Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 03 May 2012
Venue: Room 30
The meeting began at 10.40am in closed session.
1. Closed Session: Inquiry into Research & Development
Members considered the draft Inquiry report and noted a record of the informal meetings held by the Inquiry Rapporteur.
Agreed: to provide any comments on the draft report to the Clerk or to the Chairperson.
Agreed: to consider the final report at the meeting of 31 May.
Agreed: to schedule the debate in plenary during the week commencing 11 June.
Paul Frew joined the meeting at 10.53am
The meeting moved into open session at 10.55am.
Apologies are detailed above.
3. Minutes of meeting held on 26 April 2012
Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting on 26 April were agreed.
4. Chairperson’s Business
The Chairperson informed members that the EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science is scheduled to meet the Committee on the 7 June.
The Chairperson reminded members that the Committee is also due to visit Northern Ireland Advanced Composites & Engineering (NIACE) Centre.
Agreed: to request a later arrival at NIACE to avoid overlap.
5. Matters Arising
Members considered a draft response to the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding Air Passenger Duty.
Agreed: the Committee agreed an amended response.
Agreed: the Committee agreed to forward the response to the Committee for Finance and Personnel.
Members considered a letter from the Committee for Finance and Personnel requesting a copy of the Department’s analysis of Air Passenger Duty Rates and Northern Ireland passenger numbers in May 2011.
Agreed: to forward the letter to the Department to respond directly to the Committee for Finance and Personnel, copying to this Committee.
Members considered a request from the Committee for Finance and Personnel for a copy of the Department’s analysis of Air Passenger Duty Rates and Northern Ireland passenger numbers in May 2011 which had been received by the Committee.
Agreed: to forward the copy of the Department’s analysis to the Committee for Finance and Personnel.
6. Competition Commission Referral
Officials joined the meeting at 11.08am.
Members received an oral briefing from Shane Lynch, Utility Regulator, Tanya Hedley, Director of Electricity and Brian McHugh, Director of Gas, NIAUR.
Key issues discussed included Phoenix Price Control and the referral to the Competition Commission; NIE Price Control and the Carbon Revenue Levy.
Jennifer McCann joined the meeting at 11.10am.
Jennifer McCann left the meeting at 12.14pm.
Daithí McKay left the meeting at 12.14pm.
Paul Givan left the meeting at 12.20pm.
Paul Frew left the meeting at 12.35pm.
Agreed: to forward papers received from Manufacturing NI to the Utility Regulator to seek clarification on the Carbon Revenue Levy.
Paul Givan returned to the meeting at 1.00pm.
Officials left the meeting at 1.05pm.
7. Forward Work Programme
Members considered an updated Forward Work Programme.
Agreed: to consider the format of the Committee meetings regarding hydraulic fracturing at the next meeting.
Agreed: to publish the Forward Work Programme on the Committee’s website.
Members noted the following items of correspondence:
i. Correspondence from the Committee for Employment and Learning requesting Invest NI officials to brief that Committee on FP7.
Agreed: to forward to the Department asking them to respond directly to the Committee for Employment and Learning and copying to this Committee.
ii. Invitation from Green Future Northern Ireland to visit Northern Ireland’s first Zero Carbon House.
Agreed: to schedule the visit for a later date on the Committee’s Forward Work Programme.
iii. Correspondence from the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation regarding Weights and Measures Legislation.
Agreed: to ask the Department to include the NI Hotels Federation in its list of consultees.
iv. Correspondence from the Committee for Social Development regarding the Social Security Advisory Committee’s review of passported benefits.
v. Correspondence from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety regarding Business in the Community.
Agreed: to forward to the Department.
vi. Letter from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding Future EU Funding 2014-20.
9. Any other business
There were no other items of business.
10. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 17 May at 10.00am, Room 30, Parliament Buildings.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 1.15pm.