Official Report (Hansard)

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 27 July 2010

PDF version of this report (31.89 kb)

Members present for all or part of the proceedings:

Dr Stephen Farry (Deputy Chairperson) 
Ms Martina Anderson 
Mrs Dolores Kelly 
Mr Barry McElduff 
Mr Francie Molloy 
Mr George Robinson 
Mr Jimmy Spratt

 

The Deputy Chairperson (Dr Farry):

We now move on to the 2010-11 spending plans of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minster (OFMDFM), on which the Committee was due to receive a briefing today. We received an e-mail from the Department, which advises that:

“Ministers are continuing to actively consider and discuss various options in relation to the Department’s Budget/Spending plans and until the implications and feasibility of these options are explored further we are not in a position, at this stage, to provide any briefing to the Committee, either in writing or orally, on this matter.”

Does anyone wish to comment? We ought to be concerned about clarity on spending plans. However, the situation is not unique to OFMDFM but applies across the board. We will return to the issue in early September.

Mrs D Kelly:

Was a reason given? Had officials not finished their work on the departmental spending plans? I understand that they must be submitted by August.

The Deputy Chairperson:

The spending plans are a work in progress. The options are still being considered and discussed.

Mrs D Kelly:

Will the spending plans come back to the Committee?

The Deputy Chairperson:

I imagine that they will come back to the Committee in early September.

Mrs D Kelly:

By then, it will be a fait accompli, and it will be too late to scrutinise the spending plans.

The Deputy Chairperson:

Nothing is a fait accompli until it is formally adopted by the Assembly as part of the Budget resolution and legislation. A departmental briefing will be a first indication of what is likely to happen.

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