Commissioner for Children and Young People Bill: Committee Stage (Period Extension)

– in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 12:30 pm on 30 September 2002.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 12:30, 30 September 2002

I beg to move

That, in accordance with Standing Order 31(5), the period referred to in Standing Order 31(3) be extended to 22 November 2002, in relation to the Committee Stage of the Commissioner for Children and Young People Bill (NIA 20/01).

The Commissioner for Children and Young People Bill, which passed its Second Stage in July 2002, stands referred to the Committee of the Centre. The Bill is one of the most significant pieces of legislation to be introduced in the Assembly. Its main purpose is to provide for the appointment and remit of a children’s commissioner for Northern Ireland.

Last year, the Committee of the Centre undertook a major inquiry into the role and remit of a children’s commissioner, and the Bill, as drafted, reflects many of the Committee report’s recommendations. The Committee of the Centre, as part of its rigorous scrutiny of the Bill, sought views and comments from organisations that had a direct interest in the work of a commissioner. The Committee has received detailed written submissions from a wide range of organisations and individuals. The Committee has also taken oral evidence from several of those organisations, including the Commissioner for Children in Wales.

Scrutiny of the clauses is now under way. Several issues have already emerged, and those will require full and careful examination. Therefore the Committee requests an extension until 22 November to provide adequate time to consider all the measures covered in the Bill and to produce a report to the Assembly. I assure the House that the Committee has given priority to the Committee Stage of the Bill and will complete its work as quickly as possible. To ensure that there is no delay, several further meetings, in addition to normal Committee meetings, have been held.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved:

That, in accordance with Standing Order 31(5), the period referred to in Standing Order 31(3) be extended to 22 November 2002, in relation to the Committee Stage of the Commissioner for Children and Young People Bill (NIA 20/01).