Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Wednesday, 08 February 2012
Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings
The meeting opened in public session at 2.04 p.m.
1. Chairperson’s Business
NI Human Rights Commission
The Committee considered a request from the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission to brief the Committee on the Assembly’s scrutiny of human rights.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule the briefing into its forward work programme.
Victims and Survivors Service Briefing
The Committee noted correspondence from the Department advising that today’s scheduled briefing on the Victims and Survivors Service will not proceed as junior Ministers will be making a statement to the Assembly on the Service on Monday.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to reschedule the briefing for next week.
The Committee noted the list of current invitations.
Community Relations Event
The Committee considered the format for the Community Relations Event it will be holding on Wednesday 28 March 2012. The Chairperson advised Members that he will be meeting with the Chair of the Community Relations Council to discuss the event.
St Patrick’s Day
The Chairperson advised Members that he and the Deputy Chairperson had received an invitation from the First Minister and deputy First Minister to attend the Northern Ireland Bureau’s St Patrick’s Day Reception and a number of other events and that it was their intention to accept the invitation.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson would attend the St Patrick’s Day events in Washington.
2. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 1 February 2012
Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 1 February 2012 was agreed by the Committee.
3. Matters Arising
List of Outstanding Issues
The Committee noted the list of outstanding issues.
The Committee noted the reply from the Department in relation to the outstanding responses from June concerning victims and survivors issues.
Committee for Social Development
The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Social Development in relation to the Belfast Butterfly Club.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department for its comments.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward a response from the Department concerning the Childcare Strategy to the Committee for Social Development.
The Committee considered correspondence from the House of Lords EU Committee highlighting a possible subsidiarity issue in relation to a Proposal on an EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek its view on this issue.
Mr Eastwood joined the meeting at 2.16 p.m.
Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM)
The Committee noted a copy of NICEM’s report on the Filipino Community in Northern Ireland.
North Belfast Interface Network
The Committee noted a copy of the Annual Report of the North Belfast Interface Network.
The Committee noted an invitation from Mr Mervyn Storey MLA to attend a STEM in Action Event on Thursday 1 March 2012.
Mr Clarke joined the meeting at 2.18 p.m.
Women in Politics
The Committee considered correspondence from Women in Politics in relation to their application for funding to OFMDFM.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification on the handling of this application.
Committee for Justice
The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Justice in relation to its review of Judicial Appointments in Northern Ireland.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request that the Committee be copied into the Department’s response to the Committee for Justice.
5. The Equality Commission Northern Ireland
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland joined the meeting at 2.20 p.m.
Ms Evelyn Collins, Mr Darren McKinstry and Mrs Roisin Mallon from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland briefed the Committee on the legislative gaps in relation to disability and race. A question and answer session followed.
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland left the meeting at 3.15 p.m.
6. Programme for Government
The Committee considered further its response to the draft Programme for Government and the responses of other statutory committees.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that it would not table a motion for a “Take Note” debate on its report as the debate on the final Programme for Government was scheduled for 12 March 2012.
Mr Humphrey left the meeting at 3.42 p.m.
Agreed: The Committee agreed a number of amendments to the report and agreed that it would finalise its report at next week’s meeting.
Mr Eastwood left the meeting at 4.00 p.m.
7. Any Other Business
Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted the amended Forward Work Programme which had been tabled.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that it would not hold a formal meeting during its visit to Shackleton Barracks on 29 February 2011. The Committee also agreed that the visit would commence at 2.30 p.m.
8. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will be in Room 30, Parliament Buildings on Wednesday 15 February 2012 at 2 p.m.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.09 p.m.
Mr Tom Elliott MLA
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister