Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 2.07 p.m.        

Apologies

None

1.  Chairperson’s Business

Committee Stakeholder Event

The Chairperson reminded Members of the upcoming stakeholder event on Wednesday 7 November 2012. The Committee noted the draft agenda for the event.

Agreed: One additional presentation would be scheduled if possible.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

The Committee noted an invitation from the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission to attend an event on 2 November 2012, to discuss the Commission’s Strategic Plan for 2013-2016.

Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities

The Committee noted an invitation from the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities to attend its Annual General Meeting on 16 November 2012.

ECUK Meeting

The Chairperson advised Members that he hosted a meeting of the ECUK Forum in Parliament Buildings on Monday and that a short report on the event will be provided to Members.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Committee Office would scope a possible visit to Dublin to be briefed on the Irish Presidency of the EU and to meet with the Houses of the Oireachtas EU Committee.

List of Invitations

The Committee noted the list of current invitations.

2.  Draft minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2012

Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 17 October 2012 was agreed by the Committee.

Mr Eastwood joined the meeting at 2.12 p.m.

3. Matters Arising

List of Outstanding Issues

The Committee noted the list of outstanding issues.

4. Correspondence

Joint Ministerial Committee (Europe)

The Committee noted correspondence from the Department providing a report from the last meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council (Europe) in June 2012.

Committee for Finance and Personnel

The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel in relation to the accuracy of Departmental Financial Forecasting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department for comment.

Committee for Finance and Personnel

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel enclosing DFP/SEUPB’s joint briefing paper on the strategic use of future EU funding and on managing EU structural funds programmes.

Committee for Finance and Personnel

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel enclosing the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly’s briefing paper on “Lessons learned from Managing EU Structural funds in the Republic of Ireland”.

Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward to the Department correspondence from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in relation to health inequalities.

Gender Representation on Social Investment Fund Steering Groups

The Committee considered correspondence from WOMEN’STEC enclosing copy correspondence from WOMEN’STEC to the Department in relation to gender representation on the Social Investment Fund Steering Groups.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request that it be copied into the Department’s response.

Imtac

The Committee noted correspondence from Imtac providing a copy of their report “Highlighting barriers in the pedestrian environment”.

Social Investment Fund

The Committee noted a response from the Department providing a list of political nominations to the Social Investment Fund Steering Groups.

Committee for Education

The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Education in relation to the Common Funding Scheme Review Panel.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department for comment.

Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment

The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment requesting an update on the work of the Barroso Taskforce.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a written update on the work of the Barosso Taskforce from the Department.

Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment providing further information on a briefing it will receive from the DETI on its Inquiry into Developing the Northern Ireland Economy through Innovation, Research and Development.

Childcare Strategy

The Committee noted a response from the Department providing a breakdown of the money spent to date from the Childcare budget.

International Development Strategy for Northern Ireland

The Committee noted correspondence from the Department providing further information on the proposed engagement by officials and Special Advisers with the All-Party Group on International Development in relation to a potential pilot project in North East Uganda.

Committee for the Environment

The Committee noted correspondence from the Department in relation to issues raised by the Committee for the Environment re the Planning Appeals Commission.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward a copy of this response to the Committee for the Environment.

Maze/Long Kesh Corporation Board

The Committee noted a response from the Department providing further information on the process which led to the appointment of the Chair of the Maze/Long Kesh Corporation Board.

Ilex

The Committee noted a response from the Department providing further information in relation to the remuneration of the Chairperson of the Board of Ilex.

European Court Ruling on Gender Neutral Insurance Benefits and Premiums

The Committee noted correspondence from the Department advising that it is undertaking a consultation in relation to a ruling of the European Court of Justice on gender neutral benefits and premiums.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the consultation document to relevant statutory committees for information.

5.  The Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Bill   

The Committee considered its report on the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Bill and agreed some amendments to the draft report.

Agreed:The Committee read and agreed Paragraphs 1 - 9 Introduction.

Agreed:The Committee read and agreed Paragraphs 10 - 11 Pre-Introduction Committee Scrutiny.

Agreed:The Committee read and agreed Paragraphs 12 - 15 Committee Stage Scrutiny of the Bill.

Agreed:The Committee read and agreed Paragraph 16 Extension of the Committee Stage of the Bill.

Agreed:The Committee read and agreed, Paragraphs 17 - 25 Committee Approach to Committee Stage Scrutiny of the Bill.

Agreed:The Committee read and agreed Paragraphs 26 - 124 Consideration of the Bill, subject to paragraph 113 of the draft report being amended as discussed and agreed.

Agreed:The Committee read and agreed Paragraphs 125 – 158 Final Decisions on Clause by clause Scrutiny of the Bill.

Agreed:The Committee agreed to include Appendices 1-6 in the Report.

Agreed:The Committee ordered the Report to be printed.

Agreed:The Committee agreed that an extract from the Minutes of Proceedings of today’s meeting should be included in Appendix 1 of the report and that the Chairperson approve that extract for inclusion.

Agreed:The Committee agreed that it was content with the draft platform piece on the Committee’s consideration of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Bill subject to the amendment discussed and agreed.

6.  EU Pilot Project

A Senior Researcher from the Assembly’s Research and Information Service briefed the Committee on draft criteria for the proposed EU Pilot Project to support statutory committee engagement in European issues.

Mr Eastwood left the meeting at 3.00 p.m.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed that it was content with the criteria for proposed EU Pilot Project. 

The meeting moved into closed session at 3.01 p.m.

7.  Proposals to Update Legislation to Reform the Office of the Ombudsman

The Committee considered legal advice and advice from the Parliamentary Drafter on issues arising from Committee’s legislative proposals.

The Committee considered responses to its current policy proposals for legislation.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Assembly Commission to seek its view on the inclusion of the Assembly Commission within the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman’s Office. 

Mr Givan left the meeting at 4.20 p.m.

8. Any Other Business

Forward Work Programme

The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.  

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request an update on the Sexual Orientation Strategy and Action Plan.

9. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held in Room 30, Parliament Buildings on Wednesday 14 November 2012 at 2 p.m.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.26 p.m.

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

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