Committee on Procedures

Minutes of Proceedings - 03 November 2021

Committee on Procedures - Minutes of Proceedings - 03 November 2021.pdf (416.1 kb)

Committee on Procedures

Minutes of Proceedings

3 November 2021

Meeting Location: Room 29 and Starleaf


Present by Video-Conference:

Ms Carál Ní Chuilín MLA (Chairperson)         

Mr Thomas Buchanan MLA (Deputy Chairperson)

Mrs Rosemary Barton MLA

Ms Sinéad Bradley MLA

Ms Joanne Bunting MLA

Ms Ciara Ferguson MLA

Mr William Humphrey MLA



Ms Nicola Brogan MLA

Mr Gerry Carroll MLA 


In Attendance:      

Emer Boyle (Committee Clerk)

Paul Gill (Clerk Assistant) (Agenda item 5)

Sohui Yim (Assistant Clerk)

Stewart Kennedy (Clerical Supervisor)


The meeting commenced at 2.39pm in open session.


1.     Apologies

As above.


2.     Draft Minutes

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday, 13 October 2021.


3.     Matters Arising

The Committee noted an email from an official of the House of Commons’ Procedures Committee which indicated their Committee’s intention to visit the NI Assembly and to meet with the Committee as part of its ongoing Inquiry into the procedure of the House of Commons and the territorial constitution.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to meet with the House of Commons’ Procedures Committee and to await the formal written request before officials seek to make the appropriate arrangements.

The Committee noted that the Assembly and Executive Review Committee’s (AERC) Report on the Review of Opposition Entitlements was scheduled for 9 November 2021. The Committee were content for the Chairperson to speak at the debate and to set out the Committee’s position, as detailed in its response to AERC.


4.     Review of Private Members’ Bill – Oral Evidence from Ms Claire Bailey MLA

The Committee noted a paper from the Clerk.  

Ms Clare Bailey MLA joined the meeting at 2.43pm.

The Chairperson reminded Members that the Committee had previously agreed to invite MLAs who had engaged with the PMB process to provide written and/or oral evidence to its Inquiry.

The Chairperson welcomed Ms Bailey to the meeting.

Ms Bailey provided oral evidence to the Committee on her experience of the PMB process.  This was followed by a question and answer session.

The Chairperson thanked Ms Bailey for her evidence.

The evidence session was recorded by Hansard.

Ms Bailey left the meeting at 3.05pm.

The Committee noted the schedule of work in relation to further oral and written evidence.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the statutory committees where a sponsor of a PMB has also been a Member of the Committee, and to seek their views on the pros and cons of such circumstances when considering a PMB.


5.     NI (Ministers, Elections and Petition of Concern) Bill– Update  

The Committee noted a briefing note from the Clerk which detailed the Committee’s consideration to date and the issues arising from its previous meeting on 13 October 2021.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to take the issues paper to their parties for some preliminary discussions and bring their views back to the next meeting on 17 November 2021.


6.     Inquiry into Legislative Consent Motions – Update

The Committee noted a paper from the Clerk which detailed the background and progress to date on the Inquiry, including LCM procedures in other legislatures.

The Chairperson informed the Committee that there are only a limited number of legislatures where LCM procedures are in place due to these types of mechanisms, for granting or withholding consent, being internal matters unique to devolved legislatures.

During discussions, Members queried whether different recess periods in the each of the devolved legislatures and Westminster posed a challenge in relation to LCMs.

Agreed: The Committee agreed for the Clerk to liaise with the other legislatures to establish whether they have experienced any (additional) challenges in terms of the timescale for committee reporting on a legislative consent memorandum, associated with the differing recess timetables in the devolved legislatures.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to proceed with the suggested way forward as detailed in the Clerk’s paper.


7.     Correspondence   

The Committee considered correspondence from the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee regarding the possibility of establishing a Standing Committee with a specific remit to oversee Climate Change.

Agreed: The Committee agreed for the Clerk to draft a response for consideration at a future meeting.


8.     Any Other Business

There was no other business.


9.     Date and Time of Next Meeting

Agreed: It was agreed that the next meeting of the Committee would take place on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 at 2.30pm.


The meeting was adjourned at 3.31pm.


Carál Ní Chuilín MLA

Chairperson, Committee on Procedures

17 November 2021