These are the Board Meeting minutes from 12 September 2013
Sylda Langford Chair
Julie Anne Dunne
Apologies were received from Paddy Doyle who is in hospital awaiting surgery. The Chair asked that the CEO send a card to Paddy on behalf of the Board wishing him a speedy recovery.
2. Welcome to new Board member
The Chair welcomed the new Board member David Lane on behalf of the Board.
David spoke for a few minutes on his background and on how he hopes to successfully contribute to the work of the Board and to be effective in his role as a Board member.
3. Minutes of the meeting held on 9th July
The minutes of the meeting were read, approved and signed.
4. Matters arising not on the Agenda
(a) Magdalene Commission Report
In follow up to the recommendations in the Quirke Report, the Department of Justice & Equality has recommended to the Department of Education & Skills that “it sees merit” in RISF playing a role in the special unit for the Magdalene women. The Department of Educaiton and Skills has indicated that it does not support this suggestion and in light it was agreed that we could not take on this role.
(b) Behaviour Policy
It had been agreed at the last meeting that this document should be revised to be more concise and user friendly in its language. The CEO reported that no additional work had been done on the document because as the work is unfolding it is clear that this policy needs to be part of a broader statement of policy and practice that seeks to engage stakeholders, to learn from their perspectives and experience and to ensure that the welfare of staff is also promoted. This was agreed by the Board and Mary Higgins will work with Bernadette Fahy to develop such a rounded policy.
5. CEO Work Report
The CEO presented a work report for the period 2nd July – 2nd September. Issues, discussion and decisions arising were:
- Concern had been raised by the Department of Education and Skills that the use of the Redress Board data for any purpose other than verifying the eligibility of individuals to apply to the Fund is contrary to the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act, 2012. In light of this no further analysis can be undertaken and the Board agreed that existing analysis should be destroyed.
- As previously agreed by the Board, a database of lawyers who had represented survivors at the Redress Board has been developed so that they can be approached and asked to contact their former clients and advise them about RISF, as part of our strategy to make contact with people who may be eligible to apply to us. The Board discussed this again and it was agreed that solicitors should not be contacted in this way but that an article should be prepared for the Law Gazette, with input from Katherine Finn and Bernadette Fahy.
- As part of the ongoing commitment to strong communication, the website has been updated with 26 “frequently asked questions”
- MH had interviewed four individuals who applied for the position of Director of Services and shortlisted to two. Bernadette Fahy will do follow up interviews with Mary
- Almost 800 people are now registered to receive updates and the case management system is now ready to be operational
- As agreed at the last meeting, a document for the Board setting out corporate and legal responsibilities and requirements has been prepared and it was proposed by the CEO that the Board should spend some time on developing its policies and practices in this regard and this it was agreed to do this in due course
- Those who are engaged in multi annual courses and to whom commitments were made by the EFB have been contacted again. Once verification of their continuation on courses is received payments will be made
- The Comptroller and Auditor General is due to audit the EFB final accounts. In keeping with the RISF legislation the Board must determine the specified period for the finalisation of the EFB accounts. This was confirmed as March and was formally proposed by Bernadette Fahy and seconded by Katherine Finn.
6. Report from Audit and Risk sub committee
Damian reported that the committee had met and reviewed the investment strategy as well as the operation of the travel and subsistence policy and other processes. The committee is satisfied that claims are being processed in line with stated policies and will be happy to have the Finance person in place. The investment strategy is based on avoiding any risk to the capital and interest yields are in the region of €260k.
7. Proposed scheme of assistance for survivors
The CEO presented a proposed scheme Mary Higgins gave a presentation on the proposed scheme of assistance to be provided by RISF to survivors. The approach was fully supported by the Board. The next stage in the process is to develop the specific processes and criteria.
8. Proposals for branding
Following a tender process a company was selected to develop a new corporate identity. A number of options were presented to the meeting and one selected unanimously by the Board. These will now be applied to the website, letter head and other materials and will be put into use in the coming weeks.
9. Presentation on new system
The intended presentation on the new database/case management system was deferred until the next meeting as there was no time at this one.
10. Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on THURSDAY 10th OCTOBER 2013.