Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 09 November 2011

Venue: Room 29

2:03 pm The meeting opened in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

2. Minutes of the meeting on 26 October 2011

Agreed: The minutes of the last meeting were agreed.

3. Matters Arising

Correspondence re Western Education and Library Board

The Committee noted correspondence from the Clerk to the Committee for Education and the Comptroller and Auditor General detailing the findings of an investigation undertaken into the procurement of contracts within the Western Education and Library Board.

Correspondence from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

The Committee noted correspondence from Mr Gerry Lavery, Accounting Officer, DARD providing additional information sought by the Committee in its inquiry ‘Reducing Water Pollution from Agricultural Sources - The Farm Nutrient Scheme’.

Correspondence from the Head of the Civil Service

The Committee noted correspondence from Dr Malcolm McKibbin, Head of the Civil Service to the Committee regarding the employment arrangements for Mr Paul Priestly.

2:19 pm Mr Byrne left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek legal advice on some of the information contained within the response before considering its response.

Correspondence from the Department of the Environment

The Committee noted correspondence from Mr Leo O’Reilly, Accounting Officer, Department of the Environment providing an update to the Committee on the department’s progress on some of the recommendations in the previous PAC Report on the ‘PFI Contract for Northern Ireland’s New Vehicle Testing Facilitites’.

Agreed: the Committee agreed to confidential handling of the attached performance review report in light of its commercial significance.

Correspondence from the Comptroller and Auditor General

The Committee noted correspondence from Mr Kieran Donnelly, Comptroller and Auditor General, Northern Ireland Audit Office on his findings regarding the level of legal fees incurred as a result of a fair employment tribunal in the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

2:41 pm Mr Hussey declared an interest stating that he is a member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

2:46 pm Mr Anderson and Ms McCann declared an interest stating that they are both current members of the Committee for Justice.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Northern Ireland Policing Board to register its concern at the C&AG’s findings.

2:48 pm The meeting went into closed session.

4. Draft forward work programme

The Committee considered a draft forward work programme for January to March 2012.

Agreed: The Committee decided and agreed the timing and order of the reports it will consider.

5. PAC Report on ‘Creating Effective Partnerships between Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector’

The Committee noted correspondence from Mr Will Haire, Accounting Officer, Department for Social Development providing the information sought by the Committee after its evidence session on 12 October 2011.

6. Final Consideration of Draft Committee Report on ‘Reducing Water Pollution from Agricultural Sources – The Farm Nutrient Scheme’

The Committee considered its revised draft reporton ‘Reducing Water Pollution from Agricultural Sources – The Farm Nutrient Scheme’.

Paragraph 7 read and agreed.

Paragraph 39 read and agreed.

Paragraphs 42 - 54 read and agreed.

Sub-header following paragraph 67 read, amended and agreed.

Paragraph 70 read and agreed.

Paragraph 21 read, amended and agreed.

Consideration of the Executive Summary

Paragraph 13 read, amended and agreed.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the correspondence to be included within the report.

Agreed: The Committee ordered the report to be printed.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the report will be embargoed until 00:01am on 7 December 2011.

6. Any other business

There was no other business.

7. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 at 2:00 pm in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 3:15 pm.

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

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