Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 29 June 2011

Venue: Room 29

The meeting opened in public session at 2.04 p.m.

1. Apologies

As above.

2. Draft minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2011

Agreed: The draft minutes of proceedings of 22 June 2011 were agreed by the Committee.

Mr Maskey joined the meeting at 2.08 p.m.

3. Matters Arising

Operating Costs for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

The Committee noted a response from the Department providing a breakdown of the operating costs for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

Departmental response to Barroso Taskforce

The Committee noted a response from the Department providing details on the Barroso Taskforce.

Risk Assessments

The Committee noted a response from the Department providing further information on the criteria used for proceeding with risk assessments undertaken in relation to the auditing of Victims and Survivors groups.

International Development

The Committee considered a research paper from the Assembly’s Research and Information Service on International Development.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a briefing from the Department on this issue.

Outstanding Issues

The Committee considered the list of outstanding issues and correspondence.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request further information on the progress and timing of the consultation process for the Social Investment Fund and also the criteria which will be used and mechanism for the distribution of the fund.

4. Correspondence

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Committee noted a response from the Department advising that the Committee that the timeline for the Executive’s input has changed and that the UK Government’s report will be submitted to the United Nations in July .

Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland Activity Report June 2010

The Committee noted a copy of the latest Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland Activity Report.

Ambassadors for Change

The Committee considered a letter from Co-operation Ireland/Intercomm concerning their “Ambassadors for Change” programme, which will operate in interface areas.

Mr Maskey declared an interest in that his brother is Executive Director of Intercomm

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk would visit some of the areas where the programme is being undertaken over recess and that Co-operation Ireland/Intercomm would brief the Committee on the outcomes of the programme in September.

5. Proposals to Update Legislation to Reform the Office of the Northern Ireland Ombudsman

Dr Tom Frawley CBE, the Northern Ireland Ombudsman and Mrs Marie Anderson the Deputy Northern Ireland Ombudsman joined the meeting at 2.28 p.m.

Mr Clarke joined the meeting at 2.35 p.m.

Dr Tom Frawley CBE, the Northern Ireland Ombudsman and Mrs Marie Anderson the Deputy Northern Ireland Ombudsman briefed the Committee on issues which arose following the Committee’s consideration of the policy proposals to reform the Office of the Northern Ireland Ombudsman. A question and answer session followed.

Dr Tom Frawley CBE, the Northern Ireland Ombudsman and Mrs Marie Anderson the Deputy Northern Ireland Ombudsman left the meeting at 3.03 p.m.

6. Children in Northern Ireland

Mrs Pauline Leeson and Mrs Elaine Conway from Children in Northern Ireland joined the meeting at 3.06 p.m.

Mrs Pauline Leeson and Mrs Elaine Conway from Children in Northern Ireland briefed the Committee on children’s issues and in particular the lack of co-ordinated and collaborative work across departments. A question and answer session followed.

Mrs Pauline Leeson and Mrs Elaine Conway from Children in Northern Ireland left the meeting at 3.32 p.m.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request research from the Assembly’s Research and Information Service on a number of children’s issues relation to funding and collaborative working.

7. Delivery of Equality and Human rights

A Research Officer from the Assembly’s Research and Information Service briefed the Committee on his research papers in relation to the delivery of equality and human rights. A question and answer session followed.

8. Press Releases

The Committee noted a number of press releases..

9. Any Other Business

Legislative Consent Motion

Departmental officials Mr Frank Duffy and Mr David Lammey joined the meeting at 3.55 p.m.

Mr Clarke left the meeting at 3.57 p.m.

Departmental officials Mr Frank Duffy and Mr David Lammey briefed the Committee on a Legislative Consent Motion coming out of the Freedoms Bill concerning Freedom of Information provisions. A question and answer session followed.

Departmental officials Mr Frank Duffy and Mr David Lammey left the meeting at 4.03 p.m.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content with the Legislative Consent Motion.

Forward Work Programme

The Committee noted the Committee’s Forward Work Programme for September and October.

Mr Maskey left the meeting at 4.06 p.m.

European Priorities for 2011-12

The Committee considered a letter from the First Minister and deputy First Minister providing a copy of the Executive’s agreed European Priorities for 2011-12.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the European Priorities Paper to all statutory committees for information.

Memorandum of Understanding and Supplementary Agreements

The Committee noted a copy of a Written Ministerial Statement on a revised Memorandum of Understanding and Supplementary Agreements.

June Monitoring Round Outcome

The Committee noted correspondence from the Department providing information on the outcome of the June Monitoring Round.

Committee for Finance and Personnel

The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the Review of Financial Process and the End Year flexibility replacement Scheme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for Finance and Personnel concerning engagement on financial issues.

Devolution of Corporation Tax

The Committee considered the response from the Committee for Finance and Personnel to the consultation on the devolution of corporation tax.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to respond to the consultation endorsing the views of the Committee for Finance and Personnel.

10. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be in Room 30 on Wednesday 6 July 2011 at 2 p.m.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.20 p.m.

Mr Tom Elliott MLA
Chairperson,
Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister

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