Minutes of Proceedings
Date: Wednesday, 05 October 2011
Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings
The meeting commenced at 1.15pm in open session.
The Chairperson welcomed Committee Members to the meeting. The Chairperson welcomed Mrs Overend, who replaced Mr Copeland, to the meeting.
Agreed: Members agreed that the Chairperson should write to Mr Copeland expressing the Committee’s appreciation for his contribution to the work of the Committee.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the meeting should move into closed session when considering the legal advice under agenda Item 5 – Update on the Appointment of an Assembly Commissioner for Standards.
2. Declaration of Interests
Members noted the ‘Declaration of Interests’ for each member of the Committee as published in the Register of Members’ 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 29th June 2011
Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting held on 29th June 2011 were agreed by the Committee.
4. Matters arising
There were no matters arising.
1.18pm Mr McCann joined the meeting
5. Update on the appointment of an Assembly Commissioner for Standards
The Committee noted the Clerk’s Paper, Legal Advice and correspondence received from the interim Assembly Commissioner for Standards.
The Chairperson briefed the Committee on the Appointment of the Commissioner.
The Clerk briefed the Committee on the Resources for the Commissioner; Directions and Standing Orders; and Transitional Arrangements.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to commission a research paper and legal advice on the Directions and Standing Orders.
1.25pm the meeting moved into closed session
The Chairperson welcomed Ms Tara Caul, Legal Adviser, Assembly Legal Services and invited her to brief the Committee.
Following discussion the Chairperson thanked Ms Caul for attending the meeting.
Agreed: The Committee agreed the wording of a letter to issue from the Chairperson to the interim Assembly Commissioner for Standards.
1.38pm the meeting returned to open session
6. Update on All-Party Groups
The Clerk briefed the Committee on the background to this agenda item.
Agreed: Following discussion the Committee agreed that the Clerk should write to the five All-Party Groups who had not responded to inform them that the groups would be dissolved and would be removed from the Register of All-Party Groups.
7. Presentation by the Electoral Commission on ‘Regulation of Political Donations in Northern Ireland’
Members noted correspondence dated 3 rd October 201l from the Electoral Commission inviting all Members and their support staff to attend an awareness session on ‘Regulation of Political Donations in Northern Ireland’ together with the Programme for the event. The Committee also noted that the Clerk would be writing to all Members informing them of the awareness session and forwarding a copy of the invitation from the Electoral Commission.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk should also write to Party Whips informing them of the awareness session.
8. Any other business
All-Party Group on Muscular Dystrophy
Agreed: Members noted the Registration Form for the formation of an All-Party Group on Muscular Dystrophy and approved its formation.
Questionnaire on the potential use of electronic committee packs
The Chairperson referred members to the tabled questionnaire on the potential use of electronic committee packs and requested that they complete it if they had not already done so in another Committee.
9. Time, date and place of next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Wednesday 26 th October 2011 at 1.15pm in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.43pm.
Mr Alastair Ross MLA
Chairperson, Committee on Standards and Privileges
26th October 2011