Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Wednesday, 03 October 2012

Venue: Room 144, Parliament Buildings

The meeting commenced at 1.30pm in closed session.          

Chairperson’s Introduction

Agreed:  The Committee agreed that the meeting should be held in closed session.

The Chairperson welcomed Committee Members to the meeting.  The Chairperson also extended a welcome to Mr Francie Molloy to his first meeting of the Committee.

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. Declaration of Interests

The Chairperson reminded Members of their obligation to declare any relevant financial or other interests before and during each Committee meeting.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 19th September 2012

Agreed:  The draft minutes of the meeting held on 19th September 2012 were agreed by the Committee. 

4. Matters arising 

The Chairperson thanked those Members who had attended the meeting with the Committee on Standards in Public Life on 24th September 2012.

1.35pm Mr Agnew joined the meeting

5. Further consideration of two complaints against a Member

Members noted the Clerk’s Paper and the Assembly Research Paper.

1.40pm Mr Eastwood joined the meeting

The Clerk updated the Committee on this issue.

Following discussion Mr Boylan proposed that the Committee recommend to the Assembly that it impose upon the Member the sanction of exclusion from proceedings of the Assembly for a period of seven days.

The Chairperson put the question that the Committee recommend to the Assembly that it impose upon the Member the sanction of exclusion from proceedings of the Assembly for a period of seven days.

AYES                                         NOES                                     ABSTENTION

Mr Steven Agnew                   Ms Paula Bradley                    None
Mr Cathal Boylan                    Mr Jonathan Craig
Mr Colum Eastwood               Mr David McIlveen
Mr Fra McCann                       Mr Alastair Ross
Mr Kieran McCarthy              Mrs Sandra Overend
Mr Francie Molloy

The motion was carried.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed that the Clerk should draft a report for consideration by the Committee at its next meeting.

1.50pm Mr Eastwood left the meeting

6. Directions for the Northern Ireland Assembly Commissioner for Standards

The Committee noted the Clerk’s Paper; the Legal Advice; and the Assembly Research Paper.

The Clerk briefed the Committee on this issue.  The Committee noted that it could refer matters in relation to former Members to the Commissioner for investigation under Standing Order 69A(5).

Following discussion the Chairperson put the question that, subject to further legal advice, the directions should provide that the Commissioner should not accept complaints against or initiate investigations into former Members.

AYES                                     NOES                                     ABSTENTION

Mr Cathal Boylan                    Mr Steven Agnew                   None
Ms Paula Bradley                    Mr Kieran McCarthy
Mr Jonathan Craig                  Mrs Sandra Overend
Mr David McIlveen
Mr Francie Molloy                 
Mr Fra McCann                     
Mr Alastair Ross

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk should draft directions based on its position and then seek legal advice in order to ensure the directions were lawful and procedurally fair.  The Committee would then formally agree the directions after having addressed any issues raised in the legal advice.

7. Correspondence from the former interim Assembly Commissioner for Standards

Agreed:  The Committee noted correspondence for the former interim Assembly Commissioner for Standards and agreed that no further action should be taken.

8. Any other business

The Committee noted that Members’ attendance figures for the previous session have been placed on the Committee’s page on the Assembly website.

9.  Time, date and place of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Wednesday, 17th October 2012 in Room 21 at 1.30pm (lunch will be available from 1.15pm).

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 2.05pm.

Mr Alastair Ross MLA
Chairperson, Committee on Standards and Privileges
Wednesday 17th October 2012

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