Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 23 January 2013

Venue: Room 144 Parliament Buildings

2:03 pm The meeting opened in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

2. Minutes of the meeting on 12 December 2012

Agreed: The minutes of the last meeting were agreed.

3. Matters Arising

Anonymous Correspondence re Procurement Practices in the PSNI

2:06 pm Mr McLaughlin entered the meeting.

The Committee considered correspondence sent anonymously and alleging that the PSNI over a number of years has continued to employ a number of suppliers in the absence of a contract or retendering contract process. Given that C&AG will assess this risk in his annual audit the Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

Correspondence from the Northern Ireland Audit Office

The Committee noted correspondence from Mr Kieran Donnelly, Comptroller and Auditor General, Northern Ireland Audit Office giving an initial assessment of allegations received by the Committee regarding challenges to the tendering process for domiciliary care in the Western Trust.

2:10 pm Mr Anderson left the meeting.

2:11 pm The meeting went into closed session.

2:17 pm Mr Anderson entered the meeting.

2:24 pm Mr Dallat entered the meeting.

Agreed:  Following Committee consideration of the C&AG’s findings the C&AG agreed to apprise the Committee of options for his next steps to at the next meeting.

2:29 pm The meeting went into open session.

Correspondence from the Audit Committee

The Committee noted correspondence copied to the Committee from Mr Danny Kinahan, Chairperson, Audit Committee to the Minister of Finance highlighting its concerns regarding the resource requirements for the Northern Ireland Audit.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to write to the Audit Committee requesting to be kept up to date on this matter.

Correspondence from Invest NI

The Committee noted correspondence from Mr Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive, Invest NI regarding the rescheduling of its forthcoming evidence session.

Correspondence from the Committee for the Environment

The Committee noted correspondence from Ms Anna Lo, Chairperson, Committee for the Environment informing that the Northern Ireland Audit Office is asked to update her Committee on issues relating to the PFI contract for New Vehicle Testing Facilities.

4. Briefing on Northern Ireland Audit Office Reports on ‘Invest NI: A Performance Review’

The Committee considered the above report on ‘Invest NI: A Performance Review’.

Mr Kieran Donnelly Comptroller and Auditor General; Mr Neil Gray, Director; Mr Alan Orme, Audit Manager; and Joe Campbell, Audit Manager briefed the Committee on the report.

2:36 pm The meeting went into closed session after the C&AG’s initial remarks.

3:13 pm Mr Copeland left the meeting.

3:18 pm Mr McKay left the meeting.

3:35 pm Mr McKay entered the meeting.

3:39 pm Mr McKay left the meeting.

3:49 pm Mr McKay entered the meeting.

The witnesses answered a number of questions put by members.

5. PAC Inquiry on ‘NIHE: Management of Response Maintenance Contracts’

Correspondence from DSD

The Committee considered correspondence from Mr Will Haire, Accounting Officer, Department for Social Development providing the additional information it had requested.

3:57 pm Mr McLaughlin left the meeting.

4:07 pm Mr Dallat left the meeting.

4:08 pm Mr Anderson left the meeting.

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

4:10 pm Ms Caul entered the meeting.

4:14 pm External advisors left the meeting.

6. Odyssey Trust

Consideration of Legal Advice                

Ms Caul from Assembly Legal Services joined the meeting to advise the Committee as client in confidence. External advisors left the meeting. 

4:17 pm Mr Anderson entered the meeting.

4:17 pm Mr Rogers left the meeting. 

Agreed:  Following discussion the Committee agreed to establish C&AG’s next steps before concluding how to take the issue forward.  

7. Any other business

There was no other business.

8. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 at 2:00 pm in the Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4:40 pm.

Mr John Dallat
Deputy Chairperson, Public Accounts Committee
30 January 2013

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