Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Venue: Room 30

The meeting opened in closed session at 2.04 p.m.

Apologies

As above.

1. 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.

Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 2.09 p.m.

Mr Clarke joined the meeting at 2.13 p.m.

Mr Kinahan joined the meeting at 2.27 p.m.

Mr Buchanan joined the meeting at 2.43 p.m.

Ms Ruane left the meeting at 2.44 p.m.

Agreed: The Committee agreed a number of policy issues and agreed to seek further information in relation to some options.

The meeting moved into public session at 2.49 p.m.

2. Chairperson’s Business

Public Holidays 3-4 June – Meeting folders

The Committee agreed that papers for the Committee meeting on 6 June 2012, other than the Reports for the two scheduled briefings tabled today, would be circulated to Members as normal.

Bursary Student

The Chairperson advised Members that this was the Bursary Student, Gary Cocker’s last meeting before returning to Scotland. The Chairperson thanked Gary for his work with the Committee on the Ombudsman over the past 9 months.

Committee Invitations

The Committee noted the list of current invitations.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2012

Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 23 May 2012 was agreed by the Committee.

4. Matters Arising

Fair Employment Order

The Committee noted a response from the Department confirming that issues raised by the Examiner of Statutory Rules relating to the Fair Employment (Specification of Public Bodies) (Amendment) Order will be addressed when the schedule is reviewed and updated next year.

List of Outstanding Issues

The Committee noted the list of outstanding issues.

5. Correspondence

Inclusive Mobility and Transport Advisory Committee (IMTAC) Reports

The Committee noted a copy of IMTAC’s Forward Work Programme for 2012-13 and a copy of its report on Flexible Transport Solutions.

Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment

The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment regarding the report on its Inquiry into Developing the NI Economy through Innovation, Research and Development.

6. Race Relations Order 1997 (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012

The Committee considered correspondence of 30 May 2012 from First and deputy First Minister in response to the Chairperson’s letter of 24 May 2012 in relation to the Race Relations Order 1997 (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012.

Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.55 p.m.

Departmental officials, Dr Denis McMahon, Mr Ken Fraser and Ms Aideen Donnelly answered questions to queries raised by Members in relation to the Race Relations Order 1997 (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012.

Departmental officials left the meeting at 3.15 p.m.

Ms Ruane re-joined the meeting at 3.21 p.m.

The Committee considered the Race Relations Order 1997 (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012 and discussed a number of issues including the possibility of infraction fines from the European Union.

A Departmental official joined the meeting at 3.25 p.m.

Departmental official, Dr Denis McMahon answered further queries raised by Members in relation to the Race Relations Order 1997 (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012.

The Departmental official left the meeting at 3.31 p.m.

Mr Clarke proposed that the Committee recommends to the Assembly that the Race Relations Order 1997 (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012 be affirmed.

Mr Maskey proposed that the Committee defer its decision until next week to allow the Department time to clarify a number of issues.

Question: That the Committee defer its decision until next week to allow the Department time to clarify a number of issues.

The Committee divided: Ayes 4; Noes 5.

Ayes: Mr Kinahan, Mr Maskey, Mr Molloy and Ms Ruane.

Noes: Mr Buchanan, Mr Clarke, Mr Humphrey, Mr Nesbitt and Mr Robinson.

Motion falls.

Question: That the Committee has considered the Race Relations Order 1997 (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 and recommends that it be affirmed by the Assembly.

The Committee divided: Ayes 5; Noes 4.

Ayes: Mr Buchanan, Mr Clarke, Mr Humphrey, Mr Nesbitt and Mr Robinson.

Noes: Mr Kinahan, Mr Maskey, Mr Molloy and Ms Ruane.

Agreed: That the Committee has considered the Race Relations Order 1997 (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 and recommends that it be affirmed by the Assembly.

Mr Maskey left the meeting at 3.43 p.m. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment to make them aware of the Order and the issues raised by the Committee in correspondence with the Department, enclosing copies of the relevant correspondence. 

7. June Monitoring Round and Provisional Outturn 2011-12

Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.44 p.m.

Departmental officials, Mr Noel Lavery, Dr Denis McMahon and Mr Stephen Boyd briefed the Committee on the Department’s June Monitoring Round proposals and on the Department’s Provisional Outturn for 2011-12. A question and answer session followed.

Departmental officials left the meeting at 4.14 p.m.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing from officials on governance issues on 4 July 2012.

8. European Issues

Representatives from Belfast City Council joined the meeting at 4.06 p.m.

Mr Clarke left the meeting at 4.08 p.m.

Mr Humphrey left the meeting at 4.46 p.m.

Representatives from Belfast City Council, Alderman Christopher Stalford, Mr John McGrillen and Ms Laura Leonard briefed the Committee on Belfast City Council’s current and future European activity. A question and answer session followed.

Representatives from Belfast City Council left the meeting at 4.49 p.m.

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 6 June 2012 at 2 p.m.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.50 p.m.

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

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