MINUTES OF DCAL
DEPARTMENTAL BOARD MEETING 12:30pm
10 August 2009
Present: Edgar Jardine
In attendance: Trevor Palmer (minutes)
Apologies: Paul Sweeney
Edgar Jardine welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave a short update on
the recent visit to the World Police and Fire Games in Vancouver.
1.0 Minutes of Last Meeting
1.1 The minutes of the meeting held on 27 May 2009 were agreed and
2.0 Matters Arising / Action Points
2.1 The action point table was reviewed and matters arising discussed:-
2.1.1 Action 7.3 – Finance Branch is working to establish a finance
forum involving representatives from operational branches and
sponsored bodies. The principal function will be to discuss and clarify
the financial information flows required between the Department and its
sponsored bodies and to address any problems which have been
identified in this exchange.
2.1.2 Action 10.4 – ALB Delegated limits. The 2009 test drilling
exercise has now been commissioned.
2.1.3 Action 6.6 – The ALB Strategic Partnership Forum meeting will
now be held in Causeway Exchange on 22 September. This will enable
the ALB representatives to tour the Department’s new accommodation.
2.1.4 Action 4.3 – The ‘Post Occupancy Evaluation’ is almost
complete and a draft report will be available by late August.
2.1.5 Action 4.4 - The Department’s move to Causeway Exchange is
being used as a case study, and a small working group led by Mick
Cory will be set up to take this forward.
3.0 Declaration of Interests
3.1 There was a NIL response from members.
4.0 Finance Report
4.1 Michael O’Dowd joined the meeting and spoke to the Finance Report.
4.2 Spend report to June end - The Board noted the spend report.
4.3 Resource Accounts – The NIAO audit of the 2008-09 Resource
Accounts is underway and on schedule. NIAO has brought no
significant matters to the Department’s attention to date.
4.4 Account NI – Difficulties with the supplier payment system have been
largely resolved. Unfortunately the consultant recruited to manage the
implementation and stabilisation of Account NI within the Department
has left in advance of his expected departure date and moved to a post
within DSD. A managed handover of his role is now not possible and
will present some difficulties to the Department. Deborah Brown is to
contact DSD to establish if it would be possible to agree a joint working
position for a short time.
ACTION: Deborah Brown
4.5 June monitoring - The outcome of the June Monitoring Round was
discussed. No bids were met and easements from the Ulster Scots
Academy and Libraries NI were taken by DFP.
4.6 September Monitoring – The Board discussed the draft September
Monitoring return. A final paper will be brought to the Finance
Committee meeting on 25 August before Ministerial clearance and
formal response to DFP by 3 September.
4.7 Management Statements and Financial Memoranda – The NI Screen
MSFM is now in place. The Libraries NI MSFM is currently in draft and
will go to a future Libraries NI Board for final approval.
4.8 N/S Bodies: management of exchange rate pressures – It is now clear
that individual departments have approached this issue in different ways.
DFP is reviewing what departments do and may take a lead in
establishing a common approach.
5.0 Recording of Offers of Gifts and Hospitality
5.1 Deborah Brown informed the Board that all offers of gifts and
hospitality at SCS level will now be made available on the
Department’s website in line with DFP guidance. Staff will have the
opportunity to review prior to publication on the website. The Board
are also to consider including non SCS members to ensure
consistency across all departments.
5.2 It was agreed that guidance would be sought from other Finance
Directors as to what their departments are doing to ensure consistency
ACTION: Deborah Brown
6.0 GSU Quarter 1 update
6.1 Paul Gamble joined the meeting to speak to the paper on the GSU
Quarter 1 update.
6.2 The Board noted the progress against the Business Plan and Risk
Register in the first quarter of 09/10 and lessons learned were
discussed. Two risks will be elevated to the Departmental Risk
6.3 GSU will meet with branches during September to provide feedback on
the Business Plan, Risk Register and the quarterly assurance
statements. GSU has also arranged risk management seminars to
provide feedback and further information in relation to the risk
management framework across the Department.
6.4 Progress against PSA targets was presented and remedial action
noted. The first quarter updates are due with GSU by Friday 14 August.
7.0 Personnel Report
7.1 Deborah Brown spoke to the Personnel Report.
7.2 The Board noted the current resourcing position.
7.3 Improvements in sickness absence rates in the first quarter of 09/10
against the same period in 08/09 were welcomed by the Board. To
ensure that the statistics provided by NISRA are accurate, Directors
were asked to ensure that Line Managers are recording all sickness
absence appropriately through HR Connect.
7.4 TUS have agreed the H&S Management Standards Steering Group
action plan which will now issue to staff for implementation.
7.5 HR Connect: The decision to go live with Final release: 2.0 – Industrial
Payroll, Absence Management and Job Related Changes was taken
on 31 July. Absence Management and Job Related Data Changes are
impacted from the 4 August and Industrial staff will receive their first
payroll through HR Connect on 13 August.
7.6 Causeway Exchange: The Department is continuing to liaise with
Properties Division in regard to ongoing ‘snags. Building work on Levels
4, 5 & 6 is due to finish on 21 August and Properties Division is
expected to move in between then and the first two weeks in September.
There is no further information on the refurbishment of the ground floor.
7.7 Car Parking: Staff who believed they required the use of a car for work,
either for business / domestic / caring / other reasons were asked to
complete a pro forma. The staff returns received to date are currently
being analysed and will be used to inform the Department’s car parking
policy. In the interim the draft Essential User Car Parking policy
continues to apply.
8.0 Teleworking Proposal
8.1 The Board approved the introduction of a pilot Teleworking Scheme
within DCAL subject to the normal TUS engagement. The pilot scheme
will be reviewed after one year.
9.0 Below the Line papers
9.1 The following papers were noted by the Board:
? Economics Update
? ARMC Update
o Internal Audit Annual Report
o ARMC June Minutes
o ARMC Annual Report
? Departmental Values
? Data Protection Update
? Review of Interdepartmental Groups and Forums
? Report on Civil Service Live 2009
10.0 Any other business
10.1 There were no other matters discussed.
11.0 Next Meeting
11.1 The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 29 September 2009 at
9.30am in Causeway Exchange. Any change to this date will be
notified in due course.
19 August 2009