These are the Board Meeting minutes from 13 June 2013
Department of Education and Skills (DES) Marlborough Street, Dublin 1
Ms Sylda Langford, Chairperson
Mr Austin Currie
Mr Tom Daly
Mr Paddy Doyle
Ms Bernadette Fahy
Ms Katherine Finn BL
Ms Phyllis Morgan
Ms Eithne Doherty, Secretary/Manager Education Finance Board
Ms Mary Higgins, CEO (Designate)
1. Apologies: Damian Casey, Martin Power.
The chair expressed sympathy on behalf of the Board for Martin Power on the sad death of his brother, Michael. She has asked that Mary Higgins attend Michael’s funeral on behalf of the Board.
2. Session on “What is it that we do?”
This facilitated session focused on clarifying the desired impact and successes of the RISF as well as the challenges and “tricky issues” which must be anticipated and addressed.
The session also began the process of consideration of issues to be taken into account in the development of criteria, approaches to decision making and assessing the quality and other standards of approved services and the implications of dealing with the situation in a number of jurisdictions.
3. Minutes of meeting held on 9th May 2013
The minutes of the meeting were read and formally approved pending clarification of the role of the Minister where public bodies in Ireland do not cooperate with the Fund. The minutes were proposed by Tom Daly and seconded by Bernadette Fahy.
4. Progress on decisions made at meeting on 9th May
As agreed at the last meeting, the CEO had captured all decisions made at the last meeting and presented these in a table with progress against them. In this context, issues arising and decisions were:
- The Redress Board will provide RISF with the names, date of birth and addresses of individuals who received awards but it is not able to make contact with those individuals to advise them of the Fund
- The proposed plan for data collection, consultation and market research presented by Mary Higgins was approved by the Board for implementation
- A draft “Code of Behaviour” policy has been developed and it was agreed that it be considered at the next meeting of the Board
- Procurement of a new server, computer hardware and software will be through the Government preferred suppliers.
5. Reports from sub committees
(a) Audit & Risk
Katherine Finn provided a report on behalf of the committee. The committee had held one meeting and agreed:
- That it will meet at least four times a year
- That the investment strategy will be to maximise the return on the Fund while preserving the capital invested and maintaining liquidity. Accordingly, NTMA has been requested to invest amounts for two years, one year and six months
- To recommend to the Board the setting up a bank account which would be subject to external management on a consultancy basis
- Following discussion on the opening of a bank account, it was agreed that an account should be opened but that administration of payments should be managed in house.
The committee met once and prepared for a branding workshop which was held on 10th June. The workshop was attended by Bernadette Fahy and Mary Higgins with Martin Power and Phyllis Morgan having input via telephone interviews with the workshop facilitator. A follow up proposal on branding will be presented to the next Board meeting.
6. RISF staffing
Mary Higgins presented a proposed staffing structure for RISF which was formally approved by the Board. The proposal envisages a maximum of ten staff, most of whom to be involved in interface with survivors applying to the Fund.
The proposal must now be presented for approval to the Department of Education and Skills and then to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. If approved, then the recruitment process will be managed by the Public Appointments Services and will draw from existing redeployment panels. These are panels of existing public and civil servants who are seeking alternative positions.
It was agreed that candidates should be interviewed and that if possible a survivor should be part of that process.
7. Education Finance Board
The cessation report was presented to the meeting, having been approved by the Audit & Risk committee and by the former chair of the Education Finance Board, Sean Benton. The Board approved the report.
The issue of storage of Education Finance Board files was discussed and it was agreed that the files should be kept in secure storage as they are important archives.
A suggestion was made that the Fund should begin to invite applications in the area of education so that individuals wishing to pursue courses would not miss out on upcoming deadlines. This was discussed but it was agreed that it would not be possible for the Fund to process applications without having developed the appropriate criteria and procedures and having the necessary staff in place.
The Chair informed the Board that Eithne Doherty was leaving to take up a post in the City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee. A presentation was made to Eithne and Sylda thanked her for her important work in both the Education Finance Board and the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund
9. Next Meeting
Tuesday, 9th July 2013 at 10.30 a.m. Department of Education and Skills (DES) Marlborough Street, Dublin1.