Assembly Finance Committee Meets For First Time

Session: 2006/2007

Date: 16 May 2007

Reference: F&P 01/07

The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Statutory Committee for Finance and Personnel met for the first time today in Parliament Buildings. Committee Chairperson, Mitchel McLaughlin, MLA, welcomed both Permanent Secretaries from the Department of Finance and Personnel, John Hunter and Bruce Robinson to the meeting. The Permanent Secretaries updated members on the key issues facing DFP over the coming months. The Committee also received a briefing on the Budget Bill for 2007/08.

Speaking after the meeting Mr McLaughlin said:

‘The Committee viewed this initial briefing as a means of informing our work programme up to the summer recess. DFP has a broad range of responsibilities, but Members were especially interested in issues such as: the new rates bills which have recently been issued, and Workplace 2010 which impacts significantly on the ownership of government buildings, and the location of public sector jobs. The Committee’s initial focus will be on issues such as these.’

The Committee agreed an initial work programme up until summer recess.

The Committee for Finance and Personnel is one of 11 Statutory Committees of the Northern Ireland Assembly, which are set up to advise and assist each Northern Ireland Minister in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within his/her responsibilities as a Minister. Statutory Committees have powers as described in Strand One of the Belfast Agreement i.e. a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role with respect to the department with which each is associated, together with a role in the initiation of legislation.
As per paragraph 9 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement, Statutory Committees have the power to:
 Consider and advise on departmental budgets and annual plans in the context of the overall budget allocation;
 Approve relevant secondary legislation and take the Committee stage of relevant primary legislation;
 Call for persons and papers;
 Initiate inquiries and make reports; and
 Consider and advise on matters brought to the Committee by its minister.

The Committee for Finance and Personnel has eleven Members:
Mitchel McLaughlin (Chairperson) (Sinn Fein) 
Mervyn Storey (Deputy Chairperson) (DUP)
Roy Beggs (UUP)
Dr Stephen Farry (Alliance)
Simon Hamilton (DUP)
Fra McCann (Sinn Fein)
Jennifer McCann (Sinn Fein)
Adrian McQuillan (DUP) 
Declan O’Loan (SDLP)
Dawn Purvis (PUP)
Peter Weir (DUP)
Media enquiries should be addressed to:
Northern Ireland Assembly Information Office, Room B2, Parliament Buildings, Belfast BT4 3XX. Telephone 028 9052 1137. 

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