Minutes of Senior Management Team (SMT) Meeting held on 17 May 2022 at 10am (Bradford Court)

In attendance:  Kieran Donnelly (C&AG)

Rodney Allen, Chair (COO)

Patrick Barr (Director)

Colette Kane (Director)

Brian O’Neill (Director)

Suzanne Walsh (Director)

Tomas Wilkinson (Director)

Louise Donnelly (Secretary)

Apologies:          Neil Gray (Director)

                             Orla Kee (HR Manager) – Agenda item 10


No. Topic



Apologies were recorded from Neil Gray and Orla Kee.



Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

There were no issues declared by members.



Minutes of Previous meeting and Matters Arising

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 26 April 2022 were agreed and the matters arising noted as updated.



Handling Correspondence Quarterly Update

  • MLA Correspondence
  • Raising Concerns


Brian O’Neill presented a report to inform SMT on progress regarding MLA Correspondence and Raising Concerns cases.  Discussion followed concerning the status and handling of the live cases reported and the C&AG asked for further considerations on some cases.



BTP Phase 2 Update

Rodney Allen updated members on the current position of Phase 2 of the Office’s BTP.  Members were asked to note the position for each of the work streams.  Various discussion points were raised regarding digitalisation and progress was noted in this particular area.  Members were advised of the intention to refocus and reshape the programme later in the year. 



Management Information Report

The interactive performance report detailing key performance outturns for the public reporting and financial audit programmes to April 2022 was presented, discussion followed on the status of backlog accounts and the public reporting programme.  It was agreed that a strategic paper on public reporting including an update on the status of the current programme would be provided at the June SMT meeting.  



Corporate Report

Brian O’Neill provided an overview on the current position with regard to Finance, HR and Business Support:


  • 2021-22 Forecast Figures – Members were asked to note the anticipated outturn position.
  • Accommodation Project –Work continues on the refurbishment. The expected completion date is still on schedule for 15 July 2022. The process of actively seeking tenants is continuing.


  • Attendance Management - Members noted the absence figures in the rolling period 1 May 2021 to 30 April 2022 including a  detailed paper on Attendance Management that would be presented to the Advisory Board at their meeting in the afternoon.  It was noted absence had spiked this year due to a number of serious long term and covid illnesses. 

Business Support

  • Members were updated on Complaints, Procurement, Legal, Information Management, Governance, Communications, the rebranding project and Assembly Liaison.



Technical Report

Suzanne Walsh provided an update on the following:

  • Quality Control – following OMT discussion the draft QCR findings APC will now be amended to remove the paragraphs on the root cause analysis process for this year and will subsequently be issued to engagement teams, together with the ICAEW final report which has now been received.
  • Financial Audit Methodology – A risk assessment template has been developed, the template details audit methodology, guidance and procedures.
  • RoFP – a paper will be brought to OMT outlining the resource implications for the RoFP.



Internal Audit Update

Members noted the four satisfactory Internal Audit Reports issued with a number of minor recommendations made.  No issues or questions were raised by SMT.



People Strategy and Employee Opinion Action Survey

People Strategy

Brian O’Neill provided an overview on progress of the People Strategy against the HR Roadmap.  Members were updated with the completed actions and advised that no new actions have been added since January 2022.  A Training & Development strategy will be developed over the coming months.


Employee Opinion Action Survey

Members were provided with a progress report on actions following the Employee Opinion Survey in 2020.  A survey will be issued to staff at the end of this year.



Single Tender Action Report

Members noted the report presented and confirmed they were content.



Risk Management

Corporate Risk Register

The Corporate Risk Register was presented by Colette Kane. Members were advised the register had been presented to the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) on 3 May 2022 with no changes proposed at this meeting.  Members noted the Risk Register presented and confirmed they were content.


Annual assurance statement

The Assurance statement for 2021-22 was presented and endorsed by SMT, it will now be presented to ARAC at their next meeting scheduled for 21 June 2022.



SMT Self-Assessment Review

A draft self-assessment questionnaire was agreed by SMT.  All members are to complete the assessment before the June meeting when a report on the findings will be presented.



The following policies are recorded as noted by SMT following annual review:



Review of OMT Terms of Reference

After discussion members agreed to defer the review to later in the year when the new C&AG was in post.



Papers noted:

ARAC Draft minutes of meeting held on 3 May 2022




Date of Next Meeting

14 June 2022 @ 10am