation to the Deputy Chairperson from the All-Party Working Group on Ethnic Minorities.
2. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2012
Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 16 May 2012 was agreed by the Committee.
3. Matters Arising
Former Military Sites
The Committee considered a response from the Department providing further information in relation to the Shackleton site.
Mr Clarke joined the meeting at 2.07 p.m.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request a timeline in relation to the transfer of the Shackleton site.
Monitoring of Savings Delivery Plans
The Committee noted information provided by the Department highlighting its performance in achieving its Savings Delivery Plans 2012/13.
Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 2.09 p.m.
Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People
The Committee considered information provided by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People in relation to its Business Plan and Corporate Plan.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek an update on approval of the plans.
Research Paper – Anti-Discrimination Legislation and Agency Workers in Northern Ireland
The Committee noted a research paper by the Assembly’s Research and Information Service on anti-discrimination legislation and agency workers in Northern Ireland.
Big Lottery Fund
The Committee noted correspondence from the Big Lottery Fund on the launch of its 5-year programme “Realising Ambition”.
List of Outstanding Issues
The Committee considered the list of outstanding issues.
E-mail from Member of the Public
The Committee considered an e-mail from a member of the public in relation to their welfare review.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Committee for Social Development for information.
NI Memorial Fund
The Committee noted a response from the Department confirming that it has authorised the accrual of approximately £600,000 into the 2012/13 year and that a letter of offer has been issued to the Memorial Fund for funding in 2012/13.
Committee for Employment and Learning
The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Employment and Learning in relation to Ministers’ response to its report on the abolition of the Department for Employment and Learning.
Agreed:The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department.
5. Delivering Social Change Framework
Junior Minister Bell, junior Minister Anderson and Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.13 p.m.
Mr Lyttle joined the meeting at 2.17 p.m.
Mr Maskey joined the meeting at 2.45 p.m.
Junior Minister Bell, junior Minister Anderson and Departmental officials, Dr Denis McMahon and Ms Maggie Smith briefed the Committee on the Delivering Social Change Framework and on other departmental strategies and policies. A question and answer session followed.
Junior Minister Bell, junior Minister Anderson and Departmental officials left the meeting at 3.43 p.m.
Mr Kinahan left the meeting at 3.43 p.m.
6. Northern Ireland Ombudsman
The Northern Ireland Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman joined the meeting at 3.44 p.m.
The Northern Ireland Ombudsman, Dr Tom Frawley CBE and Deputy Ombudsman, Mrs Marie Anderson briefed the Committee on the implications of the possible options for county court enforcement procedures. A question and answer session followed.
Mr Humphrey left the meeting at 3.06 p.m.
Mr Clarke left the meeting at 3.06 p.m.
The Northern Ireland Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman left the meeting at 4.35 p.m.
7. Race Relations Order 1997 (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012
Departmental officials joined the meeting at 4.45 p.m.
Mr Humphrey left the meeting at 4.46 p.m.
The Committee considered correspondence from the Department dated 15 May 2012 responding to the Committee’s request for clarification on the “real costs” of the proposed Order for the owners of vessels registered in Northern Ireland, including the fishing industry, and any consultation with affected ship-owners here on the impact of the proposed changes.
Departmental officials, Mr Ken Fraser and Ms Aideen Donnelly answered questions in relation to the Race Relations Order 1997 (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 5.05 p.m.
The meeting moved into closed session at 5.05 p.m.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Ministers, as a matter of urgency, to request further information in relation to the Race Relations Order 1997 (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012.
8. Proposals to Update Legislation to Reform the Office of the Ombudsman
The Committee considered proposals to update legislation to reform the Office of the Ombudsman in light of the briefing by the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman.
Agreed: The Committee agreed a policy issue in relation to the proposals.
9. Any Other Business
Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted the updated Forward Work Programme.
10. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will be held in Room 30, Parliament Buildings on Wednesday 30 May 2012 at 2 p.m.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 5.23 p.m.
Mr Mike Nesbitt MLA
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister