ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Venue: Room 144, Parliament Buildings

The meeting commenced at 1.17pm in open session.

Chairperson’s Introduction

The Chairperson welcomed Committee Members to the meeting. 

1. Apologies

As detailed above.

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.

Mr McIlveen declared an interest in Agenda Item 6 as Chairperson of the proposed All-Party Group on Tourism.

3. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 26th October 2011

Agreed:  The draft minutes of the meeting held on 26th October 2011 were agreed by the Committee. 

4. Matters arising

The Clerk informed the Committee that further to its correspondence on amendments to Standing Orders, the Committee on Procedures had agreed to take forward the amendments as requested and bring amended Standing Orders before the Assembly.

5. Consideration of Directions for the Northern Ireland Assembly Commissioner for Standards

1.19pm Mr McCarthy joined the meeting.

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

The Clerk briefed the Committee on the issues.

Following discussion the Committee –

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it would give further consideration to the question of whether a complaint must be made within one year from the date when the complainant could reasonably have become aware of the conduct complained about.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed that the Clerk should request legal advice and a research paper in order to inform further consideration on whether the admissibility criteria should allow for investigations into the conduct of former Members.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed that other matters set out in the Clerk’s paper should be included in the draft directions to be formally agreed by the Committee at a later date. 

1.38pm Mr Doherty left the meeting

6. Application for an All-Party Group on Tourism and an All-Party Group on European Environmental Regulations, Directives and Decisions

Agreed:  Members noted the Registration Form for the formation of an All-Party Group on Tourism and approved its formation.

Agreed:  Members noted the tabled Registration Form for the formation of an All-Party Group on European Environmental Regulations, Directives and Decisions and approved its formation.

7. Correspondence from the interim Commissioner for Standards

Members noted tabled correspondence from the office of the interim Assembly Commissioner for Standards and the Chairperson, Chairpersons’ Liaison Group.

Agreed:  Following discussion the Committee agreed that the Clerk should write to the interim Assembly Commissioner for Standards to confirm –

(a)    that the Committee has agreed to extend the terms of reference in relation to the investigation into the leaked PAC Report to include recommendations of a systemic nature in relation to the protection of information and documents more generally; and

(b)   to request an update on the likely timescales in relation to this investigation.

8. Any other business

Agreed:  Members agreed to issue Christmas cards to those named in the distribution list in Members’ Committee meeting packs.

Members noted copy correspondence from NIPSA to the Speaker on the 30th

November 2011 – Public Service Strike Action.       

9. Time, date and place of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Wednesday 14th December 2011 at 1.15pm in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.55pm.

Mr Alastair Ross MLA
Chairperson, Committee on Standards and Privileges
14th December 2011

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