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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 24 February 2020

The Assembly met at noon, the Speaker in the Chair.

1. Prayers

Members observed two minutes' silence.

2. Speaker's Business

The Speaker made some remarks recognising the work done by staff in the past 6 weeks, informed Members that he had written to Ministers reminding them of key procedures and conventions, and that he welcomes Members raising procedural concerns and points of order.

3. Assembly Business

Motion: Establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee to consider the creation of a Bill of Rights

Proposed:

That, as provided for in Standing Order 53(1), this Assembly appoints an Ad Hoc Committee to consider the creation of a Bill of Rights as set out in paragraph 28 of Part 2 of the New Decade, New Approach document; and to submit a report to the Assembly by 28 February 2022.

Composition: Democratic Unionist Party, 2;
                       Sinn Féin, 2;
                       Social Democratic and Labour Party, 1;
                       Ulster Unionist Party, 1;
                       Alliance Party, 1.

Quorum: The quorum shall be five members except when no decision is taken or question put to the Committee, when the quorum shall be four.

Procedure: The procedures of the Committee shall be such as the Committee shall determine.

Mr Keith Buchanan
Mr John O'Dowd
Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Robbie Butler
Ms Kellie Armstrong
Ms Clare Bailey

The Question being put, the Motion was carried.

4. Executive Committee Business

4.1 Motion: Suspension of Standing Orders 10(2) to 10(4)

Proposed:

That Standing Orders 10(2) to 10(4) be suspended for 24 February 2020.

Minister of Finance

The Question being put, the Motion was carried with cross-community support.

4.2 Motion: Supply Resolution for the 2019-2020 Spring Supplementary Estimates

Proposed:

That this Assembly approves that a sum, not exceeding £17,519,166,000, be granted out of the Consolidated Fund, for or towards defraying the charges for the Northern Ireland Departments, the Food Standards Agency, the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission, the Northern Ireland Audit Office, the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation, the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman, and the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland for the year ending 31 March 2020 and that resources, not exceeding £21,022,321,000, be authorised for use by the Northern Ireland Departments, the Food Standards Agency, the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission, the Northern Ireland Audit Office, the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation, the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman, and the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland for the year ending 31 March 2020 as summarised for each Department or other public body in Columns 2 (c) and 3 (c) of Table 1 in the volume of the Northern Ireland Spring Supplementary Estimates 2019-2020 that was laid before the Assembly on 19 February 2020.

Minister of Finance

4.2 Motion: Supply Resolution for the 2020-2021 Vote on Account

Proposed:

That this Assembly approves that a sum, not exceeding £7,962,895,000, be granted out of the Consolidated Fund, for or towards defraying the charges for the Northern Ireland Departments, the Food Standards Agency, the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission, the Northern Ireland Audit Office, the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation, the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman, and the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland for the year ending 31 March 2021 and that resources, not exceeding £9,054,440,000, be authorised for use by the Northern Ireland Departments, the Food Standards Agency, the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission, the Northern Ireland Audit Office, the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation, the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman, and the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland for the year ending 31 March 2021 as summarised for each Department or other public body in Columns 4 and 6 of Table 1 in the Northern Ireland Estimates Vote on Account 2020-2021 that was laid before the Assembly on 19 February 2020.

Minister of Finance

A single debate ensued on both motions.

The debate was suspended for Question Time.

Deputy Speaker McGlone took the Chair.

5. Question Time

5.1 Economy

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister for the Economy, Mrs Diane Dodds.

5.2 Education

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister of Education, Mr Peter Weir.

Deputy Speaker Beggs took the Chair.

6. Executive Committee Business (cont'd)

6.1 Motion: Supply Resolution for the 2019-2020 Spring Supplementary Estimates (cont'd)

Motion: Supply Resolution for the 2020-2021 Vote on Account (cont'd)

Debate resumed on both motions.

The Question being put, the Motion on the Supply Resolution for the 2019-2020 Spring Supplementary Estimates was carried with cross-community support.

The Question being put, the Motion on the 2020-2021 Vote on Account was carried with cross-community support.

6.2 First Stage: Budget Bill (NIA Bill 2/17-22)

A Bill to authorise the issue out of the Consolidated Fund of certain sums for the service of the years ending 31 March 2020 and 2021; to appropriate those sums for specified purposes; to authorise the use for the public service of certain resources for those years; to revise the limits on the use of certain accruing resources in the year ending 31 March 2020; and to authorise the Department of Finance to borrow on the credit of the sum appropriated for the year ending 31 March 2021.

The Budget Bill (NIA 02/17-22) passed First Stage and was ordered to be printed.

The Deputy Speaker informed the Assembly that the Office of the Speaker had received correspondence from the Committee for Finance stating that, in order to ensure that the Budget Bill can proceed, the Committee had reluctantly agreed that, without prejudice to the level of detail that the Committee will expect when the Department of Finance consults the Committee on future Budget Bills, the Committee is satisfied that under these extenuating circumstances, in this case only, the consultation with it on the public expenditure proposals contained in the Bill has been appropriate, as required under Standing Order 42(2).

7. Adjournment

Proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

The Speaker

The Assembly adjourned at 5.41pm.

Mr Alex Maskey
The Speaker
24 February 2020

Northern Ireland Assembly

Papers Presented to the Assembly on
18 February 2020 – 24 February 2020

1. Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly

2. Bills of the Northern Ireland Assembly

Budget Bill (NIA Bill 02/17-22).

3. Orders in Council

4. Publications Laid in the Northern Ireland Assembly

5. Assembly Reports

6. Statutory Rules

SR 2020/20 The Sea Fish Licensing (Revocation) Order (Northern Ireland) 2020 (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs).

SR 2020/21 The Sea Fishing (Licences and Notices) (Revocation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs).

7. Written Ministerial Statements

The Minister of Health – RQIA Review of the Governance of Outpatient Services.

8. Consultation Documents

9. Departmental Publications

Northern Ireland Spring Supplementary Estimates 2019-2020 (Department of Finance).

Northern Ireland Estimates: Vote on Account 2020-2021 (Department of Finance).

Charities Annual Report 2019 (Department for Communities).

10. Agency Publications

11. Westminster Publications

12. Miscellaneous Publications

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