Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 07 March 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened at 10.08am in public session. 

1. Apologies.

Apologies are noted above.

Agreed: that Agenda items 4 and 7 are covered by Hansard.

2. Draft Minutes of Proceedings of 29 February 2012

Agreed: that the minutes, as amended, are published on the Assembly website.

3. Matters Arising

Table of Requests for Information from the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP)

The Committee noted the table of requests for information from DFP which provided an update on any matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda.

Revisions to NICS Handbook: Disciplinary Procedures for Senior Civil Servants

Members considered a draft response to DFP outlining the Committee’s view on the proposed revisions to the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) Handbook in respect of disciplinary procedures for permanent secretaries and the Head of NICS.

Agreed: to forward the letter to the Minister of Finance and Personnel.

4. Superannuation Bill: Pre-introductory briefing – DFP Evidence Session

The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Grace Nesbitt, Head of Civil Service Pensions; Margaret Miskelly, Head of Policy, Civil Service Pensions and Margaret Coyle, Civil Service Pensions. The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.

Mr McQuillan joined the meeting at 10.23am

Agreed: that the DFP officials will provide additional information as requested during the session.

5. Outcome of the Consultation on the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS)

The Committee received a briefing from the following DFP officials: Grace Nesbitt, Head of Civil Service Pensions; Margaret Miskelly, Head of Policy, Civil Service Pensions and Margaret Coyle, Civil Service Pensions.

Mr McLaughlin left the meeting at 11.11am

Agreed: that the DFP officials will provide follow up information on the following: the current level of membership of the PCSPS; employer contributions compared to employee contributions, including analysis of salary bands; and the methodology for assessing the overall viability of pension schemes. In addition, the Department will give a view on whether the existing primary legislation could be amended to provide that amendments made to the PSCPS are made by subordinate legislation that is subject to Assembly procedure.

6. Linking Budgets with Outcomes – Briefing by Assembly Research

Members received a briefing from Colin Pidgeon of Assembly Research and Information Services.

Mr McQuillan left the meeting at 11.22am

Mr Humphrey joined the meeting at 11.24am

Mr McQuillan returned to the meeting at 11.24am

Mr McLaughlin returned to the meeting at 11.26am

Mr Maskey left the meeting at 11.44am

Mr Maskey returned to the meeting at 11.47am

Agreed: to circulate the research paper to the other statutory committees, the Chairpersons’ Liaison Group and DFP for information.

7. PEDU: Role in Monitoring of Programme for Government (PfG) Delivery – DFP Evidence Session

The Committee took evidence from the following DFP officials: Paul Montgomery, PEDU, Central Finance Group (CFG) and Gillian Doherty, PEDU, CFG.  The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin left the meeting at 12.08am

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin returned to the meeting at 12.08am

Agreed: the DFP officials will provide additional information as requested during the session.

Agreed: to copy the Hansard of this evidence session to the Committee for the Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister.

Agreed: to forward a copy of the briefing paper provided by PEDU to the other statutory committees in advance of the forthcoming plenary debate on the PfG.

8. Correspondence

Members considered the following items of correspondence:

  • NI Law Commission: Multi Unit Developments;

Agreed: to forward the correspondence to Kieran McCarthy MLA for information, given his previous interest in this subject.

  • Correspondence from Mr N Hicks regarding equal pay, together with a draft response.

Agreed: to forward the response to Mr Hicks.

  • Correspondence from Mr K O’Boyle regarding equal pay, together with a draft response.

Agreed: to forward the response to Mr O’Boyle

  • DFP: Copy of response to Mr D Roe on equal pay issues.

 

Members also noted the following piece of routine correspondence which was issued separately prior to the meeting:

  • Advice NI Newsletter.

 

9. Committee Work Programme

Members considered a draft of the Committee work programme.

Agreed: that the Committee work programme is amended to reflect decisions made today, and that the revised programme is published on the Assembly website.

10.  Any Other Business

Mr Humphrey advised that an issue which he had previously raised regarding information provided by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) on Peace III funding for specific projects had been resolved. However, concerns remain that the information previously provided to the Committee by SEUPB was incorrect.

11. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 14 March at 10.00am in Room 30, Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

The Deputy Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.35pm

Conor Murphy MP MLA
Chairperson
Committee for Finance and Personnel
14 March 2012

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