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Minutes of Proceedings - 24 November 2010

Present: 
Mr Fred Cobain MLA (Chairperson) 
Mr John Dallat MLA 
Mr Paul Givan MLA 
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA 
Mr Daithi McKay MLA 
Mr Jim Wells MLA

In Attendance: 
Mrs Shauna Mageean (Assembly Clerk) 
Mr Damien Martin (Clerk Assistant) 
Mrs Sian Woodward (Assembly Bill Clerk) (Item 3) 
Mr Ray McCaffrey (Assembly Research Officer) (Item 11) 
Mrs Hilary Bogle (Assistant Clerk) 
Mr Michael Greer (Clerical Supervisor) 
Mr Christopher McNickle (Clerical Officer)

Apologies:
Ms Sue Ramsey MLA

The meeting commenced at 2.03pm in private session – the Clerk in the Chair.

1. Apologies

Apologies as listed above.

2. Election of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson

The Clerk called for nominations for the position of Committee Chairperson. Mr Wells proposed that: Mr Cobain be Chairperson of the Committee. Mr Dallat seconded this and the nomination was accepted.

On there being no further nominations the Clerk put the question without debate.

Agreed: the Committee agreed that Mr Cobain, being the only candidate proposed, be Chairperson of this Committee.

2.05pm Mr Cobain in the Chair.

The Chairperson thanked members for their support and sought nominations for the position of Committee Deputy Chairperson. Mr McKay proposed that: Ms Sue Ramsey be the Deputy Chairperson of this Committee. Mr McCarthy seconded this. The Clerk indicated that written acceptance of the nomination would be sought from Ms Ramsey.

2.07pm Mr Givan joined the meeting.

2.07pm

3. Briefing from the Bill Office

The Chairperson welcomed Mrs Sian Woodward, Assembly Bill Clerk and invited her to brief the Committee on the role of the Committee in handling legislation.

2.12pm The Chairperson thanked Mrs Woodward for attending the meeting.

2.12pm The Committee moved into public session

4. Chairperson’s Introduction

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

5. 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.

Agreed: Mr Wells and Mr Dallat declared an interest as Trustees of the Assembly Members’ Pension Scheme. Following discussion the Committee agreed that the Clerk should seek clarification on this issue for consideration at the next meeting of the Committee.

2.15pm Mr Wells left the meeting.

6. Committee Secretariat Details

The Chairperson introduced the Committee staff to the members of the Committee and Members noted the staff contact details.

7. Committee Procedures

The Chairperson referred members to a memorandum from the Committee Clerk on the procedures of the Committee contained in their briefing papers and reminded members of the rules relating to privilege and sub-judice.

Agreed: Voting - the Committee agreed that all decisions shall be made by a simple majority vote by showing of hands unless a member requests otherwise.

Agreed: Witnesses – the Committee agreed that the Committee should call for evidence from interested bodies.

Agreed: Deputies - the Committee agreed to permit the nomination of one deputy per member to attend in the event that the appointed member is unable to attend the Committee meeting.

8. Background Papers and copy of the Assembly Members (Independent Financial Review and Standards) Bill

Members noted the background briefing papers.

9. Committee Forward Work Programme

The Committee noted a memorandum from the Committee Clerk setting out a proposed forward work programme.

The Committee noted that the Committee is to report to the Assembly by 25 th January 2011.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the schedule of evidence sessions during the period Monday 29 th November 2010 to Wednesday 8th December 2010.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek written and oral evidence from the organisations listed in the memorandum.

10. Draft Press Release

Agreed: The Committee agreed the draft Press Release.

2.25pm

11. Briefing – Assembly Library and Research Service

Members noted the research paper on the Bill prepared by the Assembly Library and Research Service.

The Chairperson welcomed Mr Ray McCaffrey, Assembly Research Officer and invited him to brief the Committee on the research paper.

2.43pm Following the briefing the Chairperson thanked Mr McCaffrey for attending the meeting.

12. Any other business

There was no other business.

13. Time, date and place of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Monday, 29th November 2010 at 1.30pm in Senate Chamber.

Members noted that the meeting will adjourn at 2.30pm for Question Time and reconvene at 3.30pm and that the Committee will be taking oral evidence on the Bill from the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission and from the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee on Standards and Privileges.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 2.45pm.

Mr Fred Cobain MLA
Chairperson, Ad Hoc Committee
29th November, 2010.

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