Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Wednesday, 01 June 2011
Venue: Room 30
The meeting opened in public session at 2.03 p.m.
2. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 25 May 2011
Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 25 May 2011 were agreed by the Committee.
3. Matters Arising
The Committee considered the previous Committee’s Legacy Report and the issues that it highlighted as priorities.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request further information on the work it has undertaken following the visit of the Barroso Taskforce in March and to request details of all Departments’ input into the draft priorities for European Engagement and how the Department is co-ordinating this work.
Belfast Butterfly Club
The Committee considered a request from the Belfast Butterfly Club to brief the Committee.
Agreed: The Committee agreed the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and any interested Members would meet with the Belfast Butterfly Club and that the Department would be invited to attend.
5. June Monitoring Round and Budget Overview
A Departmental official joined the meeting at 2.10 p.m.
A Departmental official, Mrs Jackie Kerr briefed the Committee on the Department’s June Monitoring Round proposals and provided an overview of the Department’s Budget for 2011-15. A question and answer session followed.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the First Minister and deputy First Minister concerning the on-going review that the Department is undertaking in relation to its Arm’s Length Bodies and to highlight the need that this review goes further and looks at all public bodies across the Executive and how services may be provided in a more cost effective and joined up approach. The Committee also agreed to write to all statutory committees to highlight this issue.
The Departmental official left the meeting at 2.45 p.m.
6. Equality, Good Relations and Economic Policy Unit
Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.46 p.m.
Departmental officials, Mr Tim Losty and Mr Colin Jack briefed the Committee on the priorities of the Equality, Good Relations and Economic Policy Unit Directorate. A question and answer session followed.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 3.52 p.m.
7. Proposals to Update and Reform the Office of the Ombudsman
Mr Spratt left the meeting at 3.55 p.m.
A Researcher from the Assembly’s Research and Library Service briefed the Committee on their Research paper on issues raised during the previous Committee’s consultation on proposals to update and reform the Office of the Ombudsman. The Chairperson advised Members that the Ombudsmen from Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland will be briefing the Committee at its meeting on 15 June 2011.
8. Any Other Business
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Committee considered correspondence from the Department advising that the UK Office for Disability Issues has commenced a public consultation on the UK response to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which included a report from Northern Ireland.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request a briefing from the Department on this issue following the completion of the consultation period.
Mr Spratt re-joined the meeting at 4.07 p.m.
The Committee considered correspondence from Early Years inviting the Committee to a seminar on the practical implementation of early intervention policies on 8 June 2011.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Early Years to advise that Members would be unable to attend the seminar due to a prior arranged visit and to request a copy of the papers from the seminar.
The Committee noted a copy of a press release issued by the Department concerning constitutional and policy reform at the trilateral meeting with the other devolved governments in Edinburgh.
Forward Work Programme
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Chief Electoral Officer to request a briefing in relation to legislation to bring elections under the remit of the Assembly.
9. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will be at the Maze/Long Kesh Site on Wednesday 8 June 2011 at 2 p.m.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.10 p.m.
Mr Tom Elliott MLA
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister