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Public Accounts Committee

Minutes of Proceedings - Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Public Accounts Committee Minutes Tuesday 8 March 22.pdf (174.5 kb)

Public Accounts Committee

Minutes of Proceedings

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Meeting Location:  Room 30, Parliament Buildings, Belfast

Present:

Mr William Humphrey MBE MLA (Chairperson)

Mr Roy Beggs MLA (Deputy Chairperson)

Mr Cathal Boylan MLA

Ms Cara Hunter MLA

Mr Andrew Muir MLA

Mr Maolíosa McHugh MLA

Present by Video or Teleconference:

Ms Órlaithí Flynn MLA

 

Apologies: None

 

In Attendance:

Mr Kevin Pelan (Clerk Assistant)

Ms Gillian Barker (Assistant Assembly Clerk)

Ms Suzanne Patton (Clerical Supervisor)

Ms Marion Johnston (Clerical Officer) remotely

 

The following NIAO Officials joined the meeting:

  • Mr Kieran Donnelly CB C&AG; and
  • Mr Rodney Allen, Chief Operating Officer;

 

The following NIAO Official joined the meeting remotely:

  • Mr Kyle Bingham, Assembly Support Officer.

The meeting Opened in Public Session at 3.09 pm.

 

1. Apologies

None

2. Ms Jayne Brady, HOCS – Evidence Session

The following departmental officials joined the meeting:

  • Ms Jayne Brady, HOCS; and
  • Ms Jill Minne, HR DoF

The following departmental officials joined the meeting remotely:

  • Mr David Hughes, DoF and
  • Mr Brett Hannam, Strategic Investment Board

In attendance:

  • Mr Kieran Donnelly CB C&AG
  • Mr Rodney Allen, Chief Operations Officer

The Committee noted the relevant papers:

  • Memo dated 3 March 2022 with suggested questions
  • Hansard dated 9 December 2021 – HOCS evidence session
  • Biographies of the witnesses for Tuesday 8 March 2022

Ms Brady HOCS made an opening statement and there then followed a question and answer session.  The session focused on the four themes of the newly developed NICS Strategic Programme, which is aimed at strengthening the Civil Service: 

Innovation and intelligent risk taking

Developing Capacity and Capability;

Delivery of Services; and

Communication – communicating and collaborating.

The Committee thanked Ms Brady HOCS and her colleagues for attending the meeting and noted the progress of reforming the Northern Ireland Civil Service Board and the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

The Committee noted the new PAC will inevitably request Ms Brady HOCS to update the new Committee on the progress of these reforms.

Ms Órlaithí Flynn MLA left the meeting at 4.12 pm

Ms Cara Hunter MLA left the meeting at 4.25 pm

Ms Cara Hunter MLA re-joined the meeting at 4.32 pm

The meeting went into Closed Session at 4.53 pm 

 

3. Ms Jayne Brady HOCS – Discussion

  • Mr Kieran Donnelly CB C&AG; and
  • Ms Rodney Allen, Chief Operating Officer.

The following NIAO Official joined the meeting remotely:

  • Mr Kyle Bingham, Assembly Support Officer

The Committee discussed the evidence session with the C&AG and welcomed the progress Ms Brady, HOCS is continuing to implement.  The Committee noted many of the reforms being addressed are specific to recommendations coming out of PAC’s recent reports, including: Major Capital Projects; Capacity and Capability; and Impact Review of Special Educational Needs.

The Committee agreed their Legacy Report will make reference to Ms Brady’s two appearances before PAC, recommending that the new PAC continues to receive updates from Ms Brady HOCS, on Civil Service reform.

 

4. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Public Accounts Committee will take place on Thursday 10 March 2022 at 2.00 pm in The Senate.

 

The meeting adjourned at 5.02 pm

 

Mr William Humphrey MBE MLA

Chairperson

Public Accounts Committee

8 March 2022

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