Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 14 December 2011

Venue: Room 29, Parliament Buildings

2:04 pm The meeting opened in public session.

1.  Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

2. Minutes of the meeting on 7 December 2011

Agreed: The minutes of the last meeting were agreed. 

3. Matters Arising

Correspondence from the Department of Finance and Personnel

The Committee noted correspondence from Ms Fiona Hamill, Treasury Officer of Accounts.

2:06 pm Mr Hussey entered the meeting.

Agreed:  The Committee agree to consider a draft response to the Treasury Officer of Accounts as its next meeting.

Correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel

The Committee noted correspondence from the Clerk to the Committee for Finance and Personnel attaching a response from the Minister regarding the proposed amendments to the disciplinary procedures within the NICS Staff handbook.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to respond to the Clerk to the Committee noting the proposed amendments.

Correspondence from the Head of the Civil Service

The Committee noted correspondence from Dr Malcolm McKibbin which detailed some of the information sought by the Committee regarding the secondment arrangements for Mr Paul Priestly.

2:14 pm Mr Anderson entered the meeting.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to respond to Dr McKibbin reflecting its discussion and requesting that the outstanding information is forwarded to the Committee no later than 16 January 2012.

Correspondence received from a Whistleblower

The Committee noted correspondence from a whistleblower which alleged financial irregularities relating to a Senior Civil Service recruitment competition.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to refer the correspondence to the Comptroller and Auditor General to investigate the issues raised and report back to the Committee.

4. Early Consultation on Statutory Rule

The Committee noted correspondence from Mr John McGinnity, Head of Public Audit and Accountability seeking the Committee’s view on the proposed amendment to the Companies (Public Sector Audit ) Order (NI) 2008.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to respond to Mr McGinnity reflecting that the Committee is content with the draft amendment.

2:40 pm The meeting went into closed session.

2:40 pm Mr Easton declared an interest stating that he is the Assembly Private Secretary for the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and that he will exclude himself from participating in the Committee’s Inquiry.

2:40 pm Mr Easton left the meeting.

5. Issues arising from the Oral Evidence Session on NIAO Report ‘The Use of Locum Doctors by NI Hospitals’

The Committee considered an issues paper on this evidence session.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to request some additional information from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

6. Any other business

Arrangements during Christmas Recess

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chairperson or in his absence the Deputy Chairperson would deal with any Freedom of Information requests received during recess.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chairperson would convene a meeting if required over recess.

7. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 at 2:00 pm in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 2:53 pm.

Mr Paul Maskey MP
Chairperson, Public Accounts Committee
11 January 2012.

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