The Northern Ireland Assembly has been dissolved. The election will take place on Thursday 5 May 2016.

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 26 June 2013

Venue: Room 115 and The Senate Chamber

1:18 pm The Deputy Chairperson opened the meeting in closed session in Room 115.

1. Inquiry into NI Fire and Rescue Service: An Organisational Assessment and Review of Departmental Oversight and Report on Accounts 2011-2012 – consideration of draft report

1.18 pm Audit Office officials joined the meeting.

The Deputy Chairperson invited the C&AG, Ms Jacqueline O'Brien, Ms Louise Mason and Mr Joe Campbell to brief the Committee on this issue.

Following discussion the Members considered paragraphs 1 to 30 of its draft report.
1.56 pm Mr Copeland entered the meeting.

The Committee considered the draft report paragraph by paragraph.
Paragraphs 1 – 11 read and agreed.
Paragraph 12 read, amended and agreed.
Paragraphs 13 – 19 read and agreed.
Paragraph 20, recommendation 1 and recommendation 2 read, amended and agreed.
Paragraphs 21 – 24 read and agreed.
Paragraph 25 read, amended and deferred subject to legal advice.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek legal advice on the proposed amendment to paragraph 25.
Paragraphs 26 – 30 read and agreed.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to resume consideration of the draft report at its next meeting.
1.56 pm the meeting was adjourned to reconvene in the Senate Chamber.
2.07 pm the Chairperson reconvened the meeting in public session in the Senate Chamber.

2. Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

3. Matters arising

i. The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Education regarding the Northern Ireland Audit Office Report on Healthy School Meals.

ii. The Committee considered confidential correspondence concerning a whistleblower allegation re National Museums.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to refer the matter to the Northern Ireland Audit Office.

iii. The Committee discussed its consideration of Agenda Item 6, Inquiry on PSNI: Use of Agency Staff.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to defer consideration of this matter until its meeting on 3 July 2013

4. Ministerial Direction – Newry and Lisburn Health and Care Centres

The Committee noted correspondence from the Northern Ireland Audit Office advising of a ministerial direction from the Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety concerning the procurement of Newry and Lisburn Health and Care Centres through third party development funding.

5. Inquiry into Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure: Management of Major Capital Projects

The Committee took oral evidence on the above inquiry from:

Mr Peter May, Accounting Officer, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure;
Ms Deborah Brown, Finance Director, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure;
Mr Arthur Scott, Culture Director, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure;
Ms Roisin McDonagh, Chief Executive, Arts Council NI;
Stewart Heaney, Divisional Director, Central Procurement Directorate.

The witnesses answered a number of questions put by the Committee.

2.39pm Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

2.24pm Mr Girvan left the meeting.

3.45pm Mr Dallat left the meeting.

4.09pm Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

4.23pm Mr Copeland left the meeting.

4.31pm Mr McQuillan left the meeting.

4:32pm The meeting moved to closed session

Members discussed the oral evidence with Northern Ireland Audit Office Officials.

4.38pm Mr McKay joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request further information from the witnesses.

6. Minutes of the meeting on 19 June 2013

Agreed: The minutes of the last meeting were agreed.

7. Any other business

The C&AG briefed the Committee on a protected disclosure received by him. The Chairperson told the Committee that the whistleblower who made the disclosure had requested a meeting with her and the Deputy Chairperson.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson should meet, in due course, with the person who provided the confidential correspondence.

8. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 3 July at 2:00 pm in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.47 pm

Ms Michaela Boyle
Chairperson, Public Accounts Committee
3 July 2013

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