MINUTES OF DCAL DEPARTMENTAL
BOARD MEETING 12.30pm
28 JANUARY 2009
Present: Paul Sweeney
In attendance: Trevor Palmer (minutes)
Apologies: Aileen McClintock
Paul Sweeney welcomed everyone to the meeting and offered congratulations
to Declan McGeown on his recent promotion to the Senior Civil Service. Paul
advised that Declan would shortly be moving on to his new post in the NIO.
1.0 Minutes of Last Meeting
1.1 The minutes of the meeting held on 10 December 2008 were agreed
and amendments accepted.
2.0 Matters Arising / Action Points
2.1 Presentations to the Board – a paper and presentation on the 2012 Unit
will be tabled at the March board meeting.
2.2 Discussion group meetings – Two meetings involving around 30 staff
each have now been held. These are intended to give the opportunity
for staff to engage in the change programme and other matters,
3.0 ARMC Update
3.1 Stephanie Lowry gave an update on the ARMC meeting held on 9
3.2 The new guidance on Child Protection has now been circulated around
3.3 The Departmental Fraud Prevention Policy and Fraud Response Plan
are prepared and will be signed off in the near future.
3.4 Deborah Brown and Trudy Creane have agreed to amend the Audit
Plan for the current year to include the issue of data security and its
inclusion in the SIC.
3.5 A meeting for the Chairs of the ALB Audit Committees has been
arranged for 24 March. Stephanie welcomed suggestions for the
3.6 Stephanie had met with Maureen Bennett and Arthur Scott to discuss
the effectiveness of the ARMC. A paper entitled ‘DCAL ARMC Review
of Effectiveness – November 2008’ was prepared and comments are
4.0 Finance Report
4.1 Michael O’Dowd spoke to the Finance Report.
4.2 Account NI is on target with training underway, although this is
presenting challenges throughout the Department.
4.3 Michael gave a summary of DCAL’s submission under the February in-
year monitoring round. There will be a resource bid of ?900k in respect
of Sport NI Pension Provision (NILGOSC). An easement of ?400k in
respect of PRONI will be declared.
4.4 Management Statements & Financial Memoranda.
4.4.1 DFP approved the draft Education and Library Boards MSFM and it was
signed by the Permanent Secretary on 5 November. The document has
now been issued to DE to obtain final sign off by the Education and
4.4.2 The NI Screen MSFM has been reviewed by DFP and comments
provided on draft which are currently being taken forward by the
4.4.3 Comments on the draft MSFM issued to NILA are being considered by
4.5 Michael highlighted concerns about the late production by HRConnect
of reports used to generate the value of payroll transfer under HR
Connect. The Department is faced with paying over estimated amounts
in advance of these reports in order to meet the payroll deadlines.
4.6 The Board noted the Finance Report.
5.0 Personnel Report
5.1 Mary Donnelly spoke to her Personnel Report.
5.2 It was noted that a number of line managers did not have managing
attendance recorded as an objective on their PPAs. Mary undertook to
provide a draft note for HODs to issue.
5.3 Unfortunately due to the absence management module going live on HR
Connect NISRA has been unable to provide sickness absence statistics
and as a result the normal statistical update cannot be provided to the
Board this month. Paul Sweeney expressed concern that momentum
on reporting absence could be lost as a result.
5.4 Findings from the survey on Health and Safety Executive Management
Standards for Work Related Stress in DCAL were discussed. It was
agreed that Statistics and Research Branch would undertake a further
exercise to show the results by location in order to ascertain whether
some of the issues are localised. The full Report, and that from the
Focus Groups, will now issue to TUS, the Steering Group, and then to
5.5 Deborah Brown is to set up a meeting of the Steering Group following
issue of the Reports. The Steering Group will be required to identify a
number of areas for action and draft an Action Plan.
5.6 Following the launch of Release 3.0 (Non Industrial Payroll, Absence
Management and Job Related Data Changes) in November 2008, staff
received their salaries in November and December through HR Connect
payroll. Overall reports show that the launch of payroll went well.
5.7 Currently four different variations of flexible working time arrangements
are in operation within Interpoint. An exercise will be launched in early
February with a view to standardising the arrangements.
5.8 LTUS registered disappointment that the consideration of Teleworking
had been deferred until September 2009 and requested that it be
reconsidered earlier in the next financial year.
5.9 The Board noted the Personnel Report.
6.0 Communications Update
6.1 Jill Heron gave a verbal communications update and circulated a
summary PR evaluation report.
6.2 The new Internet site is close to being launched. The Special Advisor
has seen the prototype and is broadly content and an informal launch by
the Minister in early February is being considered.
6.3 NI Direct is expected to be ready by the end of March with an official
launch planned for June.
6.4 The Board noted the update and report.
7.0 Organisational Change
7.1 Marie Garvey gave an update on the Accommodation Project which is
on target for week commencing 13 April. A small group has been
progressing this project to date although there will increasing time
commitment from staff as the date gets nearer. Each business area has
now nominated a ‘Move Co-Ordinator’ to ensure that the work required
will be undertaken in time. HODs are asked to facilitate staff where
7.2 Scoping work to enable a Move Management plan to be put in place by
27 February has commenced. This plan will cover activities such as
advising the Departmental stakeholders, location of staff to particular
desks, open office protocols etc. Floor plans will be circulated to
Directors within the next few days.
7.3 It was agreed that Marie would provide the Permanent Secretary with a
draft memo to issue to all staff on the move and the need for increasing
7.4 The Permanent Secretary acknowledged Marie and her team’s work to
date on this project.
7.5 Edgar Jardine spoke to the paper on Car Parking and Workforce
Travel Plan. The purpose of the paper was to:-
? Outline the background to, and reasons for, addressing this issue;
? Update on progress;
? Set out proposals to facilitate the provision for some car parking
following the move to Causeway Exchange and the development of
an Essential Car User policy for DCAL;
? Lay tracks for other forms of transport / travel.
7.6 The Board noted the paper and agreed that more work was required on
the Essential Users Policy and to get confirmation of the DFP provision.
7.7 Mick Cory gave an update on Quarter 2 Progress Report. He
summarised achievements to date, detailed the September to December
deliverables and in particular highlighted the actions required over the
next three months.
7.8 The Board noted the Progress Report.
7.9 Mark Colligan joined the meeting to give a verbal presentation on the
Review of Organisational Change. He acknowledged that the
enthusiasm for change is still evident with the Board members and
there is a realisation of the challenges being faced.
7.10 The Board acknowledged the update and it was agreed to focus on the
move to Causeway Exchange and then re-group in early summer to
plan the way forward.
8.0 Corporate Risk Register Update
8.1 Declan McGeown gave an update on the revised draft Corporate Risk
Register and explained changes to the format etc. The Board then
invited Trudy Creane, IAS, to give a brief presentation on Risk
Management and how to evaluate the impact and likelihood of risks
and calculate the risk ratings.
8.2 The Board formally signed off the proposed framework and Declan
undertook to circulate the draft register to HODs for them to revise
9.0 Review of Departmental Board
9.1 Declan spoke to his paper on Review of the Departmental Board and
the Departmental Board Terms of Reference.
9.2 The Board welcomed the paper and asked Declan and Trevor to
review the wording in Para 8 of the Terms of Reference, consider
future agendas in light of the Board’s discussions and prepare a
forward work programme.
10.0 Data Protection Update and RPA Update
10.1 Paul McAllister spoke to his data protection and RPA updates.
10.2 The Board noted the updates and suggested it would be useful to find
out what other Departments are doing. An update will be brought to
the February meeting.
11.0 Economics Services Unit Thresholds
11.1 Deborah spoke to the paper prepared by Michelle Scott.
11.2 The Board declined to raise the threshold at this time and sought more
assurances on this issue.
12.0 Below the Line Papers
12.1 The following papers were noted by the Board:-
? Economics Update
? Statistics and Research Quarterly Review Oct – Dec 2008
? Emergency Planning Provision at DCAL Heritage Sites
? Minister, Permanent Secretary’s Office (MPSO) Statistics November &
13.0 Any other business
13.1 There were no other matters discussed.
14.0 Next Meeting
14.1 The next meeting will be held on 18 February 2009 at 9.30am in the
4 February 2009