Minutes of Senior Management Team(SMT) Meeting held on 15 February 2022 @ 10am (online)

In attendance: Kieran Donnelly, Chair (C&AG), Neil Gray (Director), Colette Kane (Director), Brian O’Neill (Director), Tomas Wilkinson (Director),  Louise Donnelly (Secretary)

Apologies: Rodney Allen (COO), Patrick Barr (Director) Suzanne Walsh (Director),


  1. Apologies

Apologies were recorded from Rodney Allen, Patrick Barr and Suzanne Walsh.



  1. Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

There were no issues declared by members.



  1. Minutes of Previous meeting and Matters Arising

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 18 January 2022 were agreed and the matters arising noted as updated.



  1. 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 of the live cases reported. The C&AG requested that going forward the Operational Management Team consider and review in advance to ensure a fully updated position is being reported.


  1. BTP Phase 2 Update

A report to update members on progress was presented. Going forward, the C&AG suggested the report would benefit from the introduction of a short Annex outlining progress on outstanding recommendations. Brian O’Neill agreed to progress this with the team.



  1. Management Information Report

It was agreed that this report would be considered further at the March SMT.



  1. Corporate Report



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




    • 2021-22 - Members were asked to note the current budgetary position.




    • IT health checks were completed at the start of February.
    • The first stage of installing the new version of Time and Space has been completed, testing is continuing on the functionality and configuration of the system.




    • Recruitment – Audit Manager and Auditor recruitment exercises are currently ongoing.
    • Attendance Management - Members noted absence figures per employee in the rolling period 1 February 2021 to 31 January 2022.
    • Annual Leave – Members were reminded of the importance of encouraging staff to use their annual leave entitlement for good health and wellbeing.
    • Performance Management – Members were asked to note the position in relation to the completion of end of year reviews for 2021 and planning meetings for 2022.



Business Support

An update was provided on Information Management, Governance, Communications and Assembly Support. Members were asked to note a Remuneration Committee meeting has been scheduled for 21 February 2022 to review and discuss the approach to the 2022 pay award.



Technical Report

A paper was provided to update members, discussion followed concerning the summer recess timetable and the departmental position in relation to achieving summer recess. Queries raised in relation to the Review of Financial Process will be raised with Suzanne Walsh.



  1. Risk Management

Corporate Risk Register

Colette Kane advised the Corporate Risk Register had been discussed and agreed by the Audit and

Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) at a meeting held on 25 January 2022, the updated register has now been placed on NIAOmi for all staff to access. Members were asked to advise any issues to be considered by the Corporate Risk Register Working Group at their meeting scheduled for next week.



Risk Engagement

It is intended to produce a short video for staff on how risk management operates. Members will be advised of the progress of this at the next meeting.


Reputational Risk

Reputational risk was discussed by ARAC at its last meeting and took assurance from the policies and procedures in place to manage this risk. Members discussed specifically risks around the use of social media and Brian O’Neill agreed to look into training for all staff on the use of social media.



  1. Papers noted:

ARAC Draft Minutes of Meeting – 25 January 2022

Advisory Board Meeting Draft Agenda – 21 February 2022


  1. AOB

Date of Next Meeting

15 March 2022 @10am.