Minutes of Proceedings - 06 December 2007
Present: Mr Roy Beggs MLA (Deputy)
Mr Alex Easton MLA (Deputy)
Dr Stephen Farry MLA
Mr Declan O’Loan MLA
Ms Sue Ramsey MLA
Mr Alastair Ross MLA
In Attendance: Mr Denis Arnold (Assembly Clerk)
Mr Neil Currie (Assistant Assembly Clerk)
Mr Roger Kernaghan (Clerical Officer)
Apologies: Mr Mickey Brady MLA
Rev Dr Robert Coulter MLA
Mrs Dolores Kelly MLA
Ms Jennifer McCann MLA
Mr John McCallister MLA
Mrs Iris Robinson MP MLA
Mr Jim Wells MLA
The meeting opened at 10.35am in closed session with the Clerk in the Chair.
Apologies are detailed above. Mr Easton attended in place of Mrs Robinson. Mr Beggs attended in place of Rev Dr Coulter.
2. Election of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson
As a large number of Members were unable to attend this first meeting the Clerk proposed, as an interim measure, that a temporary Chairperson be nominated.
Agreed – It was agreed that a temporary Chairperson should be nominated.
The Clerk then called for nominations for the position of temporary Chairperson. Mr Easton proposed Dr Farry. Mr Beggs seconded this proposal and Dr Farry accepted the nomination.
There being no further nominations, the Clerk put the question without debate.
Question put and agreed:
That Dr Farry be temporary Chairperson of this Committee.
Agreed – It was agreed that a permanent Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson would be elected at the next meeting.
The meeting was suspended at 10.38am in order for the Clerk to brief Dr Farry.
The meeting resumed at 10.42am with Dr Farry in the Chair.
The meeting moved into public session at 10.42am.
Members noted the composition of the Committee and the Chairperson introduced the other Committee Office staff.
The Chairperson advised Members that previous Ad Hoc Committees had allowed deputies to stand in where Members could not attend.
Agreed – It was agreed that that nominated Members should try their best to attend meetings to ensure continuity, especially given the Committee’s very tight timescale, but that deputies could attend in their place.
3. Declaration of Interests
The Chairperson reminded Members that the Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members requires that, before the first meeting of a Committee, Members must send to the Committee Clerk details of any interests, financial or otherwise, for circulation to the Committee.
The Chairperson invited Members to declare any interests and to forward their Declaration of Interests in writing to the Committee Clerk.
4. Forward work programme
The Clerk gave a brief outline of the current NIO position in terms of consultation on the Draft Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2007 and the Committee’s role in this. The Clerk also advised that Assembly Research staff had been asked to provide a briefing paper for Members on the provisions of the Draft Order.
Agreed – It was agreed that Research staff should give an oral briefing on their paper at the next meeting.
Agreed – It was agreed that Minister Paul Goggins MP and/or NIO officials should be invited to brief the Committee at its next meeting on the provisions of the Draft Order.
Agreed – It was agreed that the NIO consultation list should be obtained and to consider at the next meeting which organisations should be invited to give oral evidence.
5. Draft Public Notice
Agreed – The Committee agreed a public notice to be placed in the local press seeking written submissions on the proposed legislation.
6. Any other business
7. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Draft Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2007 will be held on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 10.30am in Parliament Buildings. The venue would be advised.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11.00am.