Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Venue: Room 144 Parliament Buildings
1.00pm The meeting opened in public session.
The Chairperson welcomed Mr McElduff to the Committee. Mr McElduff confirmed that he had no financial or other interests, relevant to the work of the Committee, to declare.
2. Draft Minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2012
Agreed : Members agreed the draft minutes of the meeting held on
27 November 2012.
3. Matters Arising
The Chairperson informed Members that legal advice had been sought in
relation to the query surrounding the procedures set out in Standing Order 60
(regarding the establishment of an ad hoc committee on conformity with
equality requirements), however, the advice would not be available until the
next meeting scheduled for 26 February 2013.
4. Standing Order 32(2) – Reasoned Amendments to Bills
The Committee considered a Research and Information Service briefing paper outlining the timeframe specified in other legislatures before a Bill that has been rejected at Second Stage can be reintroduced.
Agreed: It was agreed to write to the Party Whips seeking their views,
and to also seek the views of other stakeholders such as the Bill
Office, Business Office and OFMDFM.
5. Attorney General participation in the proceedings of the Assembly
The Committee considered correspondence from the Chairperson of the Committee for Justice, outlining some issues his Committee had encountered in recent dealings with the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, in relation to his interaction with Assembly committees and participation in the proceedings of the Assembly.
1.06pm Mr Lyttle joined the meeting.
The Committee also considered a briefing paper which advised Members that the previous Committee on Procedures had initiated an inquiry into how the Attorney General will participate in proceedings of the Assembly, however, this was subsequently put on hold pending the outcome of a consultation initiated by the Department of Justice into, inter alia, the powers of the Attorney General. The Chairperson advised Members that the Committee for Justice expected to receive a briefing on the results of the consultation by the end of March 2013.
Agreed: In light of the pressing nature of the issues highlighted in the
correspondence from the Chairperson of the Committee for
Justice, it was agreed to include these items in and proceed with
the inquiry into the participation of the Attorney General for
Northern Ireland in the proceedings of the Assembly.
Agreed: The Committee was content with the suggested way forward
for the inquiry, as outlined in the briefing paper, and the Clerk
was asked to prepare an inquiry plan (including draft Terms of
Reference), and to take forward the other actions in the paper,
for consideration at the meeting scheduled for 26 February
6. Amending Bills after Further Consideration Stage – briefing from the
1.08pm Patricia Casey and Éilis Haughey from the Bill Office joined the
meeting and briefed Members on the further paper it had provided on
amending Bills after Further Consideration Stage. This was followed by a
question and answer session.
1.17pm Mr Storey joined the meeting.
Agreed: The Committee agreed with the recommendations and
proposed next steps contained in the briefing paper.
1.46pm The Chairperson thanked Ms Casey and Ms Haughey for the
briefing, and they left the meeting.
7. Inquiry into Topical Questions
The Committee discussed some outstanding issues on its inquiry into Topical
2.01pm Mr Allister left the meeting.
2.02pm Mr Storey left the meeting.
The Committee also discussed the situation where an Urgent Oral Question is
selected to a Minister who is scheduled for Topical Question Time on the
Agreed: It was agreed that the Clerk should explore the feasibility of an Urgent Oral Question in this scenario being taken before Topical Question Time.
Agreed: It was agreed to consider this matter and any other outstanding
issues at the next meeting scheduled for 26 February 2013.
8. Review of Forward Work Programme
The Chairperson advised Members that the briefing by the European Project
Manager on Subsidiarity Monitoring had been deferred until the meeting
scheduled for 19 March 2013.
The Committee was content with the Forward Work Programme.
There was no other correspondence.
10. Any other Business
11. Date, time and place of next meeting
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Committee would take place on
26 February 2013 at 1.00pm in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.
2.06pm The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.
Chairperson, Committee on Procedures
26 February 2013