Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 17 April 2012
Venue: Room 29, Parliament Buildings
The meeting opened at 11.04 am. in public session with the Clerk of the Committee in the Chair.
In the absence of the Chairperperson and Deputy Chairperson, the Clerk asked for nominations for a Member to act as temporary Chaiperson for this meeting.
Mr Gregory Campbell moved that Mr Simon Hamilton do take the Chair of the Committee.
Mr Raymond McCartney seconded the motion.
No other nominations were made.
Mr Stewart Dickson joined the meeting at 11.04am.
Mr Simon Hamiltion took the Chair of the Committee at 11.05am.
Apologies are detailed above.
2. Minutes of the last meeting
Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the Committee meeting held on 20th March 2012
3. Matters Arising
There were no matters arising.
4. Review of Parts III and IV of the Northern Ireland Act in the Context of Reviewing the Size of the NI Assembly and the Number of NI Departments.
The Chairperson advised the Members that the purpose of the agenda item was for the Committee to:
- Consider papers on the meeting that the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson had with the First Minister and deputy First Minister on 4th April 2012;
- Consider the written submissions received to date on the Committee’s Review; and
- Consider an Assembly Research Paper entitled ‘Scheduling Parliamentary Time’.
The Clerk briefed the Committee on the papers before Members.
Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson’s meeting with the First Minister and deputy First Minister
The Committee considered the papers on this meeting.
The Committee discussed inviting Executive Party Leaders to provide oral evidence on the Review.
Agreed: To postpone consideration of inviting Executive Party Leaders to provide oral evidence on the Review until all Party responses have been received and considered.
Written submissions to the Review
The Chairperson drew Members’ attention to the written responses received to date and to the summary analysis of these submissions.
The Chairperson provided an overview and a broad summary of written responses received to date in relation the five to the issues set out in the Committee’s ‘Call for Evidence’ paper and asked for Members’ comments and views.
Agreed: To consider further responses received (in particular the Political Parties of the Northern Ireland Assembly) at the next Committee meeting with a view to move to start to agree a Committee position on the issues in relation to the number of MLAs.
The Chairperson referred to outstanding written responses from Political Parties of the Assembly and asked if Members could provide the Committee Secretariat with their respective Political Parties’ written responses at the earliest opportunity, or alternatively, prepare to speak to their Parties’ views on this Review at the next Committee meeting.
Assembly Research Paper: ‘Scheduling Parliamentary Time’
The Chairperson invited Mr Ray McCaffrey, Research Officer, NI Assembly Research Services to join the meeting.
The Assembly Research Officer joined the meeting at 11.18am.
Mr Paul Givan joined the meeting at 11.22am.
The Research Officer briefed the Committee on the Assembly Research Paper entitled ‘Scheduling Parliamentary Time’.
This was followed by a question and answer session.
Agreed: To commission further Assembly Research on the scheduling of plenaries and committee meetings in UK and Ireland parliaments.
The Chairperson thanked the Research Officer for his briefing and attending the meeting.
The Assembly Research Officer left the meeting at 11.44am
5. Any Other Business
There were no other items of business.
7. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee will be held on 24 April 2012, at 11.00 am in Room 21, Parliament Buildings, subject to the Committee Secretariat receiving all outstanding written submissions from the Political Parties of the Assembly on the Committee’s Review or receiving a statement on their Parties views on this Review at the meeting of 24th April 2012.
Agreed: If necessary, the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson to determine whether the next Committee meeting would be more appropriate for 1 May 2012.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11.46am.
Mr Simon Hamilton
Assembly and Executive Review Committee