Minutes of Proceedings - 17 January 2011

Present: 
Mr Fred Cobain MLA (Chairperson)
Ms Sue Ramsey MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Paul Givan MLA
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA
Mr Conall McDevitt MLA (deputising for Mr John Dallat MLA)
Mr Daithí McKay MLA
Mr Jim Wells MLA

In Attendance: 
Mrs Shauna Mageean (Assembly Clerk)
Mrs Sîan Woodward (Assembly Bill Clerk) 
Mrs Hilary Bogle (Assistant Clerk) 
Mr Michael Greer (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr Christopher McNickle (Clerical Officer)

Apologies: 
Mr John Dallat.

3.42pm The meeting commenced in public session

1. Chairperson’s Introduction

The Chairperson welcomed members to the fifth meeting of the Ad hoc Committee and provided an overview of the day’s business.

2. Apologies

Apology as listed above.

3. Declaration of Interests

The Chairperson reminded members of their obligation to declare any relevant financial or other interests which are likely to be relevant to a substantial part of the work which the committee may be required to undertake.

4. Draft minutes of the meetings held on 13th December 2010

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting held on 13 th December 2010 were agreed by the Committee.

5. Matters arising

There were no matters arising.

6. Proposed Amendments to Schedules of the Bill

Members noted a Paper setting out the amendments proposed to the Schedules of the Bill.

The Chairperson welcomed Mr Paul Gill, Clerk to the Committee on Standards and Privileges; Mr Hugh Widdis, Director Legal Services; and Ms Tara Caul, Senior Legal Adviser and invited them to brief the Committee on the proposed amendments to the Schedules.

Following a question and answer session the Chairperson thanked the witnesses for attending the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the amendments proposed to Schedules 1 and 3 in relation to the insertion of the Attorney General into the list of disqualifications and the amended definition of ‘family member’.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the amendments proposed by the Committee on Standards and Privileges to Schedule 4: Firstly at paragraph 6 (2), page 19, line 21 – leave out ‘particular’. Secondly at paragraph 6 (2)(b), page 19, line 24, to now read “by notifying the Commissioner that liabilities may be incurred of such description and maximum total amount as may be specified in the notification.” and leave out lines 26-29.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the amendments proposed by the Assembly Commission to Schedule 5 – at paragraph 1, page 20, line 13. Leave out ‘the Schedule’ and insert ‘Schedule 1’.

7. Formal Scrutiny of Schedules

Schedule 1 – Disqualification from Membership of the Panel

“Question: That the Committee is content with Schedule 1 subject to the two amendments proposed by the Assembly Commission put and agreed to”.

Schedule 2 – Panel: Administrative and Financial Arrangements

“Question: That the Committee is content with Schedule 2 as drafted put and agreed to”.

Schedule 3 – Disqualification from being appointed or serving as the Commissioner

“Question: That the Committee is content with Schedule 3 subject to the two amendments proposed by the Assembly Committee on Standards and Privileges put and agreed to”.

Schedule 4 – Commissioner: Further provision

“Question: That the Committee is content with Schedule 4 subject to the two amendments proposed by the Committee on Standards and Privileges put and agreed to”.

Schedule 5 – Consequential amendments

“Question: That the Committee is content with Schedule 5 subject to the amendment proposed by the Assembly Commission put and agreed to”.

Long Title

“Question: That the Committee is content with the long title of the Bill as drafted put and agreed to”.

Members noted that this concluded the formal clause by clause scrutiny of the Bill.

8. Consideration of Draft Committee Report

Introduction

Agreed: The Committee agreed the contents of pages 11 and 12 should form part of the Report.

Consideration of the Bill

Agreed: The Committee agreed the contents of pages 13 – 16 should form part of the Report.

Key Issues

Agreed: The Committee agreed the contents of pages 17 and 18 should form part of the Report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the contents of pages 19 and 20 should form part of the Report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the revised text in paragraphs 125-134 on page 22 should form part of the Report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the contents of pages 21 and 22 should form part of the Report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the contents of pages 23 and 24 should form part of the Report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the contents of pages 25, 26 and 27 should form part of the Report.

Clause by Clause Scrutiny

Agreed: The Committee agreed the contents of pages 28-32 should form part of the Report.

Appendices

Agreed: The Committee agreed Appendix 1 ‘Minutes of Proceedings’ of every meeting of the Committee should form part of the Report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed Appendix 2 ‘Minutes of Evidence’ should form part of the Report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed Appendix 3 ‘Written Submissions’ should form part of the Report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed Appendix 4 ‘Other Evidence’ should form part of the Report.

Executive Summary

Agreed: The Committee agreed the revised text for paragraphs 27-33 should form part of the Report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the contents of pages 1-9 taking into account the revised text should form part of the Report.

Recommendations

Agreed: The Committee agreed the contents of page 10 should form part of the Report.

Membership and Powers and Table of Contents

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Membership and Powers and Table of Contents should form part of the Report.

Members noted that details of the amendments to the Schedules agreed at today’s meeting will be included in the report and additions or amendments to the report will be agreed at the next meeting and the final report signed off.

9. Any other business

There was no other business.

10. Time, date and place of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Wednesday, 19 th January at 2.00pm in the Room 29.

4.02pm The Chairperson adjourned the meeting

Mr Fred Cobain MLA
Chairperson, Ad Hoc Committee
19 th January, 2011

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