Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Venue: Room 144

1.00pm  The meeting opened in public session. 

1. Apologies

None.  

2. Draft Minutes of the meeting held on 24 April 2012  

Agreed: Members agreed the draft minutes of the meeting held on 24 April 2012. 

3. Matters Arising

The Chairperson advised Members that the draft amendments to Standing Orders, to reflect establishing the number and membership of statutory committees during the course of a mandate, had not yet been finalised and would be considered at the meeting scheduled for 26 June 2012.

4. Amendments to Standing Order 49A

The Committee considered proposed amendments to delete Standing Order 49A(1), as it is now spent and to amend Standing Order 49A(2) to take account of the change in terminology, from “District Policing Partnership” to “Policing and Community Safety Partnership” and “District Policing and Community Safety Partnership”, in the Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the amendments and the motion to amend Standing Order 49A.

5. Review of Standing Orders 48 and 49

1.03pm  Mr Clarke joined the meeting.

The Committee considered a letter from the Speaker, asking it to consider whether Standing Orders 48 and 49 are sufficiently transparent in relation to whether a committee chairperson, or deputy chairperson, ceases to be a member of a committee if they stand down from the role.

Agreed: It was agreed that the procedures set out in Standing Orders 48 and 49 are sufficiently clear and transparent in relation to this issue and do not, therefore, need to be amended.  The Speaker will be informed accordingly.

6. Departmental performance on Written Assembly Questions

1.07pm  Mr Allister joined the meeting.

1.07pm  Ms Ramsey joined the meeting.

The Committee considered the Speaker’s response (including his recent correspondence with the junior Ministers) in relation to its concerns about departmental performance on answering written Assembly Questions.

Agreed: It was agreed to invite the junior Ministers to a Committee meeting to discuss a number of issues relating to written Assembly Questions. 

Agreed: As the junior Ministers are not available to attend the meeting scheduled for 26 June 2012, it was agreed to have a separate single topic meeting with the junior Ministers on another date before summer recess, if possible.

7. Handling of individual groupings of Members in other legislatures

1.19pm  Mr Lyttle joined the meeting.

The Committee considered a paper by the Research and Information Service, outlining how independent Members and single party Members are dealt with in some other legislatures.

The Research Officer answered Members’ questions on the  paper.

1.28pm  Ms Ramsey left the meeting.

Mr Allister indicated that he may bring a proposal to a future meeting.

8. Legislative Competence of Bills

The Chairperson advised Members that the Committee for Justice had written to the previous Committee on Procedures about the legislative competence of Bills at Final Stage.

The Chairperson explained the background to the issue and informed Members that it is currently being considered by officials in other parts of the Assembly Secretariat and, that when this is complete, the matter would be brought back to the Committee for its consideration.

The Committee noted the position.

9. Forward Work Programme

The Committee was content with the Forward Work Programme.

10. Correspondence

There was no other correspondence.

11. Any other Business

None.

12. Date, time and place of next meeting

It was agreed that the Clerk would inform Members of the date and time of the meeting with the junior Ministers.  The next scheduled meeting will take place on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 at 1.00pm in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.

1.36pm  The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.

Gerry Kelly
Chairperson, Committee on Procedures
26 June 2012

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