These are the Board Meeting minutes from 20 February 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.
Sylda Langford, ChairTom DalyAustin Currie
Apologies were received from Damian Casey and Katherine Finn.
2. New Board member
Frances Harrington was welcomed to the Board as a new member, filling the vacancy left by Paddy Doyle’s resignation.
3. Private meeting of the Board
The Board met briefly in private without the Executive.
4. Matters Arising from the minutes not on agenda
There were no items under this heading.
5. Minutes of the meeting Held on 23rd January
The minutes of the meeting of 23rd January 2014 were adopted, proposed by Bernadette Fahy and seconded by David Lane.
6. CEO Work Report
The CEO presented the work report for the period 24th January to 7th February. This focused in particularly on:
- There has been very valuable interaction with and feedback from survivor groups on the published criteria and this has informed the second edition of the Guidelines
- There has been media coverage of the Caranua scheme in Ireland and the UK, nationally and locally. It was agreed that copies of published articles would be circulated to Board members.
Changes to the criteria
The first edition of the Guidelines have been revised and have been put into “plain English” by NALA. Some changes were agreed:
- Health and Personal Wellbeing should be integrated into one section
- The limit for classes, courses and local travel should be €1,200 per person per year. This was proposed by Tom Daly and seconded by Phyllis Morgan
- The issue of means testing be clarified as follows: “If you are eligible you will be entitled to our services regardless of your income, within the limits and criteria. Any services you get from Caranua will not be considered as means for payments from the Department of Social Protection”. This was proposed by David Lane and seconded by Austin Currie
- It was agreed to change the title “caseworker” to “application advisor”
- Some members requested additional time to consider the guidelines. This was agreed, with the proviso that this version was the final plain English one. A deadline of 26th February was agreed. Bernadette Fahy undertook to coordinate feedback from the survivors on the Board.
A detailed breakdown of the applications received to date was presented to the Board. Up to 7th February we had received 1546 completed Part 1 Application Forms. Almost 4 out of every five applications is from Ireland and one in five is from the United Kingdom, mostly England. There was some discussion at the small number of applications from Scotland and this will be reviewed.
- Interviews for the case worker and communications posts have now been completed and it is hoped to have the full complement of staff in place by early April. In light of this, the Board agreed that the contracts for temporary Information Officers should be extended until the end of April. This was proposed by Austin Currie and seconded by David Lane.
- Disappointment was expressed that it had not been possible for a survivor to be on the PAS interview panel for the caseworker positions.
- The Department of Education and Skills are to be named as co-respondents in the ongoing complaint before the LRC (Labour Relations Commission) although it is hoped that there may be a resolution to the issue before the hearing.
A lease has been received for the premises in Talbot Street. The Board agreed that the Executive can agree the lease without further reference to the Board, subject to legal advice. This was proposed by Phyllis Morgan and seconded by Frances Harrington.
Education Finance Board Data
Following written advice received from the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner and circulated to the Board, it was agreed that the EFB files should be destroyed. This was proposed by Phyllis Morgan and seconded by Tom Daly. In the context of this discussion it It was agreed that the Executive should prepare a plan for compliance with Freedom of Information, Ombudsman and Data Protection regulations to be presented at the next meeting.
The Board expressed concern about the lack of further deposits from the religious congregations.
6. Report of the Audit and Risk sub committee
The sub committee report focused on the draft annual accounts for 2013 and the timetable for their submission to the Comptroller and Auditor General. The accounts will be considered in detail by the Audit and Risk committee in early March and presented to the Board at its meeting on 27th March
7. Delegations and Reserved Functions of the Board
The Chair reported that she had consulted with the Department of Education and Skills on the issue of reserved functions and recommended that these be adopted by the Board in compliance with the requirements of the Code of Governance of State Bodies. This was proposed by Bernadette Fahy and seconded by Tom Daly.
It was also agreed that the Executive should prepare a plan for compliance with Freedom of Information and Data Protection regulations to be presented at the next meeting. This was proposed Bernadette Fahy and seconded Phyllis Morgan.
8. Survivor groups and their role in the application process
This issue was discussed and the Board asked the CEO to prepare a proposed position on the matter for consideration at the next meeting.
9. Annual Report 2013
The Board considered and agreed the proposed structure for the report. A draft report based on this will be presented to the next meeting.
The Board noted receipt of the letter of engagement from the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General. The audit of the 2013 Accounts is expected to commence in May 2014.
The Board noted the award of the contract, following a tendering process, for the baseline study of awareness among public service providers of the effects of institutional abuse on the individuals who experienced it. process.
The Board formally thanked Sylda Langford for her work chairing the Board since its formation in March 2013 and wished her well with her forthcoming surgery and recovery.
13. Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Board will be held on 27th March 2014 at 10.30 a.m. in the Department of Education and Skills.