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Caranua Board minutes 1st November 2018

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 of.  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.


Item Discussion Decision


1.    Quorum, Apologies and Conflicts of Interest Declarations The Chair noted that there was a quorum present and all members were present, no apologies.

No member had declared an interest in the Agenda.

2.    Minutes Minutes of the last Board meeting were agreed, with a correction of an inaccuracy in one sentence in AOB.

Proposed by: Tom Daly

Seconded by: Frances Harrington

3.    Matters Arising not on the Agenda All action points were agreed as appearing on the agenda for this meeting.
4.    Report on Applications and Spend CEO took the Board through the report on applications and quality, the following points were noted:

·All applications received from those over 70 are assigned as a priority.   There are no people over 70 on the waiting to be assigned list.

·First time applicants are prioritised above repeat applications.

·Reactivated cases – these are those who made contact in the past and didn’t proceed with the application. They made contact once Caranua wrote to them about the cessation date of 1st August.

·There is an increased focus on meeting the needs of applicants with open applications and completing those applications ahead of the planned orderly wind down of operations.

·Further note that the 2,414 currently open applications and the 403 awaiting assignment are expected to exhaust the remaining fund completely.

·The largest cohort of applicants to Caranua are those in the 41-60 age group


The Board would like to see a table at the start of this report, showing at a high level the number of applications completed, assigned and awaiting assignment – then the report should go on to show the breakdown behind this table. This would improve the clarity for the Board at initial glance.



·There were 87 appeals referred to in the Appeals Officer annual report for 2017. In that period, Caranua made 10,000 payments.


The Board would like to see the actual number of appeals decisions broken out by year and result in a table.



·The trend in 2018 is towards much lower numbers of complaints, when compared with 2017 (63 complaints in 2017, 33 to date in 2018)


The Board would like to see details of the suggestions for improvement resulting from all complaints.



Three sample appeals cases, redacted to remove all identifying information were presented to the Board for information.   In any case, appeals or otherwise, where there is correspondence from solicitor, applicant, and advocate, the response from Caranua must be sent to the solicitors.


The Chair noted that appeals are being dealt with on a considered basis by the Executive.


Appeals Update















CEO / DOF will adjust report to include this table at the start.












CEO / DOF will include this information in the next report for the Board.
















5.    Executive Report CEO took the Board through the Executive Report, covering:


Appointment of new Minister for Education & Skills

·On 17th October 2018, Joe McHugh TD was appointed as Minister for Education and Skills.



Appointment of Members to the Board

·Nominations of 2 new Board members are expected within the next 2 weeks.   The names of potential members are currently with the Minister for consideration. Given this timeline, new Board members are expected to be in attendance at the next Board meeting in December 2018.

Meeting between Caranua and Department of Education and Skills

·Chair and CEO updated the Board in relation to a meeting held with the Department. All items discussed at the meeting are appearing on the agenda for this meeting.

·Pension legislation is required for the wind down of Caranua. This has been flagged as urgent due to the timelines, and the organisation is on the list for waiting period.

·The department have undertaken to follow up on outstanding contributions.


Communications and Outreach

·There have been thirteen face to face meetings over the course of September and October, three of these meetings were organised and supported by RISN (Residential Institutions Statutory Network)

· 3 days of face to face meetings are planned with Right of Place in Cork Waterford and Limerick in November.

·Outreach continues in the Deaf Village, where advisors meet with applicants in a private and confidential setting with an interpreter available.

·Other organisations will be identified and meetings requested, this will be an ongoing process until the wind down of Caranua is complete.


Board members expressed an interest in attending outreach events into 2019.





CEO will write to the new Minister to congratulate him on the new appointment and to advise that Caranua are happy to meet at his convenience to discuss the work of Caranua.















The Board will write to the Department to stress the urgency of the requirement for these funds.






Executive will keep the Board up to date in relation to outreach events so that Board can attend when possible.


6.    Governance Matters DOF and Chair of Audit and Risk Committee took the Board through the update regarding the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies.

The organisation is now at 96% compliance.


The Board reviewed and approved the plan of action to achieve 100% compliance by year end.



A response was sent by the CEO to the Department of Education and Skills in relation to the position on compliance with the Code. DES confirmed by phone that they are happy with Caranua’s approach and progress in relation to this issue.


Protected Disclosures (Whistleblowing) Policy has been updated and this revised policy was approved by the Board.



A child protection policy is not currently in place in Caranua as there are no facilities for children to attend any one to one meeting in the Caranua offices. However, it was agreed to put a policy in place.





DOF / Chair of ARC will continue to keep the Board updated in relation to this.






Updated policy will be communicated to staff.



Executive will draw up a Child Protection policy for review and approval by the Board

7.    Finance & Risk Matters Finance Report

·Director of Finance took the Board through the finance report for September into fund status and expenditure information.


·The Board were updated in relation to issues arising at the last Audit and Risk Committee, presented by the Chair of ARC and the Director of Finance:

·Discussion in relation to appeals

·Internal Audit work (next audit report will be in relation to Risk Management and Corporate Governance)

·Code of Practice for Governance of State Bodies (as discussed)

·Risk Register – updated version provided for review by the Board and discussion of how to identify additional risks


8.    Wind down of Caranua Terms of Reference for sub-committee of the Board to manage the orderly wind-down of Caranua

This subcommittee will meet and come up with a plan for the orderly wind-down and present for approval to the wider Board.

Members of the Board to be part of this sub-committee were agreed as PC and FH, with CEO and another member of the management team providing administrative support. Terms of reference will be updated to reflect this membership.


Financial Analysis and Projections

Discussion took place in relation to the financial projections to completion of the organisation. This is a deliberative process and the document is not final.   Updates will be provided to the Board at each meeting, and the Department will also be provided with updates in relation to these projections.


In relation to the overall wind down of the organisation, the Board and SMT expressed concern for those survivors in need of linkages to other agencies for befriending and support after the closure of Caranua.

CEO will update the terms of reference and schedule the first meeting of the sub-committee.


Updates will be provided on the financial position and projections, by the Executive at each meeting

9.    Correspondence & PQs Letter to DES in relation to balance of fund

·CEO wrote to the Department of Education and Skills in relation to the outstanding balance of €8,371,090 which remains outstanding, to impress the urgency of receiving these funds.


10. A.O.B. No matters arising not already on the agenda.
11. Next meeting The date for the next meeting was agreed as 13th December, with an Audit and Risk Committee meeting to be held on 3rd December.

The meeting concluded for the Executive at 13:30 pm.


12. Executive session The Board held an Executive session without the presence of the Management Team at which the following were discussed:

·Governance Matters

·Caranua business


Executive session concluded at 14:00pm

The minutes can be downloaded or printed from the attached PDF file.

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