Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 28 September 2011

Venue: The Senate Chamber

1:30 pm The meeting commenced in closed session.

3. Briefing on the NIAO Report on ‘Reducing Water Pollution from Agricultural Sources – The Farm Nutrient Nutrient Scheme’

Mr Kieran Donnelly, Comptroller and Auditor General; Mr Robert Hutcheson, Director; and Mr Joe Campbell, Audit Manager briefed the Committee on the report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to adopt a rapporteur approach to questions.

1:55 pm The meeting was suspended.
1:56 pm Mr Easton entered the meeting.
2:02 pm The meeting recommenced in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

2. Minutes of the meeting on 21 September 2011

Agreed: The minutes of the last meeting were agreed.

4. Matters Arising

Correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personel

The Committee noted correspondence from the Clerk to the Committee for Finance and Personnel attaching correspondence from the Department of Finance and Personnel which details the number of outstanding post project evaluations for each department.

Correspondence from Down District Council

The Committee noted correspondence from Down District Council highlighting concerns over the threatened closure of the Ballynahinch and Newcastle Homestart schemes.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward this to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety for its consideration.

5. Evidence on the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into ‘ Reducing Water Pollution from Agricultural Sources – The Farm Nutrient Nutrient Scheme’

2:05 pm Mr Frew declared an interest stating the he is the Chairperson of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Committee took oral evidence on the above report from:

  • Mr Gerry Lavery, Acting Accounting Officer, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD);
  • Mr Brian Ervine, Head of Environmental Policy, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD);
  • Mr Michael Brennan, Head of Central Expenditure Division, Central Finance Group, Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP); and
  • Mr Stephen Fay, District Valuer, Land and Property Services, Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP).

2:34 pm Mr Girvan entered the meeting.
3:08 pm Mr Dallat left the meeting.
3:14 pm Mr Frew left the meeting.
3:17 pm Mr Dallat and Mr Frew entered the meeting.
3:45 pm Ms McCann left the meeting.
3:46 pm Mr Copeland and Mr Dallat left the meeting.
3:47 pm Mr Copeland and Mr Dallat entered the meeting.
3:47 pm Mr Byrne left the meeting.
3:50 pm Mr Byrne and Ms McCann entered the meeting.
4:30 pm Mr Anderson left the meeting.
4:34 pm Mr Dallat left the meeting.
4:38 pm Mr McLaughlin left the meeting.
4:43 pm Mr McLaughlin entered the meeting.
4:44 pm Mr Copeland left the meeting.
4:45 pm Mr Copeland entered the meeting.
4:55 pm Mr Frew left the meeting.
5:02 pm Mr Easton left the meeting.

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

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

5.22 pm The meeting went into closed session.

6. Issues arising from the oral evidence session on the NIAO report ‘Managing Criminal Legal Aid’

The Committee considered an issues paper on this evidence session.

7. PAC Report Security

The Committee agreed to consider this item at its next meeting on 5 October 2011.

8. Any other business

There was no other business.

9. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 5 October 2011 at 2:00 pm in the Senate Chamber.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 5:28 pm.

Mr Paul Maskey MP
Chairperson, Public Accounts Committee
5 October 2011

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