Public Accounts Committee

Assembly Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 10:30 am on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Robin Newton Robin Newton Speaker 10:30 am, 24th January 2017

I wish to inform the House that I have received the resignation of Mr Robin Swann as Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee with effect from 11.58 pm on Wednesday 25 January 2017.

Photo of Mike Nesbitt Mike Nesbitt UUP

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. On behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party, I want to put on record my thanks to the staff on this estate — every single one of them — for their unfailing professionalism and courtesy, and to express regret for any disruption to their professional lives that may be caused by the current political impasse. Thank you for your indulgence.

Photo of Jim Allister Jim Allister Traditional Unionist Voice

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. First of all, I join in thanking the staff, as you properly did, and associate myself with those remarks.

However, on a point of order, as Members of this House we are, as I understand it, under an obligation to declare all relevant interests. As Speaker, you, too, have oversight of the Committees of this House. What are the ramifications of Ms Carla Lockhart, as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, failing to declare a family link to the renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme at a time when that same Committee was investigating the RHI scheme?

Photo of Robin Newton Robin Newton Speaker

I thank Mr Allister. That is not a matter for the Speaker to deal with; it is a matter for a Member to declare his or her interests on the appropriate register.

Photo of Robin Swann Robin Swann UUP

Further to that point of order, the PAC still meets tomorrow afternoon, so there will be an opportunity to clarify that matter.

Photo of Stewart Dickson Stewart Dickson Alliance

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Just very briefly, I also wish, on behalf of the Alliance Party, to be associated with your words of thanks for the dedication of staff in this Assembly.