Senior Leadership Team - Tuesday 18 October 2022

11am Board Room, University Street, Belfast

Members Present:

Dorinnia Carville, Chair (C&AG)

Rodney Allen (COO)

Patrick Barr (Director)

Neil Gray (Director)

Colette Kane (Director)

Brian O’Neill (Director)

Suzanne Walsh (Director)

Tomas Wilkinson (Director)


In Attendance:

Louise Donnelly (Secretary)




No apologies were recorded.


Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

There were no issues declared by members.



Minutes of previous meeting

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




  1. Strategic Projects


1.1    Accommodation Project

Rodney Allen advised the accommodation project is complete with the snagging list actively being addressed.  Members were advised that a post project evaluation will be undertaken, this will include a follow-up survey with staff with a likely timeframe of within 6-12 months.   Final Project Team and Board meetings will be scheduled when the final account has been agreed.  Work continues on securing tenants for the new space.


1.2    Pulse Survey Results

         A summary report on the findings of the recent staff survey on the office building was presented by Rodney Allen.  SLT welcomed the report and the positive feedback received.  A summary of the findings will be made available to staff.




  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.  As requested at the September SLT the report was shared with the Directorate for review last week.  The C&AG expressed concern that the information in the report still wasn’t up to date and asked that members stress to staff the importance of keeping all relevant information on Time and Space up to date, so that a meaningful review of this report is possible.


2.2    Position re Backlog Accounts

         Members provided the C&AG with an update on the positon regarding backlog accounts.  The C&AG advised that the Advisory Board had raised questions at their recent meeting about the backlog position but took assurance that SLT are continuing to monitor the backlog position with a focus on substantively clearing it by the end of December 2022.


2.3   Annual Business Plan – performance against KPI’s

Brian O’Neill provided an update on performance to date.  Members were asked to note the mid-year position and the further work needed to meet the KPIs for the year.



  1. People and OD


3.1    People and OD Monthly Report


Brian O’Neill provided an update on the following:

  • Attendance Management - Members noted the absence figures per employee in the rolling period 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022. 
  • Recruitment – Members were updated on the upcoming recruitment campaigns including the Senior Data Scientist post, Auditor posts, Head of People and OD and Trainee Accountant posts  
  • Learning and Development – SLT discussed two options for training IT audit advocates.  It was agreed that Suzanne Walsh should meet with those who have put themselves forward for this training to discuss the options and agree how to progress


3.2             Annual Leave Uptake Report

            Brian O’Neill presented a report to update SLT on annual leave balances at the six month stage of the current leave year.  Members noted the position and agreed staff should be encouraged to take and make use of their leave complement noting the importance of this for health and wellbeing. SLT will continue to closely monitor this.


3.3       Personal Development Plan (PDP) Summary Report

            A review of all 2022 PDP’s was conducted, Brian O’Neill briefed members on the key themes identified as a result of the review.  PDPs are due to be completed again in January 2023 as part of the next performance review and prior to this, the Learning and Development Officer will issue guidance around PDPs to encourage and prompt staff to think carefully about future learning requests.



  1. Financial Management

4.1    Finance Report

Brian O’Neill provided an update on the following:


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


  • IT Update – An upgrade to all windows 2012 servers will be scheduled between November 2022 and January 2023.  Brian O’Neill agreed to check on any anticipated levels of disruption as a result of the upgrade and report back to SLT.



  1. Corporate Governance


    1. Business Support Services Report

Members were updated on Complaints, Procurement, Legal Advice, Information Management, Governance and Assembly Liaison.



  1. Communications and Engagement


    1. Communications and Engagement Update

Brian O’Neill provided an update on the following:


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


  • Accessibility Project
    Brian O’Neill advised the completion date for the project is March 2023.


6.2    The C&AG updated members on her ongoing engagement with staff and external stakeholders, she advised internal meetings with all staff would be completed this week.  A paper to brief SLT on internal and external engagement will be provided in due course.



  1. Risk Management


7.1    Corporate Risk Register

The Corporate Risk Register was presented by Colette Kane, key changes proposed following the recent meeting of the Corporate Risk Register Working Group were highlighted in red for members’ convenience.  Discussion followed surrounding the risk rating, risk triggers and associated actions relating to risk one.  After discussion members agreed that an additional meeting to consider the risk register in more detail should be scheduled to take place before the risk workshop in December.



  1. Audit Technical


8.1   Technical Report

Suzanne Walsh updated members on the following:


  • Quality Control

    ICAEW have selected audits to review and the relevant teams informed.


  • RoFP is at an advanced stage, Engagement Directors have been asked to determine which components will be scoped in and ensure this is communicated to their counterparts in the Departments. Engagement Directors have also been asked to prepare detailed resource plans.
  • Account NI - An upgrade is required to the Account NI system and in order to facilitate this actions proposed by the Departments and Account NI were presented to SLT for consideration.  SLT agreed with the actions proposed.




  1. Papers noted:


    1. Draft ARAC Minutes of Meeting – 27 September 2022


    1. Draft Advisory Board Minutes of meeting – 4 October 2022


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


An ARAC Risk Workshop and additional Advisory Board meeting has been scheduled for 12 December 2022.



11.    AOB

  • Date of Next Meeting – The next meeting will be held on 15 November 2022 @ 11am.