Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 16 June 2011

Venue: 30

The meeting began at 10.33 am in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Minutes of meeting held on 9 June 2011

Agreed: The draft minutes of the meeting on the 9 June were agreed.

3. Chairperson’s Business

Members noted a letter from the Rural Community Network requesting a meeting with the Committee to update members on the organisation’s work.

Agreed: To seek a written briefing in the first instance.

Members noted an invitation from the Utility Regulator to a stakeholder event on 30 June.

Members noted a request from the Department to hold a meeting at the Titanic Quarter Limited building on 30 June.

Agreed: To hold a meeting at the Titanic Quarter Limited at the meeting of 30 June, with a tour of the Titanic Quarter after the meeting.

Members were reminded that it was agreed to discuss the forward work programme for September-December 2011 at next week’s meeting.

Agreed: To consider that item in closed session.

4. Matters Arising

Members noted a press release from the NI Affairs Committee regarding an inquiry into Air Passenger Duty.

Members noted a letter from the FSA regarding a conference on 28 June 2011.

Agreed: To commission Assembly Research to listen to the conference online and send the relevant information to members by email.

5. Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE)

NIE officials joined the meeting at 10.40am.

Members received an oral briefing from Harry McCracken, Managing Director, and Peter Ewing, Deputy Managing Director and Director of Regulation, NIE. Key issues discussed included the NIE pension fund and the IME3 regulations.

Alasdair McDonnell joined the meeting at 10.50am.

Agreed: Chairperson to approve and issue a press release following the meeting detailing the Committee’s consideration of the issue.

Agreed: To receive a breakdown of the numbers of NIE staff and their positions who are affected by the pension deficit.

Stephen Agnew left the meeting at 11.45am

Agreed: To receive a copy of the NIE’s future investment plans.

Stephen Agnew returned to the meeting at 11.47am.

NIE officials left the meeting at 11.47am.

6. Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR)

NIAUR officials joined the meeting at 11.50am.

Members received an oral briefing from Shane Lynch, Utility Regulator, Kevin Shiels, Acting Director of Retail and Social, Kevin O’Neill, Acting Network Manager, Electricity and Paul Harland, Regulation Manager, Gas. Key issues discussed included the NIE pension fund and the IME3 Regulations.

Stephen Moutray left the meeting at 12.15pm.

David McIlveen left the meeting at 12.21pm.

NIAUR officials left the meeting at 12.25pm.

Alasdair McDonnell left the meeting at 12.25pm.

Agreed: To commission further research on the impact of public sector uptake of gas on the price paid by consumers (and the impact that this would have on domestic and business consumer bills).

Sue Ramsey left the meeting at 12.30pm.

7. SL1: The Price Marking (Amendment) Order (NI) 2011

The Committee considered a proposal for subordinate legislation from DETI:

SL1 The Price Marking (Amendment) Order (NI) 2011

Agreed: “That the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment has considered DETI’s proposal for subordinate legislation under the Price Marking (Amendment) Order (NI) 2011 and has no objection to the policy implications of the proposed legislation at this stage.”

8. SL1: Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (NI) 2011

The Committee considered a proposal for subordinate legislation from DETI:

SL1 Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (NI) 2011

Agreed: “That the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment has considered DETI’s proposal for subordinate legislation under the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (NI) 2011 and has no objection to the policy implications of the proposed legislation at this stage.”

9. DETI Research Agenda

Members noted the written briefing.

Agreed: To ask the Department how the findings from the research will be integrated into the economic strategy and how this will encourage growth for SMEs and indigenous businesses.

10. Correspondence

 Members noted the following items of correspondence:

I. Letter from the Public Accounts Committee regarding a Ministerial Direction regarding the funding of £4.8m towards a new film studio beside the Paint Hall.

Agreed: To write to the Minister to receive information on why the Accounting Officer was unable to support the project on the grounds of value for money and uncertainty as to viability.

II. Letter from DETI on the Analysis of Sickness Absence Statistics 2009/10.

11. Any other business

Members discussed news that the Department has issued a license to a contractor for petroleum exploration in West Fermanagh.

Agreed: To ask the Department whether it issued the contract, what public consultation took place and why the decision was taken to award the contract.

12. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 23 June at 10.30am, Parliament Buildings, Room 30.

The meeting went into closed session at 12.37pm to allow consideration of the Committee’s draft response to the Treasury’s consultation on “Rebalancing the NI Economy.”

13. Closed Session: Corporation Tax

Members discussed the draft response.

Agreed: Clerk to make the agreed amendments and to consider a second draft of response at next week’s meeting.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 1.00pm.

Mr Alban Maginness
Chair
Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment
23 June 2011 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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