Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 28 November 2012
Venue: Room 30
The meeting opened in public session at 2.05 p.m.
1. Chairperson’s Business
Programme for Government Briefing
The Committee noted a letter from the Department advising that officials would not be able to brief the Committee on the monitoring of the Programme for Government at today’s meeting.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to reschedule the briefing for another date.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Review of the Balance of Competences
The Committee considered a copy of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Review of the Balance of Competences.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward to all statutory committees for their information.
List of Invitations
The Committee noted the list of current invitations.
Dublin Visit/Brussels Visit
The Chairperson advised Members that the likely date for the Committee visit to Dublin was Wednesday 30 January during which the Committee will meet with the Houses of the Oireachtas’ European Committee. The Chairperson advised that the Committee would also try to arrange further meetings, in Dublin, in relation to the issue of victims that fall outside the remit of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse.
The Chairperson advised Members that on Thursday 31 January 2013, the Special EU Programmes Body are hosting a Peace Conference in Brussels.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Committee staff would work on an itinerary for a visit to Brussels to attend the Peace Conference and to meet key players on issues such as the future of Peace Funding and the work of the Barroso Taskforce.
Financial Capability Strategy for Northern Ireland
The Committee noted an invitation from the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment to attend a launch event on Monday 3 December, initiating a process of engagement on the subject of a Financial Capability Strategy for Northern Ireland.
2. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2012
Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 21 November 2012 was agreed by the Committee.
3. Matters Arising
Child Poverty Act – Annual Report
The Committee noted a response from the First Minister and deputy First Minister in relation to the Child Poverty Act – Annual Report. The response advises that they expect future reports to be laid in the Assembly in line with statutory requirements.
Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment
The Committee considered a response from the Department providing an update on the work of the Barroso Taskforce.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the response to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
Public Accounts Committee
The Committee considered a response from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) confirming that both PAC and the Comptroller and Auditor General are content to bring the Audit Office with in the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.
List of Outstanding Issues
The Committee noted the list of outstanding issues.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek an update on the progress of the Sexual Orientation Strategy.
Commissioner for Older People Act 2011 (Commencement) Order 2012
The Committee noted correspondence from the Department providing further information in relation to the Commissioner for Older People Act 2011 (Commencement) Order 2012.
Investing Activity Report
The Committee noted November’s Investing Activity report for OFMDFM from the Strategic Investment Board.
Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure
The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure to the First Minister and deputy First Minister in relation to gaps in the internet and social media safety.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the First Minister and deputy First Minister.
Victims outside the Remit of the Inquiry into historical Institutional Abuse
The Committee considered correspondence from a member of the public in relation to victims falling outside the remit of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the member of the public to thank them for their correspondence, advise them that the Committee has agreed to engage further with OFMDFM on this issue and will bear their correspondence in mind when doing so.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek an update on the numbers of victims engaging with the Acknowledgement Forum.
The Committee considered a copy of an Explanatory Memorandum (EM) regarding an EU proposal for a Regulation regarding the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived. This was highlighted by the House of Lords EU Committee as raising a possible issue of subsidiarity. The EM indicated that devolved administrations had been consulted.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek its view on the proposed Regulation.
5. Regulations to Introduce Gender Neutral Insurance Benefits and Premiums
Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.33 p.m.
Mr Maskey joined the meeting at 2.35 p.m.
Mr Moutray joined the meeting at 2.42 p.m.
Departmental officials Mr Fergus Devitt and Mr David McGowan briefed the Committee on the proposed regulations to introduce gender neutral insurance benefits and premiums. A question and answer session followed.
Departmental officials left the meeting at 2.46 p.m.
6. Any Other Business
The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme
7. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting will be held in Room 30, Parliament Buildings on Wednesday 5 December 2012 at 2 p.m.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 2.50 p.m.
Mr Mike Nesbitt MLA
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister