Minutes of Senior Leadership Team­­­­, Tuesday 17 January 2023, 10am

Members Present:

Dorinnia Carville, Chair (C&AG)

Rodney Allen (COO)

Neil Gray (Director)

Colette Kane (Director)

Suzanne Walsh (Director)

Tomas Wilkinson (Director)



Patrick Barr (Director)

Brian O’Neill (Director)


In Attendance:

Louise Donnelly (Secretary)

Anu Kane (Audit Manager) – agenda item 4




Apologies were recorded from Patrick Barr and Brian O’Neill.



Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

There were no issues declared by members.



Minutes of previous meeting

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 20 December 2022 were agreed and the matters arising noted as updated.





  1. Strategic Projects


1.1    Accommodation Project

Rodney Allen advised liaison is progressing with several potential tenants who have expressed an interest in renting the additional office space.  Some of these discussions are quite advanced now. The final Project Team and Board meetings will be scheduled in the coming months.  The snagging list continues to be addressed with some modifications also being considered and staff will be advised of any anticipated disruption or building works.

1.2    Follow-up Report – Pulse Survey Results

          A follow-up report providing an update on questions asked in the recent staff survey on the office building was presented.  Members welcomed the progress on points raised and were advised that some issues have been added to the snagging list to be actioned by the contractor.  The report will be issued to update staff on progress.


1.3   BTP Update

          Rodney Allen briefed members on the current status of the programme and advised that after conducting a review of the activities still in progress the recommended most efficient way forward would be for the Corporate Services and Technical teams to follow up outstanding actions and provide an update to SLT at the regular monthly meetings.


         SLT endorsed the paper and recommendation presented for onward progression and consideration by the Advisory Board and their meeting scheduled for 6 February 2023.





  1. Strategic Performance


2.1    Management Information Report

         The interactive performance report detailing key performance outturns for the public reporting and financial audit programmes to date was presented.  Members noted the report with no specific concerns raised.


2.2    Position re Backlog Accounts

    Members provided the C&AG with an update on the position regarding backlog accounts and all present welcomed the colour coding introduced to provide clarity on the current position on accounts considered outside NIAO’s control.  The C&AG recognised the progress made on the backlog and asked that a paper be prepared to update the Advisory Board on accounts that have been cleared for their February meeting.


2.3   Public Reporting Monitoring Report

Members noted the current position.  The C&AG advised a letter was currently being drafted to inform Permanent Secretaries of general survey work that was due to commence in February/March, a copy of the letter will be sent to the Directorate when issued.

2.4    Workforce Planning Report

         The report on staff planning was considered by the Leadership team at its meeting on 21 December, several key recommendations were proposed in the report and members were asked to consider how they should be progressed.  Members discussed the resourcing and oversight of the project and agreed to appoint a person to lead supported by a manager from each director team for an interim six month period in advance of a fully collaborative model approach.  The Directorate will liaise with managers within their teams to identify staff to participate.


2.5   SLT Annual Programme of Work

         The Annual Programme of work was considered and endorsed by members.




  1. People and OD


3.1    People and OD Monthly Report

Rodney Allen provided an update on the following:

  • Attendance Management - Members discussed and noted the absence figures per employee in the rolling period 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022. 
  • Recruitment – Members were updated on the current recruitment campaigns including the Director and Data Scientist posts.
  • Learning and Development – Members noted the extensive range of training available and the positive uptake by staff. 
  • Employee Engagement and Wellbeing – Members agreed to ask one of the Health Champions to speak about the Wellhub at the next staff briefing.



  1. Financial Management

4.1    Finance Report

Anu Kane joined the meeting and provided an update on the following:


  • 2022-23 Forecast figures – Members were briefed on the current budgetary position.  Anu will meet separately with Dorinnia, Rodney and Brian to discuss 2023-24 financial position.




  1. Corporate Governance


    1. Business Support Services Report

Rodney Allen provided an update on Complaints, Procurement, Legal Advice, Information Management, Governance and Assembly Liaison.



  1. Communications and Engagement


    1. Communications and Engagement Update

Rodney Allen provided an update on the following:


  • Accessibility Project – work is ongoing on the project and a workshop for staff was held on Friday 13 January facilitated by accessibility consultants to help establish agreed approaches and conventions.
  • The re-tender exercise for the design and print contract is due to be advertised mid-January 2023.


The C&AG will provide a paper for the February meeting to update members on engagement with internal and external stakeholders since taking up post.



  1. Risk Management


    1. Corporate Risk Register
      The Corporate Risk Register was presented by Colette Kane, key changes since the last meeting were highlighted in red for members’ convenience.  Members were asked to note the change in the rating for risk one. 


Horizon Scanning

The Corporate Risk Register Working Group met last week and have tracked the emerging risks identified from the Horizon Scanning Workshop to the risk register.  One minor change to the risk register is proposed as a result of this exercise, members agreed to the change highlighted.


The register was approved by Members and will be presented to the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee at their meeting scheduled for 23 January 2023.




  1. Audit Technical


8.1   Technical Report

Suzanne Walsh updated members on the following key points in her paper:


  • ICAEW – The QCR Report is currently being finalised with ICAEW, it is anticipated this will be presented to SLT at the February meeting.  Root cause analysis training has been scheduled to be provided by ICAEW in February.
  • RoFP - Resources for the 21-22 dry run audit have been released to staff and the RoFP folder within technical guidance folder in Huggett includes all information that teams require to progress this work.

Members recorded their thanks to staff in the Technical Team for extensive work on various projects which is crystallising in the current months. 




  1. Papers noted:


  • Draft Advisory Board Minutes – 12 December 2022
  • Draft ARAC Agenda – 23 January 2023




  1. Matters for Escalation to Advisory Board, Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC), Remuneration Committee


The following were noted for escalation to ARAC on 23 January 2023:


  • Annual Leave Uptake Report – members noted the figures presented and will continue to monitor annual leave balances within their respective teams in the interests of the health and wellbeing of staff. It is essential any carry forward in excess of 9 days should be on exceptional grounds only.  The report was endorsed for onward progression to ARAC.


  • Cyber Security – Members noted the content of the report. Colette Kane to review the report concerning the possible impact to Corporate Risk.  The C&AG to speak to Brian O’Neill regarding assurances from IT Assist should a cyber-attack occur.  The report was endorsed for onward progression to ARAC.


  • Internal Audit
    • Progress Report –noted and endorsed for onward progression.
    • Expenses Report - noted and endorsed for onward progression.
    • RSM Emerging Risk Radar - noted and endorsed for onward progression.


  • Financial Statements - judgements/financial estimates – content noted for onward progression to ARAC.





11.    AOB

         No items were listed or raised.



  1. Date of Next Meeting
    The next meeting will be held on 21 February 2023 @ 10am.