Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Wednesday, 05 June 2013
Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings
The meeting commenced at 1.30pm in closed session.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the meeting should be held in closed session as the Committee was considering two draft Committee reports on complaints against two Members.
The Committee moved into closed session
The Chairperson welcomed Committee members to the meeting.
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 22nd May 2013.
Agreed: The draft (amended) minutes of the meeting held on 22nd May 2013 were agreed by the Committee.
4. Matters arising
There were no matters arising.
1.32pm Mr Sydney Anderson joined the meeting
1.32pm Mr Cathal Boylan joined the meeting
5. Correspondence from the Assembly Commissioner for Standards on a complaint against a Member
Members noted the Clerk’s Paper and correspondence from the Assembly Commissioner for Standards.
1.34pm Mr Fra McCann joined the meeting
The Chairperson welcomed Mr Douglas Bain, Assembly Commissioner for Standards to the meeting and invited him to brief the committee on this issue.
1.36pm Ms Paula Bradley joined the meeting
Following discussion the Chairperson thanked Mr Douglas Bain for attending the meeting.
Agreed: The Committee agreed with the Assembly Commissioner’s conclusion that the complaint is inadmissible and that the Clerk should write to the Assembly Commissioner, the complainant and the Member complained of informing them of the Committee’s decision.
6. Report from the Assembly Commissioner for Standards on a complaint against a Member
The Chairperson, Mr Alastair Ross and Mr Fra McCann declared an interest in this item as members of the Committee on Employment and Learning at the time when the conduct complained about occurred. Neither Mr Ross nor Mr McCann participated in the Committee’s consideration of this complaint.
Agreed: Members discussed and agreed the draft Committee Report and ordered that the report be printed today.
7. Report from the Assembly Commissioner for Standards on a complaint against a Member
Members noted that, as agreed at the last meeting, the Clerk had drafted a Committee report for the Committee’s consideration.
Agreed: Members discussed and agreed the draft Committee Report (as amended) and ordered that the report be printed today.
Agreed: Members agreed that the Clerk should write to the complainant and the Member complained of informing them of the Committee’s decision and forwarding a copy of the Committee’s Report to them.
Agreed: Members agreed that the Clerk should write to the Assembly Commissioner for Standards informing him of the Committee’s decision.
8. Correspondence from the Assembly Commissioner for Standards re: Guidance as to the Scope of the Code of Conduct in relation to Criminal conduct
Members noted correspondence from the Assembly Commissioner for Standards which had been considered at the last meeting of the Committee.
Agreed: Following discussion the Committee agreed that –
1. the criminal conduct of a member, other than when discharging his or her duties as a Member, cannot constitute a breach of the current Code; and
2. that this issue should be considered further during the forthcoming review of the Code of Conduct.
9. Allegations of misconduct at Westminster
In light of the allegations of misconduct at Westminster, the Chairperson invited the Clerk to update the Committee on the position at the Assembly in relation to these issues.
10. Any other business
Agreed: The Committee discussed the distribution of confidential Committee packs which members have to sign for. The Committee agreed that committee office staff should email members twenty-four hours before a meeting to let members know that packs can be collected from the committee office.
11. Time, date and place of next meeting
Committee office staff will notify Members of the date of the next Committee meeting.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 2.19pm.
Mr Alastair Ross MLA
Chairperson, Committee on Standards and Privileges
11th September 2013