Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 05 December 2012
Venue: Room 30
The meeting opened in public session at 2.03 p.m.
1. Chairperson’s Business
Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse
The Committee considered a print-out from the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse website showing the total number of responses received as of 19 November.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek clarification from the Inquiry on the incomplete applications category.
The Committee noted an invitation from the Law Centre to attend its Annual General Meeting and Seminar on the Future of Adult Care and Support on Wednesday 19 December.
Nigerian Association Northern Ireland
The Committee noted an invitation from the Nigerian Association Northern Ireland to attend a lecture to commemorate the International Day for Abolition of Slavery on Saturday 8 December.
Mr McCallister left the meeting at 2.06 p.m.
Commissioner for Victims and Survivors
The Chairperson advised Members that there will be an informal meeting with the Commissioner for Victims and Survivors at 1 p.m. in Room 28 on Tuesday 11 December.
List of Invitations
The Committee noted the list of current invitations.
PEACE Programmes – Independent Evaluations
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for Finance and Personnel to request an update from SEUPB on the evaluations of the PEACE programmes, and in particular PEACE III. The Committee also agreed to request that the Committee for Finance and Personnel share any briefings it takes from SEUPB on the evaluations of PEACE programmes and the results of SEUPB’s recent consultation on PEACE III and proposed PEACE IV.
The Chairperson provided the Committee with an overview of an informal meeting with the Parades Commission that took place on 28 November.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing from the Parades Commission into the Forward Work Programme.
The Committee considered media coverage in relation to the accuracy of the electoral register on foot of an Electoral Commission report.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule briefings from the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Office on this issue and to discuss initiatives to encourage voter registration.
2. Children and Young People, Child Poverty and Delivering Social Change
Junior Ministers and Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.12 p.m.
Mr Lyttle joined the meeting at 2.22 p.m.
Mr Givan joined the meeting at 2.23 p.m.
Mr McCallister joined the meeting at 2.27 p.m.
Mr Moutray left the meeting at 2.57 p.m.
Junior Minister Bell, junior Minister McCann and Departmental officials Mr Denis McMahon and Mr Frank Duffy briefed the Committee on children and young people, child poverty and delivering social change. A question and answer session followed.
Junior Ministers and Departmental officials left the meeting at 3.27 p.m.
3. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 28 November 2012
Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 28 November 2012 was agreed by the Committee.
4. Matters Arising
The Committee noted a response from the speaker, on behalf of the Assembly Commission, confirming that it is content to bring the Northern Ireland Assembly with in the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction. The response also clarified that the Assembly Commission is of the view that it is best placed to deal with any potential conflict of interest in any recruitment and selection role in the establishment of any Northern Ireland Public Service Ombudsman.
List of Outstanding Issues
The Committee noted the list of outstanding issues.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to remind the Department about the Committee’s outstanding query in relation to the publication of the Programme for Government Delivery Plans.
Committee for the Environment
The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for the Environment in relation to the consultation on the regulations to introduce gender neutral benefits and premiums.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department.
Monitoring Delivery of the Programme for Government
The Committee noted correspondence from Mr Chris Lyttle MLA to all Chairpersons in relation to a formalised process for the scrutiny of delivery of the Programme for Government.
The Committee considered a response from the Department in relation to Employers for Childcare’s “Counting the Cost” proposal.
The Committee also considered a copy of the draft Childcare Strategy Consultation document which was being launched on 5 December 2012.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing from officials on the consultation document.
Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from the Department in relation to programmes to tackle inequalities in early years to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety.
Committee for Education
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from the Department in relation to the Delivering Social Change Signature Projects to the Committee for Education.
Sex Discrimination Order 1976 (Amendment) Order
The Committee noted a copy of the draft Sex Discrimination Order 1976 (Amendment) Order in relation to gender neutral insurance benefits and premiums.
Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission
Agreed: In the absence of a briefing from officials on delivery of the Programme for Government for 12 December, the Committee would bring forward a briefing from the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission on emerging human rights issues.
6. Commissioner for Older People
The Commissioner for Older People and officials joined the meeting at 3.34 p.m.
Mr Givan left the meeting at 3.49 p.m.
Mr McCallister left the meeting at 4.09 p.m.
Mr Lyttle left the meeting at 4.13 p.m.
The Commissioner for Older People, Ms Claire Keatinge and officials Mrs Pamela Hughes and Mr Niall McCloskey briefed the Committee on the Commissioner’s draft themes and priorities for action 2013-2016. A question and answer session followed.
The Commissioner for Older People and officials left the meeting at 4.14 p.m.
7. Any Other Business
The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme
8. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will be held in Room 30, Parliament Buildings on Wednesday 12 December 2012 at 2 p.m.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.15 p.m.
Mr Mike Nesbitt MLA
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister