These are the Board minutes from 28th June 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.
Present: David O’Callaghan, Tom Daly, Damian Casey, Katherine Finn, Frances Harrington, Patricia Carey.
Apologies: Francis Treanor, Rachel Downes
In attendance: Saragh Fitzpatrick (Secretary), Sinead Fennell, Sinead Dwyer, Caitríona Ní Mhúrchú
|1. Quorum, Apologies and Conflicts of Interest Declarations||The Chair noted that there was a quorum present and that apologies had been
received from one member who was unable to attend.
No member had declared an interest in the Agenda.
|2. Minutes||Minutes of the last Board meeting were agreed, with a minor wording change.
|Proposed by Tom Daly and seconded by Damian Casey
|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||· The Director of Services presented a report on the number of applications received to date and a statistical analysis in relation to those applications.|
|5. Executive Report||The Director of Services presented the Executive Report as it related to Management team and staff activity, with the Head of Communications and Engagement presenting information in relation to communications activity:
· A discussion was had in relation to the series of deliberations between the Executive and the Board which agreed a cessation date of 1st August, post publication of the eligibility review on Tuesday 29th May. This application deadline was agreed and announced on Thursday 31st May. Some media outlets incorrectly referred to Caranua as closing down, but the Head of Communications had this corrected as it appeared.
· This cessation date is now less than 5 weeks away, and the communication in relation to the cessation date has resulted in an increased number of calls and incoming post. Following receipt of the communication from Caranua, 108 survivors with applications that were dormant have contacted us asking to continue with their applications (the majority of which had received no previous funding). In addition, we have been contacted by 57 people who had not been in contact prior to this, and we are now in the process of confirming their eligibility to apply to Caranua.
· There has been a very active process of outreach and engagement by Caranua staff, in relation to helping survivors with applications, particularly those with complex needs. Since 10th May, Caranua staff have provided 21 one to one meetings with survivors and an application advisor in the Caranua offices. Caranua is also continuing its outreach programme in the Deaf Village during 2018. Outreach events in Ireland and the UK are being planned, similar to the programme used in the face to face meetings in Birmingham and London last December. The Advisor Team are currently identifying survivors who would benefit from receiving additional support via a one to one meeting with an Advisor.
[INFORMATION REDACTED UNDER LEGAL PRIVILEGE]
Additional Board members
· Following enquiries from the Chair, a representative from the Department of Education and Skills advised that the process to select two new Board members is due to commence shortly and will be advertised in coming weeks.
· While the preference would have been to place advertisements in all relevant local, national, and international newspapers, any money spent on advertising must come out of the fund, as the costs were not met by the Department. With that in mind, following approval by the Board and sanction for the expenditure by the Minister for Education and Skills, discounts were negotiated with seven Irish Sunday newspapers and five newspapers in the UK and US. A quarter page ad was placed in each of these with the application poster, which to further reduce costs had been designed in such a way as to also be used as the advertisement. The Head of Communications also organised a promotional campaign with survivor support groups, counselling services and organisations that may work with people who may be eligible to apply for support funding for services from the Fund (local health offices, garda stations, social welfare offices, GPs, post offices, libraries etc), asking them to share information and our posters through their networks, thus helping us to reduce the amount of the Fund spent on advertising.
· Two previous Board members appeared at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills of 21st June 2018, and a transcript of the appearance is expected to be published on the Oireachtas website. There were some factual inaccuracies in relation to Caranua during this appearance which need to be clarified.
Outreach and engagement work to continue
Chair to write to the Oireachtas Committee to correct and clarify some items raised at the committee.
|6. Governance Matters||No agenda items relating to Governance Matters for this Board meeting.|
|7. Finance & Risk Matters||Head of audit and risk Committee took the Board through an update relating to the last ARC meeting on 25th June 2018, in relation to the following:
· Internal Audit – an audit of Caranua’s GDPR readiness and preparation is scheduled to start on 11th July, with a report to follow from the internal auditors in August 2018.
· Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies – the assurance report from Capita for 2017 is on file, and RSM UK will provide an assurance report for 2018 when their work is concluded. Caranua will be fully compliant with this code by end 2018, as expected.
· Internal Audit recommendations – all recommendations made by internal and external auditors are recorded in a database, and the implementation of these recommendations are tracked by ARC.
· Risk Register – an updated risk register including risks related to GDPR and other updates has been drafted and is currently being reviewed by ARC members. Once this review has been completed, a final draft will be presented to the Board for approval.
· External Audit update – the audit of the 2016 annual financial statements is now complete and final accounts have been submitted to the Department of Education and Skills to be laid before the Oireachtas. The audit of the 2017 annual financial statements is due to commence in Q4 2018.
· The financial report on current fund valuation and spend in the month of May 2018 was presented to the Board for review.
|8. Correspondence & PQs||Parliamentary questions relating to Caranua in the period since the last Board meeting were discussed.
|9. A.O.B.||No other business was identified.|
|10. Next meeting||The date for the next meeting is scheduled as 9th August, which is after the cessation date of 1st August. Discussion around whether it would be better to move the date of the next meeting forward, final decision that it was perhaps better to meet on the date originally scheduled to allow a review of expenditure to date and the number of applications received.