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Official Report (Hansard)

Session: 2008/2009

Date: 01 April 2009


Financial Provisions Bill

1 April 2009


Members present for all or part of the proceedings:

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin (Chairperson) 
Mr Simon Hamilton (Deputy Chairperson) 
Mr Fra McCann 
Mr Declan O’Loan 
Mr Ian Paisley Jnr 
Mr Peter Weir


Mr Michael Daly ) 
Ms Brenda Shearer ) Department of Finance and Personnel 
Mr David Thomson )

The Chairperson (Mr McLaughlin):

The Department gave the Committee a pre-introduction briefing on the Financial Provisions Bill on 4 February. At that briefing, the Committee requested further information on the proposal to remove the need to produce separate finance accounts. The response from the Department is in members’ information packs.

The Bill was subsequently introduced in the Assembly, and has reached its Committee Stage. The Committee sought the views of the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, the Public Accounts Committee and the Audit Committee, as the scope of the Bill is within their remit, too. Their responses indicated that they had no issues to raise.

The Committee’s public consultation on the Bill ends at close of play today, and no responses have been received to date. So, we are overwhelmed. [Laughter.]

Mr Weir:

Overwhelmed with apathy.

The Chairperson:

Nonetheless, I invite Michael to make some introductory comments, and then we will open the meeting to members.

Mr Michael Daly (Department of Finance and Personnel):

I do not have an awful lot to add to what the Chairperson said. The Second Stage debate on the Bill covered a number of issues that Members raised. The Minister replied to some of them during the debate, and wrote to Members about others. However, there may be other issues that Committee members might want to raise now.

The Chairperson:

Thank you. Members, have we ―

Mr Hamilton:

Any holiday plans?

The Chairperson:

Is that a question? I am overwhelmed by the responses from the Committee, too. So, Michael, may I just wish you well, and keep up the good work. Obviously, you are satisfying opinion around this table.

Mr Hamilton:

Declan, could you not even ask something about social housing to take the bad look off us?

Mr O’Loan:

Just so that we have something to write in the report.

The Chairperson:

No, but I will make sure that the ―

Mr Weir:

There is something coming through from David McNarry. [Laughter.]

The Chairperson:

It is quite evident from the members who sent their apologies that they are the people who have the real interest in this subject. So, I can only apologise to those colleagues who attended today.

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