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

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 07 February 2013

Venue: Room 29

The Chairperson declared the meeting open to the public at 10.11am.

1. Apologies

Apologies were as indicated above.

2. Draft Minutes of Meetings 30 & 31 January 2013

Agreed: The minutes of the meetings held on 30 & 31 January 2013 were agreed.

3. Chairperson’s Business

The Chairperson advised Members of a round table event organised by the Chartered   Institute of Housing to discuss the recent announcement made by the Minister regarding proposed changes to housing structures.

4. Betting, Gambling, Lotteries and Amusements Bill – Departmental Briefing

The following representatives from the Department joined the meeting 10.13am:

  • Liam Quinn, Social Policy Unit; and
  • Patrick Rogers, Social Policy Unit                      

The officials briefed the Committee outlining the policy content of the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements Bill.

Ms Judith Cochrane joined the meeting at 10.35am

Members discussed the background as well as the key features of the Bill and highlighted specific cases which the Department may wish to consider as part of this legislation.

Mr Michael Copeland left the meeting at 10.52am

This session was recorded by Hansard.

The Chairperson thanked the officials for their attendance at the meeting.

The officials left the meeting at 10.53am

5. Proposed Subordinate Legislation              

The Committee considered the following proposed item of legislation:

  • The National Employment Savings Trust (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2013

The Committee were content to note this Statutory Instrument as it does not require any Assembly procedure.

6. Correspondence

Mr Michael Copeland re-joined the meeting at 10. 54am

The Chairperson drew Members attention to a number of items of Departmental correspondence including the three-year Social Housing Development Programme, Housing Executive Easements, the Belfast Community Investment Programme and the Tenancy Deposit Schemes.

The Committee considered correspondence from the Finance and Personnel Committee regarding Departmental financial forecasting data.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to forward this information to the Department and ask for an explanation as to the difference in the forecasted and actual outturn.

Members were content for the items of correspondence to be dealt with as per the correspondence memo.

7. Forward Work Programme

The Committee were content with the proposed Forward Work Programme.

Ms Judith Cochrane left the meeting at 10.55am

8. Welfare Reform Bill – Further  Consideration

The following officials from the Social Security Agency joined the meeting at 10.55am.

  • Tommy O’Reilly, SSA
  • Colin Sullivan, SSA

The officials briefed the Committee in order to clarify out-standing issues regarding the costs associated with Universal Credit claimants being paid monthly for the first month before bi-monthly payments could begin. 

Mr Michael Copeland left the meeting at 11.06am

Ms Paula Bradley re-joined the meeting at 11.08am

This session was recorded by Hansard.

The Chairperson thanked the officials for their attendance at the meeting.

The officials left the meeting at 11.42am

The Chairperson suspended the meeting at 11.43am

The Committee reconvened in closed session at 12.17pm

9. Welfare Reform Bill – Further Deliberation

The Committee considered the Welfare Reform Bill in closed session.

The Chairperson declared the meeting open to the public at 12.52pm

10. Any Other Business

The Chairperson stated that he had been contacted by DSD employees about the prospect of DSD outsourcing to the private sector, some existing posts via Public Contracts advertisements in the European Journal.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department and ask for clarification on this issue. 

11. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will take place at 10:00am on Tuesday 12 February 2013 in Room 144 Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.54pm.

Mr Alex Maskey
Chairperson, Committee for Social Development.
14 February 2013

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