The Northern Ireland Assembly is in Recess until the 30th of August. The Business Committee will meet on the 1st of September and the First Plenary Sitting is the 7th of September.

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 26 October 2011

Venue: Room 29

2:06 pm The meeting opened in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

2. Minutes of the meeting on 19 October 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 Mr Stephen Peover, Accounting Officer, Department of Finance and Personnel explaining why there will be a delay in responding to the Committee’s two letters regarding the NI Water MORs, and the MORs on Arrangements for Improving the Quality of Care in Homes for Older People and Improving Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

Correspondence from the C&AG regarding the Odyssey Trust Company

The C&AG and Denver Lynn briefed the Committee on issues raised in correspondence from Mr Peter Curistan, Chairman of the Sheridan Group PLC, regarding the Odyssey Trust Company.

The Committee was content to note the correspondence.

Options Paper – Meeting on 30 November 2011

The Committee considered an options paper from the Clerk regarding the public sector ballot to support industrial action on 30 November 2011, which coincides with the Committee’s planned evidence session on that date into the Audit Office report ‘The Use of Locum Doctors by Northern Ireland Hospitals’.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the meeting scheduled for 30 November 2011, should now take place on 7 December 2011.

The C&AG advised that it would be useful for the Chief Executive from the Western Health Trust to participate the evidence session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to invite Ms Way to attend the evidence session.

2:23 pm The meeting went into closed session.

4. Correspondence between the Head of the Civil Service and the Committee

regarding employment arrangements for Mr Paul Priestly

The Committee considered a briefing paper prepared by the Clerk summarising

correspondence between the Head of the Civil Service, Sir Bruce Robinson and the

Committee regarding the employment arrangements for Mr Paul Priestly and advising on a draft response.

Agreed: The Committee agreed a letter to Sir Bruce Robinson requesting

clarification of some issues referred to in his letter dated 14 October 2011.

2:30 pm Mr Copeland left the meeting.

5. Consideration of Draft Committee Report on ‘Managing Criminal Legal Aid’

The Committee read the draft reporton ‘Managing Criminal Legal Aid’ paragraph by paragraph.

2:32 pm Mr Copeland entered the meeting.

Paragraphs 1 – 7 read and agreed.

Paragraphs 8 – 9 read, amended and agreed.

Paragraphs 10 – 16 read and agreed.

Paragraphs 17 – 18 read, amended and agreed.

Paragraphs 19 – 20 read and agreed.

Paragraph 21 read, amended and agreed.

Original paragraph 22 read and agreed.

Original paragraph 23 read, amended and agreed.

Original paragraph 24 read and agreed.

Original paragraphs 25 – 26 read, amended and agreed.

Original paragraph 27 read and agreed.

New recommendation inserted after original paragraph 27 – read and agreed.

Original paragraphs 28 – 29 read and agreed.

Original paragraph 30 read, amended and agreed.

Original paragraphs 31 – 32 read and agreed.

3:15 pm Mr McLaughlin left the meeting.

Executive Summary pages 1 – 2 read and agreed.

Summary of Recommendations pages 3 – 4 read and agreed, as amended.

Agreed: To include the Chairperson’s letter to Mr Nick Perry, Accounting Officer,

Department of Justice, dated 28 September 2011, and the response from Mr Perry

dated 5 October 2011, in the appendices to the report.

Agreed: The Committee ordered the report to be printed.

6. Any other business


7. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 9 November 2011 at 2:00 pm in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 3:18 pm.

Mr Paul Maskey MP
Chairperson, Public Accounts Committee
9 November 2011.

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