Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Wednesday, 29 May 2013
Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings
The meeting began at 2.03 pm in closed session.
As detailed above.
2. Press and Media – Committee consideration of Press Regulation in light of Leveson Inquiry and proposed Royal Charter - Legal Advice
Members considered legal advice and were briefed on it by representatives of Assembly Legal Services.
Mr Maskey joined the meeting at 2.07 p.m.
Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 2.08 p.m.
Mr Eastwood joined the meeting at 2.10 p.m.
Ms Fearon joined the meeting at 2.23 p.m.
Assembly Legal Services representatives left the meeting at 2.24 p.m.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to await OFMDFM’s response on this issue before considering any further action.
The meeting moved to public session at 2.26 pm.
3. Chairperson’s Business
Current OFMDFM Committee Invitations
Members noted the list of current invitations.
The Chairperson advised Members that he had attended a research presentation relating to victims falling outside the HIA Inquiry hosted by Amnesty International and the Committee noted the two research papers which had been issued at the presentation.
Request for urgent briefing on Support Services for Victims attending the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse
Members noted correspondence from the Department indicating that officials would not be available to brief the Committee at today’s meeting.
Agreed: Members agreed that, given the concerns raised by the Committee at its meeting on 22 May 2013, it would seek an urgent briefing on 5 June 2013.
OFMDFM Conference on Delivering Social Change
Members noted the programme for the OFMDFM Conference on ‘Together: Building an Inclusive Society’ which is scheduled for 4 and 5 June.
NI Judicial Appointments Ombudsman
Agreed: The Committee agreed to update the Department of Justice and the Committee for Justice following the related briefings on 22 May 2013.
Meetings with EU Committee and Justice Committee at the Oireachtas
Members noted correspondence from the Justice Committee at the Oireachtas indicating unavailability to meet with the Committee in respect of victims and survivors on 13 June 2013.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk would endeavour to arrange a meeting with stakeholders and experts who might inform the Committee’s consideration of the issue of victims and survivors of abuse and, if that was not possible, to reschedule the proposed meetings with the EU Committee and Justice Committee.
Mongolian Honorary Council
Members noted correspondence from the Mongolian Honorary Council requesting the Committee’s sponsorship of the Long Gallery in order to host an exhibition entitled ‘Images of Mongolia’.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to sponsor the Long Gallery for the exhibition.
4. Draft Minutes of the meetings held on 20 and 22 May 2013
Agreed: The draft minutes of the proceedings of the 20 May 2013 and 22 May 2013 were agreed by the Committee.
5. Matters Arising
Departmental response regarding ISNI Investing Activity Report and Ebrington Barracks
Members noted a Departmental response to the Committee’s query on the choice of Building 80/81 as the venue for the Turner Prize and the cost and long term benefit of the decision.
Proposal for a regulation on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications network
Members noted correspondence from the European Committees at Westminster and Cardiff in relation to the EU proposal for a regulation to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to copy to Northern Ireland MEPs the Committee’s correspondence to Westminster Committees on this and subsequent EU proposals raising subsidiarity issues.
Monitoring of Departmental Post Project Evaluations
Members noted a departmental update on OFMDFM’s outstanding Post Project Evaluations.
List of Outstanding Issues
Members noted the list of outstanding issues.
Complaints to Information Commissioner about OFMDFM – Departmental response
Members noted a response from the Department in relation to its handing of requests under Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that it would take a briefing on the matter once the Information Commissioner had concluded and considered the current monitoring of OFMDFM performance.
Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety correspondence regarding the future of Statutory Residential Care Homes
Members noted a copy of correspondence between the Chairperson of the HSSPS Committee and the First Minister and deputy First Minister in respect of the future of statutory residential care homes. Members also noted a copy of OFMDFM’s response.
Business in the Community
Members noted a copy of correspondence from the Chair of Business in the Community relating to its Spring 2013 issue of the Corporate Responsibility - CR Matters - magazine.
Crèche facilities at the University of Ulster
Members noted a copy of correspondence relating to private sector interest in providing childcare facilities at the University of Ulster’s Jordanstown campus.
7. Maze Long Kesh Site
Mr Terence Brannigan, Chairman, Maze Long Kesh Development Corporation and Mr Kyle Alexander, Chief Executive, Maze Long Kesh Development Corporation joined the meeting at 2.46 p.m.
Following a video presentation introducing the Corporation’s plans for the Maze Long Kesh site, Mr Brannigan and Mr Alexander briefed the Committee. Questions and discussion followed.
Agreed: Mr Alexander offered to provide the Committee with details of anticipated jobs to be created this year and next year.
Mr Eastwood left the meeting at 3.01 p.m.
Mr Eastwood re-joined the meeting at 3.19 p.m.
Mr Maskey left the meeting at 3.23 p.m.
Mr Maskey re-joined the meeting at 3.41 p.m.
Mr Brannigan and Mr Alexander left the meeting at 3.52 p.m.
8. Social Investment Fund
Mr Maskey and Mr Spratt left the meeting at 3.53 p.m.
Officials from the Department joined the meeting at 3.54 p.m.
Members noted a departmental update in relation to the Social Investment Fund. Departmental officials Mr Henry Johnston and Mr Ricky Irwin briefed the Committee on developments and questions and discussion followed.
Mr Maskey and Mr Spratt re-joined the meeting at 3.58 p.m.
Mr Robinson left the meeting at 4.11 p.m.
Ms Fearon left the meeting at 4.12 p.m.
Mr Robinson re-joined the meeting at 4.18 p.m.
Agreed: It was agreed that the Officials would write to the Committee regarding the spend on consultancy fees associated with the Social Investment Fund and the geographic spread of capital project applications within the Steering Group Area containing Newtownards.
Ms Fearon re-joined the meeting at 4.22 p.m.
Mr Eastwood left the meeting at 4.26 p.m.
The Officials left the meeting at 4.26 p.m.
Mr Spratt left the meeting at 4.27 p.m.
9. Budget – Opening Budget 2013-14, Savings Delivery Plans and June Monitoring
Departmental Officials joined the meeting at 4.29 p.m.
Departmental Officials Mark Browne; Stephen Boyd; and Gavin Patrick briefed the Committee on the Opening Budget; the Department’s Savings Delivery Plans; and its June Monitoring proposals. Questions and discussion followed.
The Committee noted the Department’s June Monitoring proposals 2013-14.
Mr Spratt re-joined the meeting at 4.34 p.m.
Ms Fearon left the meeting at 4.40 p.m.
The Officials left the meeting at 4.56 p.m.
9. Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted the draft forward work programme.
10. Any Other Business
The Chairperson and Members thanked the Clerk for his work on the Committee.
11. Date, Time and Location of next meeting
The next meeting will be held in Room 30, Parliament Buildings on Wednesday 5 June 2013 at 1.30 pm or 2.00 pm – subject to the availability of a Departmental briefing on HIA Inquiry support services.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.59 pm
Mr Mike Nesbitt MLA
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister