Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2014/2015

Date: 20 October 2015






The Speaker welcomed Members and congratulated Mr Widdis on his appointment as Head of Government Legal Services and wished him all the best for his new role as this was his last Commission meeting.

The Speaker also welcomed Ms Caul to the meeting and congratulated her on her temporary promotion to the role of Director of Legal and Governance Services.

The Speaker outlined to Members the format of the meeting; two items to be discussed in open session, namely the Broadcasting and related Sound and Vision Services Contract and the Clerk/Chief Executive's Update Report followed by a discussion in closed session.

Due to time pressures the Speaker advised Members that the meeting would be limited to the items on the agenda only.


The Speaker welcomed Ms Brown, Head of Communications and Outreach to the meeting.

Mr J Stewart, Director of Clerking and Reporting, introduced his paper on the re-tendering of the Broadcasting and related Sound and Vision Services Contract seeking approval from the Commission to approve the business case to tender and procure a new Broadcasting Contract as described in Option 3.

Ms Brown provided Members with background on the current contract, details of all work that has been carried out to date to establish our requirements for the procurement of a new Broadcasting Contract and listed 3 options for going forward with a recommendation to seek approval for Option 3.

Ms Ruane joined the meeting at 1.35pm

Agreement: Members agreed to proceed with Option 3 as recommended.

Action: Mr J Stewart to tender for and procure a new Broadcasting Contract in 2016 as described in Option 3 of the business case.

Ms Caul, Head of Legal Services, joined the meeting at 1.45pm


The Clerk/Chief Executive provided Members with an update on the key issues in his monthly report namely:

5.1 Budget Planning 2016/17

The Clerk/Chief Executive advised Members on the emerging position in relation to the Commission's budget for 2016/17, the impact of which would fundamentally affect the level and range of services that the Commission would be able to provide to the Assembly.

The Clerk/Chief Executive stated that the proposed new budget setting methodology for the Commission had still to be approved and that it would not be in place for 2016/17.

Action: Speaker to issue a further letter to Minister Foster requesting a response to his letter of 10 September 2015.

Mr McGrath left the meeting at 1.55pm

Action: Speaker to approach OFMDFM highlighting pressures stemming from any further cuts to the Commission's budget.

Action: Mr R Stewart, Director of Corporate Services, to prepare 2016/17 budget on the basis of a 5% reduction.

Mr Widdis left the meeting at 2.00pm

5.2 Judicial Review Case

The Clerk/Chief Executive advised Members of an ongoing Judicial Review case which is currently in the High Court in Northern Ireland and provided details on one of the legal arguments that the Applicants are making together with two options open to the Assembly on how to proceed.

Agreement: Members agreed to proceed with the second option.

Action: Ms Caul to write to applicants in the ongoing judicial review case setting out the Commission's decision to monitor the proceedings but not actively seek to be joined at this stage.

6. The meeting went into closed session at 2.04pm

(Officials, other than the Clerk/Chief Executive, Head of Human Resources and SARC Representative withdrew from the meeting)

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