Date: 18 October 2021
The Assembly to sit at noon.
2. Members’ Statements
3. Assembly Business
Motion: Committee Membership
That Ms Cara Hunter replace Mrs Dolores Kelly as a member of the Committee for Infrastructure; that Mr Colin McGrath replace Ms Cara Hunter as a member of the Committee for Health; and that Ms Cara Hunter replace Mr Matthew O’Toole as a member of the Public Accounts Committee.
Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Colin McGrath
4. Executive Committee Business
Motion: The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Amendment of Relevant Period in Schedule 8) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021
That the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Amendment of Relevant Period in Schedule 8) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 be approved.
Minister for the Economy
Motion: The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Amendment of Schedule 11) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021
That the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Amendment of Schedule 11) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 be approved.
Minister for the Economy
5. Question Time
6. Committee Business
Motion: Appointment of an Acting Commissioner
That this Assembly notes that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commissioner for Standards is unable to act in relation to any complaint relating to an on-going inquiry into a former consultant in the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust; appoints Mr Douglas Bain as an Acting Commissioner, in accordance with section 23(1) of the Assembly Members (Independent Financial Review and Standards) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011, to investigate all such complaints; directs that this appointment shall cease when Mr Douglas Bain has reported on all such complaints; and directs that the terms of his appointment, in particular his remuneration, will, subject to any necessary modification, be the same as those of the Northern Ireland Assembly Commissioner for Standards.
Chairperson, Committee on Standards and Privileges
7. Private Members’ Business
Motion: Interparliamentary Dialogue
That this Assembly welcomes Vice President Maroš Šefčovič’s support for formal dialogue between this Assembly and the European Parliament; supports this effort to include the perspectives of local elected representatives and stakeholders on matters relating to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and the broader peace process; and calls on the President of the European Parliament to undertake, immediately, work to set up direct interparliamentary dialogue between the two institutions.
Dr Caoimhe Archibald
Mr John O’Dowd
Mr Pádraig Delargy
Motion: Independent Evaluation of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
That this Assembly recognises the need for an effective, efficient and independent structure for dealing with complaints against police officers; believes the current operation of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI) falls well below the reasonable expectations of complainants, serving and retired police officers, as well as the wider public; expresses deep concern regarding the grave findings as expressed in recent court judgements touching upon the methods and standard of investigative practice, the inordinate delay in concluding investigations and the submission of files to the Public Prosecution Service as required by due process; notes that this has resulted in a severe negative impact on natural justice and the legal rights of all concerned; criticises, in particular, the practice of the Ombudsman in arriving at determinations which exceed the statutory powers of the Office; condemns the use of Police and Criminal Evidence Order (PACE) powers to investigate allegations of non-substantive or non-existent criminal offences and to arrive at conclusions outwith any due process or independent scrutiny of what is alleged to be evidence; further notes the adverse impact this has on the reputation of the policing service; stresses that practical consideration should be given to establishing an independent complaints mechanism to promote accountability for misconduct, poor practice and administrative standards within PONI: and calls on the Minister of Justice to commission a fully independent inspection of PONI, including its investigative capability, financial management, security of information handling, operating practices and how it complies with its mandate to build trust and confidence, before the end of the current mandate.
Mr Mervyn Storey
Mr Trevor Clarke