Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 02 May 2012
Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings
The meeting opened in closed session at 2.06 p.m.
1. Chairperson’s Business
Child Poverty Act – Annual Report
The Committee considered legal advice in relation to the Annual Report under the Child Poverty Act which was due to be laid on or before 24 March 2012.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the First Minister and deputy First Minister to request that the Child Poverty Act – Annual Report is prioritised on the agenda of the next meeting of the Executive.
The Committee noted correspondence from Save the Children in relation to Child Poverty.
Agreed: The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson would meet with representatives of Save the Children
Ombudsman Legislative Proposals
The Committee noted legal advice in relation to queries raised concerning proposals to reform the Office of the Ombudsman.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to discuss the issues raised in the legal advice at next week’s meeting.
Mr Molloy joined the meeting at 2.25 p.m.
The meeting moved into public session at 2.26p.m.
E-counting Research Paper
The Committee noted a research paper that was prepared to inform Members travelling to Edinburgh to observe the e-counting in operation at the Scottish Local Government Elections.
The Chairperson advised Members that he made some opening remarks at a seminar organised by the Assembly’s Research and Information Service and Queen’s University Belfast on measures of deprivation and poverty. The Chairperson advised that the research paper from the seminar would be forwarded to Members for information.
Victims and Survivors Service
The Committee noted the invite to attend the opening of the Victims and Survivors Service that took place earlier today.
The Committee noted the list of current invitations.
2. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 25 April 2012
Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 25 April 2012 was agreed by the Committee.
3. Matters Arising
Committee for Finance and Personnel
The Committee noted a response from the Committee for Finance and Personnel, which included a copy of the Department for Finance and Personnel’s response to the proposed EU Directive on Public Procurement.
Committee for Social Development
The Committee considered a response from the Committee for Social Development in relation to the Fort George site and plans for its redevelopment.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek further information on whether an indemnity was sought from the Ministry of Defence in relation to the recently transferred former military sites.
List of Outstanding Issues
The Committee noted the list of outstanding issues.
4. Departmental Budget 2012-13
Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.37 p.m.
Mr Maskey left the meeting at 2.42 p.m.
Departmental officials, Mr Stephen Boyd and My Gavin Patrick briefed the Committee on the Departmental Budget 2012-13. A question and answer session followed.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 3.14 p.m.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request
-further information in relation to the impact of changes in senior management within the Department last year on spending.
-a breakdown in the £8m set out for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration and how much of the £8m is already committed.
-further information on the reduced requirement in January Monitoring Round which stated “it is clear that there is not a strong rationale for a separate small grants programme” in the context of gender equality and sexual orientation.
-a further breakdown of the spending under the headings in Annexe A to the Department’s briefing paper.
5. Any Other Business
Forward Work Programme
The Committee noted the updated Forward Work Programme.
6. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will be in Room 30, Parliament Buildings on Wednesday 9 May 2012 at 2 p.m.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 3.19 p.m.
Mr Mike Nesbitt MLA
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister