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    BOARD MEETING 12.30pm

    28 JANUARY 2009

Present: Paul Sweeney

    Edgar Jardine

     Linda Wilson

    Deborah Brown

     Stephanie Lowry

     Maureen Bennett

     Mick Cory

     Declan McGeown

In attendance: Trevor Palmer (minutes)

     Michael O’Dowd

     Michael Willis

     Mary Donnelly

     Jill Heron

     Marie Garvey

     Jim Magee

Apologies: Aileen McClintock

     Hazel Campbell

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

    December 2008.

3.2 The new guidance on Child Protection has now been circulated around

    the Department.

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

    Library Boards.

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

    the Department.

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

    content accordingly.

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 &

    December 2008.

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

    Interpoint Centre.


    4 February 2009

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