MINUTES OF THE ONE HUNDRED & THIRTIETH (EXTRA ORDINARY) MEETING OF THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL
HELD ON THURSDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER 2008 @ 4.00 p.m.
AT CRC’S MURRAY STREET OFFICES, BELFAST BT1 6DN
1906/08 PRESENT: Action:
Ms M Hetherington, Mr T Kennedy, Ms S McDermott, Mr J Deery, Ms H Francey, Mr S Farry, Mr T McCusker. (Chair), Mr E Oakes.
Ms R McCorley, Ms E Gallagher, Ms C Wilson, Mr D Porter.
Staff: Mr J Fitzsimons
1908/08 IN ATTENDANCE:
Dr D Morrow [CEO], Ms H Scott [P/Secretary].
Mr C Dolan (Auditor) Finegan Gibson Accountants
The Minutes from the previous meeting (26 June 2008) will be circulated at the September 25th 2008 meeting.
1911/08 CONSIDERATION OF ANNUAL ACCOUNTS:
[Papers e-mailed and tabled at meeting refer – as below]
(i) draft letter to Finegan Gibson dated 4th Sept 2008 from CRC Chair
(ii) final Financial Statements dated 31 March 2008 from Chartered Accountants Finegan Gibson
Mr Dolan auditor from Finegan Gibson reported that the draft Financial Accounts had been presented at CRC’s AGM on the 26th June 2008. Salient points had been covered at this time and Members had been requested to forward any comments or queries regarding the draft. Mr Dolan confirmed that;
(1) No comments or queries had been received
(2) The audit had been completed without any major adjustment.
1911/08 Annual Accounts continued: Action:
Mr Dolan (Finegan Gibson) pointed to page 20 of the Accounts in relation to contingencies. He said that contractual obligations amounted to around £5.5M and that he was happy with this figure and that no adjustments had come to light.
Mr Dolan said that in order to formally complete the Audit for this year the document (tabled) should be signed in the presence of the Board Members.
Mr Dolan said that the Audit would be formally complete when the document (as tabled at the meeting) was signed. This was done in the presence of Board Members.
The CEO pointed out that the biggest difference this year was due to the re-calculation of pensions liability. He said in terms of everything else there were no unusual elements and Accounts were roughly in line with last year’s.
Mr Dolan indicated that the operational resources were £133,000 (net income/ outgoing) this year and he had no issue with that. He stated that the pension liability had been discussed and that it would probably continue to appear from now on.
Acceptance of the Accounts was proposed by Mr T Kennedy and seconded by Mr J Deery.
Mr Dolan said he could formally confirm that Council would meet its Audit obligations for this year.
(Mr Dolan left the seminar room at 16:15 hrs)
1912/08 Appointment of Auditors:
The CEO briefed Council members on Mr Fitzsimons absence.
(1) The CEO stated that, in the interim, arrangements had to be made in order to
continue with the day-to-day operation of Council’s financial business and to this end it had agreed that Finegan Gibson would provide temporary cover until Mr Fitzsimons’ return. He assured Members that this cover was being provided by another section of Finegan Gibson separate to those involved with the audit.
(2) Tendering process: The CEO said, in view of the Finance Director’s absence, he was asking permission from Members to re-appoint Auditors Finegan Gibson for a further period 1 year.
The Chair expressed the view that it would not be appropriate or in the Council’s best interests to go to tender at this stage. He said that Mr Fitzsimons illness had been a “wake up call” in terms of the amount of work Mr Fitzsimons was doing and he and the CEO would be looking at this issue.
1912/08 Appointment of Auditors continued: Action:
The Chair proposed acceptance of the CEO’s suggestion to re-appoint Accountants Finegan Gibson.
The proposal was seconded by Ms Hetherington.
This was agreed.
(1) Pay scales anomaly: The CEO said that he needed to raise an issue of an anomaly in pay scales. He said that this had been raised by staff and was currently under investigation by Finegan Gibson (the sector that already processes CRC’s monthly wage calculations). The CEO said that he hoped to have a full account for Members at the next meeting.
(2) Peace III (2.2) research bid: The CEO informed Members that a bid for a research grant (£691,000). He told members that, if successful, this would allow CRC to continue in a “different way” in three areas. He asked members if they were willing to allow this bid to proceed.
Approval was proposed by Mr McCusker this was seconded by Mr Deery.