The Northern Ireland Assembly has been dissolved. The election will take place on Thursday 5 May 2016.

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 15 November 2011

12.33p.m. The meeting opened in closed session.

Chairpersons’ Business

The Chairperson welcomed Roisin Kelly, Clerk Assistant, to the meeting.  Mr Storey wished Ms Kelly well in her new post and thanked her for her work as Clerk of the Education Committee.

Agreed: The Group agreed to write to Mr Stephen Welch, Director of Facilities / Keeper of the House, offering its best wishes and wishing him a speedy recovery.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2.  Minutes of the meeting on 18 October 2011

The minutes of the meeting on 18 October 2011 were agreed.

3. Matters arising

Use of Electronic Devices in committee rooms

The Liaison Group noted a paper on the impact of electronic devices on the audio recording of committee meetings and on a proposal to supply storage boxes for such devices outside meeting rooms.

Agreed: The Group agreed to request further information from Facilities on the proposal to supply storage boxes.

4. Correspondence

Leaking of classified documentation to the media

The Group considered a response from The Speaker to the First Minister and deputy First Minister on classified documents being leaked to the media. 

Agreed:  The Group agreed to write to the Committee on Standards and Privileges requesting an update on a similar matter which had been referred to the Interim Commissioner for Standards.

5.  EU Scrutiny

12.43pm Mr Maginness joined the meeting.
12.43pm Mr A Maskey joined the meeting.

The Group received an update on the work currently being undertaken by the Secretariat to  assist the scrutiny of European issues by Assembly Committees.  A copy of a job specification for an EU Scrutiny Officer was circulated for information purposes.

Agreed: The Group agreed to write to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister requesting additional information on the advisory panel and key stakeholders.

12.46pm Mr Givan joined the meeting.
12.46pm Mr Moutray left the meeting.

6. Review of Assembly Committees’ Use of Public Notices

12.55pm Ms Gildernew joined the meeting.
12.55pm Mr McCrea joined the meeting.

The Group received an update on the review of Assembly Committees’ use of public notices and discussed and agreed a number of options to take the issue forward.

Agreed: The Group agreed a number of options including the use of signposting adverts to replace public notices and to request further information on the use of community based newspapers to reach target audiences.

7. Update on the new Assembly website pages for committees

12.56pm Mr P Maskey left the meeting.
12.58pm Mr Givan left the meeting.
1.00pm Mr Elliott joined the meeting.
1.02pm Mr Maginness left the meeting.

The Group received and noted an update on the development of the committee pages for the new Assembly website.

8.  Business Efficiency Review

The Group received and noted an update on the Business Efficiency Review including the cross cutting reviews, the review of contracted services, business areas subject to review and the timescales for each strand of the Business Efficiency Review.

9.  Executive’s Review of the Financial Process

The Group considered the Executive’s Review of the Financial Process.

Agreed: It was agreed to write to the Committee for Finance and Personnel raising concerns in relation to the process.

1.09pm Mr Storey left the meeting.

10.  Best Practice in Committee Stakeholder Events

The Group received a briefing on the findings contained in the report of the Stakeholder and Communication Good Practice Project.

Agreed: The Group agreed that the report should be shared with committee staff.  The Group also agreed to receive briefing at the meeting in January 2012 on the Social Development Committee’s Fuel Poverty event.

11.  Revised Future Work Programme

Agreed: The Liaison Group noted and agreed the revised forward work programme for the 2011-2012 session.

12.  Any other business

No other items of business were discussed.

13.  Date, time and venue of next meeting

The next meeting of the Liaison Group will take place on Tuesday 17 January 2012 at 12.30pm in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.

1.15pm The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.

Mr Jimmy Spratt, Chairperson
17 January 2012

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