Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 07 March 2013
Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings
The meeting began at 10.35am in public session.
Apologies are detailed above.
The Deputy Chairperson informed the Committee that the Minister has had to postpone her attendance at the Committee and this will be rescheduled for a later date.
Members noted a revised Agenda.
2. Chairperson’s Business
Members noted an invitation from the Utility Regulator to meet with the Chair and Deputy Chair to discuss the release of a new report on domestic and non-domestic energy pricing.
3. Minutes of meeting held on Thursday 28 February 2013.
Members considered the draft minutes of the 28 February 2013.
Minutes were agreed.
4. Matters Arising
Members considered a response from the Department informing the Committee that the Minister is not prepared to allow copies of the PMS report to be brought to the Committee again.
Agreed: to receive further information from the Department on this decision.
Members considered a response from the Department regarding further information on the report commissioned on the third sector mapping exercise.
Agreed: to receive information from the Department on the reason for the delay in publishing the report.
Agreed: to receive an oral briefing on the report once it is published.
Members considered a response from Invest NI on the specific detail of the proportion of Enterprise NI legal costs and the impact of the uptake of the initiative on those on benefits.
Agreed: to forward the response to the Committee for Employment & Learning for information.
Members noted a response from Invest NI to the Assembly Research paper on the budgetary flexibility of Invest NI.
Members noted a response from the Department to the Committee for Finance & Personnel regarding officials attending its meeting on Wednesday 20 March to consider EU funding for the Titanic Signature Project.
Members also noted a further response to the Department from the Committee for Finance & Personnel regarding this issue.
Members considered a response from the Department regarding Savings Delivery Plans.
Agreed: to forward the response to the Committee for Finance & Personnel for information.
Members were reminded that at last week’s meeting the Committee asked the Department for information on tourism statistics for trips by NI residents for the period January-September 2012.
Members noted that the Department has advised that figures are due to be published by NISRA on Thursday 21 March.
5. A Financial Capability Strategy for Northern Ireland: - Oral Briefing from DETI
Officials joined the meeting at 10.38am
Members received an oral briefing from Jackie Kerr, Business Regulation Division, John Rubery, Business Regulation Division and Alan McClelland, Principal Statistician, NISRA.
Gordon Dunne joined the meeting at 11.00am
Steven Agnew left the meeting at 11.01am
Key issues discussed included: the background to the Financial Capability Strategy, the role of the Department and the importance of the cross departmental steering group.
6. Subordinate Legislation: SL1:2013 No. 000 Health & Safety Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013
Members considered the following subordinate legislation: SL1:2013 No. 000 Health & Safety Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013.
Agreed: to write to the Department regarding the focus of the legislation.
Agreed: to receive the figures for the number of accidents reported between 3 and 7 days over the past 3 years.
7. DETI Programme for Government Commitments, Progress Report to 31 December 2012: - Written Briefing from DETI
Members considered the details of the Programme for Government commitment, the milestone targets and the progress update at 30 September 2012.
Agreed: to receive an oral briefing when the next progress report comes to the Committee.
Agreed: PfG 1: to receive a breakdown by sector and constituency for jobs promoted.
Agreed: PFG 3: to receive a breakdown of investment by sector and constituency.
Members considered the following items of correspondence for action
i. From the Department regarding information on a study to identify opportunities to improve Northern Ireland’s air connectivity.
Agreed: to receive a written briefing regarding the steps that the Department can take to improve the impact that airports in the Republic of Ireland can have on tourism and the economy in Northern Ireland.
Agreed: to receive a briefing on how a strategy for air transport can be developed for Northern Ireland.
ii. From the Integrated Education Fund regarding a report on a review of policy and research
Agreed: to write to the Integrated Education Fund and suggest that the Committee for Education would be best placed to meet with them.
iii. From the Department regarding information on the consultation seminars on policy proposals for an Offshore Renewable Energy Bill.
iv. From Sustainable Energy Development on the work of the company.
Agreed: to forward the correspondence to the Department for its views.
Members noted the following items of correspondence
v. From the Utility Regulator regarding a workshop on the supplier marketing code of practice
vi. From Bryson House to acknowledge a request for a written briefing
vii. From the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure on its report on Maximising the Potential of the Creative Industries.
viii. From the Committee for Employment and Learning regarding the closure of University of Ulster crèches.
9. Any other business
Members considered a draft letter from the Chairperson to the Rt. Hon Dr. Vince Cable MP.
Agreed: Members agreed the letter.
Members considered the final report of the Office of Fair Trading’s Payday Lending Compliance Review.
Agreed: to discuss this report at a future meeting.
Members considered arrangements for the next meeting of the Committee which is scheduled to take place at Derry City Council.
Agreed: to invite representatives from Derry City Council to dinner on 13 March with the Committee as they will be accompanying the Committee to the event.
Members considered the arrangements for a future visit to Brussels.
Agreed: to forward to members the considered times and dates for travel to Brussels.
10. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee will take place on 14 March at10.30am at Derry City Council offices.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 11.47am