Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 10 December 2012
Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings
The meeting commenced at 2.31 pm in closed session
Paula Bradley joined the meeting at 2.33p.m.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to express its disappointment that the Equality Unit had not responded to its invitation to provide an oral briefing. The Committee further agreed to request a written briefing on the role and remit of the Equality Unit in relation to Primary legislation generally, and, in particular, in relation to the Welfare Reform Bill.
2.36 p.m. The meeting moved into public session.
Apologies are detailed above.
2. Chairpersons Business
The Chairperson advised Members that, together with the Deputy Chairperson, he had travelled to London to meet with the Chairperson of the Westminster Joint Committee on Human Rights, Dr Hywel Francis on Wednesday 5th December 2012.
Peter Weir left the meeting at 2.38pm.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Westminster Joint Committee to ask its Members to consider how best they might widen their scrutiny to include the specific circumstances of the devolved regions.
Peter Weir re- joined the meeting at 2.41p.m.
3. Matters Arising
There were no matters arising.
4. Draft Minutes of the meeting of 3rd December 2012 and 4th December 2012
Agreed: The draft minutes of the meetings held on 3rd December 2012 and 4th December 2012 were agreed by the Committee.
5. Briefing from the Law Centre Northern Ireland
The Law Centre NI representative joined the meeting at 2.42p.m.
Mr Les Allamby, Executive Director, provided the Committee with the views of the Law Centre NI on the Conformity of the Welfare Reform Bill with Equality Requirements.
Tom Elliott joined the meeting at 2.44p.m
David McIlveen joined the meeting at 2.52p.m
Lord Morrow joined the meeting at 2.59p.m
David McIlveen left the meeting at 3.26p.m
Lord Morrow left the meeting at 3.43p.m
The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.
The Law Centre NI representative left the meeting at 3.30p.m.
6. Briefing from the Equality Unit, OFMDFM
The scheduled briefing from the Equality Unit did not take place.
7. Forward Work Programme
The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 7.
The Committee noted the draft Forward Work Programme.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to request that the Department for Social Development provide the Committee with a draft plan including a timetable for publishing the Regulations and guidelines due to be made under the Bill.
8. Any Other Business
The Committee noted an invitation to the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson to attend a dinner hosted by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission to mark the launch of its Annual Statement 2012.
9. Time, date and place of next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Tuesday, 11th December 2012 in Room 29 at 1.30pm.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.21pm.
Mr Trevor Lunn MLA
Chairperson, Ad Hoc Committee on Conformity of Equalities Requirements, Welfare Reform Bill
Monday 7th January 2013