Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 17 April 2013

Venue: Room 29, Parliament Buildings

2:02 pm The meeting opened in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

2. Minutes of the meeting on 10 April 2013

2:06 pm Mr Girvan entered the meeting.
2:07 pm Mr McKay left the meeting.
2:08 pm Mr McKay entered the meeting.
Agreed: Following discussion the minutes of the last meeting were agreed subject to one amendment.
2:21 pm The meeting went into closed session.

4. Preparation Session on Northern Ireland Audit Office Report on 'Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service: An Organisational

Assessment and Review of Departmental Oversight' and Report on Accounts 2011-12
The Committee explored core issues arising from the Audit Office reports in preparation for its forthcoming evidence session on 25 April 2013.

2:30 pm Mr Dallat and Mr Girvan left the meeting.
2:33 pm Mr Dallat entered the meeting.
2:34 pm Mr Girvan entered the meeting.
3:02 pm Mr Clark left the meeting.
3:07 pm Ms Boyle left the meeting.
3:10 pm Ms Boyle entered the meeting.
3:20 pm Mr Hussey left the meeting.
3:21 pm Mr Clarke entered the meeting.
3:26 pm Mr Hussey entered the meeting.
3:29 pm Mr Girvan left the meeting
3:30 pm Mr Girvan entered the meeting.
3:40pm External advisers entered the meeting.
4:22 pm Mr Clarke and Mr Rogers left the meeting.
4:25 pm Mr Clarke entered the meeting.
4:30 pm Mr Dallat left the meeting
4:31 pm Mr Rogers entered the meeting.
4:44 pm McKay declared an interest stating that he was a former member of the board of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.
4:45 pm Mr Dallat entered the meeting.4:50 pm Mr McKay left the meeting.
4:53 pm Mr McKay entered the meeting.

5. Inquiry into 'PSNI: Use of Agency Staff'

4:55 pm Mr Hussey declared an interest stating that he is chairman of the Audit Committee of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.
4:55 pm Mr Hussey left the meeting.

Correspondence from the PSNI

The Committee noted correspondence from the PSNI about advice from the Treasury Officer of Accounts relating to procurement advice to PSNI.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to factor the information received into its draft report.

Correspondence from the PSNI

The Committee noted correspondence from the Chief Constable, Matt Baggott providing the additional information sought by it regarding the processing of applications and analysis of fixed term appointments awarded without open competition. The letter requested confidential treatment of certain names.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to redact the names of individuals from the response and further agreed to factor the information received into its draft report.

Correspondence from DFP

The Committee noted correspondence from Ms Fiona Hamill, Treasury Officer of Accounts regarding the response mechanism when CPD advice is not taken; and processes regarding off-payroll arrangements.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to factor the information received into its draft report.

6. Consideration of Draft Committee Report on 'Invest NI: A Performance Review'

The Committee considered its draft report on 'Invest NI: A Performance Review'.

Paragraphs 14 - 25 read and agreed.

5:05 pm Mr Clarke left the meeting.

Recommendation 1 read and agreed.
Paragraphs 26 – 27 read and agreed.
Recommendation 2 read and agreed.
Paragraphs 28 – 29 read and agreed.

5:08 pm Mr Clarke entered the meeting.

Recommendation 3 read and agreed.
Paragraph 30 read and agreed.
Paragraph 31 read, amended and agreed.
Paragraphs 32 – 41 read and agreed.
Recommendation 4 read and agreed.
Paragraph 42 read and agreed.
Recommendation 5 read and agreed.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to defer consideration of paragraphs 43 – 45 and recommendation 6 with suggested amendments until 24 April 2013.

Paragraphs 45 and 46 read and agreed.
Recommendation 7 read and agreed.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to defer consideration of paragraphs 47 – 48 and recommendation 8 with suggested amendments until 24 April 2013.

Paragraphs 49 and 50 read and agreed.
Recommendation 9 read and agreed.

Consideration of the Executive Summary

Paragraph 1 – 13 read and agreed as per the main report.

5:23 pm The meeting opened in public session.

3. Matters Arising

Evidence Session – 29 May 2013

The Chairperson informed the Committee that the Clerk had received a request from Mr Stephen Peover, Accounting Officer, DFP to reschedule its forthcoming evidence session on the NIAO Report on 'Collaborative Procurement and Aggregated Demand' to 5 June 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to reschedule the session to 5 June 2013 since it did not present any scheduling issues.

Correspondence from EASA

The Committee noted correspondence from Ms Claire Bradley, Sales Manager, EASA highlighting concerns relating to the inspection regime of bathroom equipment which allegedly does not meet the BS EN safety standard specified.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the information to the Audit Office for its assessment.

Correspondence from Unison

The Committee noted correspondence from Ms Patricia McKeown, Regional Secretary, Unison highlighting concerns over the recent announcement by the Minister for Health regarding the proposal of two new health centres in Lisburn and Newry funded by a 3PD (third party development) initiative.

Agreed: The Committee agree to await the C&AG's assessment of the project as it progresses for consideration at a later date.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to acknowledge Ms McKeown's letter.

7. Any other business

NIAO Report

The Chairperson invited the C&AG to comment on his forthcoming report on 'Sickness Absence in the Public Sector in Northern Ireland'.

Memento
The Committee agreed to frame a photograph of the Committee as a memento for former member Mitchel McLaughlin.

PAC Report on 'The Safety of Services Provided by Health and Social Care Trusts'

The Chairperson informed the Committee that she had been approached by a journalist to comment on the Committee's recent report on 'The Safety of Services Provided by Health and Social Care Trusts'.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chairperson should respond to the request on the Committee's behalf.

8. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 at 2:00 pm in the Senate, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 5:38 pm.

Ms Michaela Boyle
Chairperson, Public Accounts Committee
24 April 2013

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