Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 19 September 2012
Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings
The meeting opened in public session at 2.08 p.m.
The Clerk advised Members that the Chairperson was unable to attend today’s meeting and the Deputy Chairperson would be late and therefore a temporary Chairperson would need to be appointed. The Clerk sought proposals.
Mr Maskey proposed Mr Kinahan and Mr Humphrey seconded the proposal. There were no other nominations.
Agreed: Mr Kinahan assumes the position of temporary Chairperson.
1. Chairperson’s Business
List of Invitations
The Committee noted the list of current invitations.
The Temporary Chairperson advised Members that the Chairperson had been asked to sponsor an event being held by OFCOM in relation to postal service consumer needs on Thursday 8 November 2012.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content that the Chairperson sponsors the event.
2. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2012
Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 12 September 2012 was agreed by the Committee.
3. Matters Arising
Former Military Sites
The Committee noted a response from the Department providing a timeline of events in relation to the Shackleton site.
List of Outstanding Issues
The Committee noted the list of outstanding issues.
Assembly and Executive Review Committee
The Committee noted a copy of correspondence from the Assembly and Executive Review Committee (AERC) to the First Minister and deputy First Minister in relation to AERC’s Review of the number of government departments.
Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 2.13 p.m.
All-Party Group on Ethnic Minority Communities
The Committee considered a copy of correspondence from the All-Party Group on Ethnic Minority Communities to the First Minister and deputy First Minister in relation to the future of the Ethnic Minority Development Fund.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to highlight the need for urgent consideration of this issue and to request that it be copied into the Department’s response to the APG.
Big Lottery Fund
The Committee noted correspondence from the Big Lottery Fund providing an update on projects that it is supporting.
Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission
The Committee noted correspondence from the Human Rights Commission providing a copy of the paper “Is that right? Fact and Fiction on a Bill of Rights”.
5. The Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Bill
The Committee considered correspondence from Kevin Winters & Co and from the Committee for Education in relation to the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Bill.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence raising issues on the Bill to the Department for comment.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Kevin Winters & Co to advise of the process the Committee is undertaking in relation to the Committee Stage of the Bill.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to provide the Chair of the Inquiry Panel with a list of issues raised in submissions to, and evidence sessions withthe Committee.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek legal advice from the Assembly’s Legal Services in relation to of the Human Rights Commission’s concern that the Bill does not meet the required level of protection under the ECHR and on the 14 day time limit in the Bill for judicial reviews.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to hold a short closed session at the beginning of next week’s meeting in relation to issues raised.
Barnardo’s joined the meeting at 2.21p.m.
Mr Clarke joined the meeting at 2.21 p.m.
Mr Eastwood joined the meeting at 2.24 p.m.
Ms Lynda Wilson, Ms Sara Clarke and Mr Tom Burford from Barnardo’s briefed the Committee on its response to the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Bill. A question and answer session followed.
Barnardo’s left the meeting at 2.51 p.m.
The Poor Sisters of Nazareth joined the meeting at 2.52 p.m.
Sister Cataldus and Mr Fintan Canavan representing the Poor Sisters of Nazareth briefed the Committee on the Order’s response to the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Bill. A question and answer session followed.
The Poor Sisters of Nazareth left the meeting at 3.11 p.m.
The De La Salle Order joined the meeting at 3.30 p.m.
Brother Francis Manning and Mr Joe Napier representing the De La Salle Order briefed the Committee on its response to the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Bill.
Agreed: The Committee would seek advice in relation to potential issues arising from organisations’ legal advisors giving evidence to the Committee.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek legal advice in relation to the evidence to the Inquiry being used in subsequent legal proceedings.
The De La Salle Order left the meeting at 3.42p.m.
Mr Lyttle joined the meeting at 3.43 p.m.
Mr Clarke left the meeting at 3.43 p.m.
Mr Humphrey left the meeting at 3.43 p.m.
Mr Eastwood left the meeting at 3.43 p.m.
6. Programme for Government Delivery Plans
Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.44 p.m.
Miss Fearon left the meeting at 4.07 p.m.
Departmental officials Mr Noel Lavery, Mr Tim Losty, Mr Tony Canavan and Dr Paul Geddis briefed the Committee on the Programme for Government Delivery Plans for which they were responsible. A question and answer session followed.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 4.28 p.m.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department in relation to arrangements for Committee scrutiny of delivery of Programme for Government commitments.
7. Any Other Business
Forward Work Programme
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 26 September 2012 at 2 p.m.
The Temporary Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.31 p.m.
Mr Mike Nesbitt MLA
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister