Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Wednesday, 03 October 2012
Venue: Room 144, Parliament Buildings
The meeting commenced at 1.30pm in closed session.
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.
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