Senior Leadership Team - Tuesday 15th November 2022

Members Present:

Dorinnia Carville, Chair (C&AG)

Rodney Allen (COO)

Patrick Barr (Director)

Neil Gray (Director)

Colette Kane (Director)

Suzanne Walsh (Director)

Tomas Wilkinson (Director) – online via zoom



Brian O’Neill (Director)


In Attendance:

Joe Campbell (Business Support Services Manager) – Agenda items 2.4, 5, 6.1 and 11

Catherine O’Hagan (Audit Manager) – Agenda item 11

Richard Ross (Audit Manager) – Agenda item 4

Louise Donnelly (Secretary)




Apologies were recorded from 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 18 October 2022 were agreed and the matters arising noted as updated.


  1. Strategic Projects


1.1    Accommodation Project

Rodney Allen advised the final Project Team and Board meetings will be scheduled to present the final account.  Liaison is ongoing with several potential tenants who have expressed an interest in renting the additional office space. The snagging list is actively being addressed.


  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. The C&AG expressed concern about the accuracy of some information presented in the report.  The C&AG reiterated the need to review and ensure all relevant information on the Time and Space system is kept up to date in order to produce an accurate report for SLT.


2.2    Position re Backlog Accounts

    Members reviewed the information presented in the report, the C&AG emphasised the need for continued focus on clearing the backlog and queried the accuracy of some information contained in the report.  SLT will continue to monitor the backlog position with a focus on substantively clearing it by the end of December 2022. 


2.3   Public Reporting Monitoring Report

Members welcomed the report presented noting the current position.  Discussion followed concerning the ‘work in progress’ section of the website.  Patrick Barr agreed to liaise with the Comms Team to review this section of the website and agree any updates required.

2.4    Strategic Review of Impacts

Joe Campbell briefed members on the recent review exercise undertaken at the request of the C&AG.  Members agreed that a new approach to reporting impacts was required and endorsed the recommendations presented in the report.  Looking ahead it is evident that this decision will have an impact on the structure of the annual report and accounts.  SLT requested a summary paper be prepared to demonstrate how this will affect the structure of the annual report, Joe Campbell agreed to lead on this exercise and prepare a report for consideration by SLT and onward progression to the Advisory Board.


  1. People and OD


3.1    People and OD Monthly Report


Members noted the report presented providing an update on attendance management, recruitment, learning and development and performance management.  Directors were asked to address the completion of the few remaining outstanding appraisals as a priority.  Members noted the 2022 staff survey would commence this week. 


  1. Financial Management

4.1    Finance Report

Richard Ross provided an update on the following:


  • 2022-23 Forecast figures – Members were asked to note the current budgetary position.


  • IT Update – The core functions of Time and Space have been updated and a programme of training for all staff is currently being developed.



  1. Corporate Governance


    1. Business Support Services Report

Joe Campbell updated members on Complaints, Procurement, Legal Advice, Information Management, Governance and Assembly Liaison.


  1. Communications and Engagement


    1. Communications and Engagement Update

Joe Campbell provided an update on the following:


  • Branding
    The Comms Team is considering the potential for additional iconography and graphics around the Office.

  • Accessibility
    The Comms team are beginning the process of converting the Office’s published reports since September 2018 to html, an additional resource is being considered to assist the team in this exercise.


  • Social Media
    SLT recorded their thanks to staff who recently participated in videos produced to promote the Trainee Accountant Scheme and to the Comms Team for the production of the videos.

    1. Handling Correspondence Quarterly Update

MLA Correspondence

Raising Concerns

A paper prepared by the Counter Fraud Unit (CFU) to update SLT on Raising Concerns and MLA Correspondence was presented for consideration.  Discussion followed concerning the status of the live cases reported. The C&AG welcomed the current position and asked Directors to ensure that all hard copy files are returned to the CFU so cases can be recorded as closed.



  1. Risk Management


7.1    Corporate Risk Register

Colette Kane presented an updated risk register following the additional SLT meeting held last week to discuss risk.  The updated register included a proposal for a revised rating for risk one and the associated actions.  Members noted this had been discussed in detail at a separate risk meeting on 9 November and the current position would be regularly reviewed.  The next consideration of risk management by the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee is scheduled for January 2023.


The C&AG asked for a copy of the Terms of Reference and Strategy for the Corporate Risk Register Working Group, Colette agreed to forward this to her.



  1. Audit Technical


8.1   Technical Report

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


  • RoFP is now at an advanced stage and several resources have been issued to assist staff alongside ongoing training;
  • ISA 315 training is being held this month which is extensive and is an important milestone for the introduction of the new methodology.

SLT recorded their thanks to staff in the Technical Team for all the work involved in these projects to date.


  1. Papers to note:


No papers were presented.


  1. Matters for Escalation to Advisory Board, ARAC, RemCom


No matters were presented.



11.    AOB


11.1 Procurement and Contracting Out Audits
Catherine O’Hagan briefed members on proposals regarding the contracting out of audits for 2023-24.  SLT agreed to the proposals put forward and directors were asked to report back to Catherine by 22 November 2022 on their portfolio of audits for potential contracting.


    1. Date of Next Meeting
      The next meeting will be held on 20 December 2022 @ 10am.