These are the Board Meeting minutes from 01 October 2014
We are happy to publish the minutes of our Board meetings so that Board activities and decisions are accountable. There is always a delay between the meeting held and the publication of the minutes. This is because the minutes must be approved before they can be published. Minutes are approved at the meeting after the meeting they are a record off. For example, if a Board meeting is held in March and the next meeting is held in April, the minutes of the March meeting will not be on the website until after the April meeting.
David O’Callaghan, Chair
Apologies were received from Katherine Finn.
2. Minutes of the meeting held on 4th September 2014.
The minutes of the meeting of 4th September were considered by the Board and some minor amendments were approved. This was proposed by Austin Currie and seconded by Damian Casey.
3. Matters Arising from the minutes not on agenda
(a) Towards Healing
The draft MOU was discussed and it was agreed to approve it subject to the removal of Section 4. The CEO can now sign the agreement.
(b) Caranua assisting survivors into employment
The Chair reported that he contacted the Public Appointments Service to explore the possibility of a confined competition for survivors. It is unclear that this can be done legally and the Chair will update the next meeting.
(d) Working with Irish Welfare Organisations
This issue will be returned to at a future meeting. David Lane gave a list of Irish welfare services and social clubs and Irish embassies to the CEO.
4. Report on applications and review of process
The statistical report on the processing of applications was considered. It was felt that progress was still too slow and that there is a need to undertake a “root and branch” review of structures, sytems and processes. A sub committee of Damian, Tom and Frances was established to oversee this process and to work with the CEO on drawing up terms of reference and contracting with a suitable body to carry out the review
It was agreed that in Conor’s absence that our auditors should provide a person who would make payments, so that there would be no further delays.
The CEO pointed out that the decision taken at the last meeting with regard to the approval of payments by Advisors, the Deciding Officer and the CEO over rode the approval required by the Board which were set out in the “Reserved Functions of the Board” agreed last February. This was noted by the Board.
5. CEO Report
The CEO work report for the period 5th to 24th September had been circulated with the Board papers and its contents were considered by the Board. The following issues and decisions arose:
- The Board were very pleased with the new website and its improved accessibility
- The proposal to recruit a panel of dental surgeons to assess applications cosing over €25,000 was agreed
- It was noted that the Customer Charter will soon be published, once it has been put into “plain English”
- Dates for the outreach programme were noted
- It was clarified that if we use the services of a housing body for our housing applications, that applicants will retain choice of supplier
- The proposal that we develop a statement of strategy was agreed and the Chair and CEO will discuss how to progress this
- The proposed follow up to the baseline study on awareness was agreed and copies of the study were circulated. It was agreed that the CEO will check the status of the ICAP training handbook
- In light of the review to be undertaken, it was agreed to defer the tender for the external evaluation until the reveiw is completed
- It was noted that the Department of Education and Skills had not approved the expenditure on fit out of the new premises.
7. Report of Audit & Risk Sub-Committee
Damian reported on the last meeting of the committee, which was joined by the CEO. A draft report of the review of the payments system has just been recieved from Crowleys and will be available for the next meeting of the Board.
There was discussion on the investment strategy. Damian reported that we could invest through the NTMA only and that he had been advised that the market is currently very poor, with returns on investments often negative. In light of this it was agreed that we should maintain our current ‘no risk’ investment strategy in order to protect the investment.
In the context of this discussion, it was agreed that the CEO should write again to the Department regarding the outstanding contributions to the Fund.
It was agreed that the CEO should follow up with the Department of Education and Skills in relation to insurance cover and the extension of the contract for temporary staff.
9. Payments and contracts over €25,000
These were presented to the Board. One was approved. Decisions on the others could not be made as the clinical assessments were still outstanding. These will be communicated with the Board members when they become available, rather than waiting until the next meeting.
The Board agreed the contracts as presented in the Board papers.
11. Parliamentary Questions
There was a brief discussion on the questions presented in the Board papers.
It was agreed that while progress has been made in relation to governance issues that a Statement of Strategy, Risk Register and Code of Conduct have yet to be agreed by the Board. These will be tabled following the review.
David Lane wished the minutes to note that, at the meeting in June, he had requested that funeral costs be considered in the next review of the criteria. Katherine Finn’s email in support of funeral expenses was also read by the Chair. It was noted that the inclusion of funeral costs in the expanded services was unanimously agreed at the meeting in September.
The Board supported a vote of thanks to the staff for the exceptional efforts that they are making to make the scheme work for survivors, proposed by Tom Daly.
14. Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Board will be held on Thursday 6th November at 10.30 a.m. in the Department of Education and Skills.