Equity Diversity Interdependence
Promoting a Peaceful and Fair
Society based on Reconciliation
and Mutual Trust.
01 June 2011
MINUTES OF THE ONE HUNDRED & FORTY-EIGHTH MEETING OF THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL HELD ON WEDNHESDAY 1ST JUNE 2011 @1.30 P.M. IN THE SEMINAR ROOM OF CRC’S OFFICES @ 6 MURRAY STREET, BELFAST BT1 6DN
2187/11 PRESENT: Action:
Mr T McCusker (Chair) Mr J Byrne Mr J Deery, Mr W Gamble, Ms S Gordon, Mr H Mansour, Ms S McDermott, Ms McShane, Mr T Kennedy, Mr E Oakes, Mr R Morton, Ms J Witherow, Ms H Francey.
Ms R McCorley, Dr D Russell, Mr D Porter, Ms K Hanlon, Dr L Litvack
21893/11 IN ATTENDANCE:
Dr D Morrow [CEO], Ms J Irwin [Deputy CEO], Mr R Mullan [PD Communications] and Ms H Scott [Personal Sec].
Ms R Dalton (OFMDFM)
Minutes of the previous meeting 1st June 2011 having been circulated were taken as read. Two minor amendments (1st page ~Apologies and Page 7, item 3) were noted. The minutes were approved subject to amendments.
2192/11 MATTERS ARISING:
2193/11 CHAIR’S BUSINESS:
1 Standard checks:
(a) The Chair reminded Members that they had to declare any conflict of interest in any discussions where decisions were required.
(b) The Chair reminded members of the necessity to register any offers
of gifts or hospitality since the last Council meeting.
2 Retired members: The Chairman confirmed that he had written to Ms M Hetherington and Ms E Gallagher (whose terms of office had expired, both having had a year’s extension). He suggested that a lunch could be arranged in the near future for departing members. CEO
2193/11 CHAIR’S BUSINESS continued: Action:
3 Resignation: The Chair informed members of the resignation of Mr S Farry from Council. He said Mr Farry’s move to a Ministerial post in the Assembly had necessitated this.
4 Renewal of Members[Mins 2185/11, Item 4(i) refers]: The Chair confirmed this was deferred to 29th June meeting and a paper would be presented at that time.
5 Update on Finance Director: The Chair told members that short-listing for this
post would happen on the 16th of June and interviews on 28th June 2011.
6 CR week: Mr Mullan gave an update on CR week events as well as media
(Mr Mullan left the seminar room @ 1.55.p.m.)
7 Renewal of Chair [Mins 2185/11, item 4(ii) refers]: The Chair informed members that ratification of the Boards renewal of the CRC Chair had to be approved by OFMDFM and asked members to extend their approval of him as Chair until the end of the month and after a meeting with OFMDFM.
This was agreed
8 Meeting the Queen in Dublin: The Chair reported that both he and the CEO
and Ms D MacBride had been invited to an event in Dublin during the Queen’s visit to the Ireland.
9 Committee membership: The Chair advised that he would again be looking at
CRC Committee membership and chairs and to this end members would be invited to meet with him to discuss this as well as whether or not they wished to remain on or change Committees. (CEO’s e-mail to board members had outlined the various committees and current membership).
The Chair confirmed that an e-mail had been sent to members asking them about their availability to meet with him in early July. He asked that they get back to Ms H Scott (secretary) notifying of availability.
The Chair asked members to get back to him by the end of the week if they wished to change committees. Board members
10 CEO’s arrangements for 2011: The Chair confirmed that arrangements were in
hand for the CEO’s departure at the end of 2011. He said that Dr Morrow would be taking a sabbatical in order to do a piece of research (tracking changes in CRC from its inception to date). The date of his sabbatical were 15th July returning 26th September. The Chair told members that Dr Morrow intended to leave mid December 2011.
2193/11 CHAIR’S BUSINESS continued: Action:
11 Successor to Dr Morrow: The Chair advised that he had formally written to
Mr Noel Lavery (OFMDFM) regarding arrangements for replacing the CEO.
He said he hoped to have information by the next Council meeting (29th June
2011) and thought this would give Council sufficient time to decide what it
wanted to do.
The CEO suggested that pending the information about his
replacement, it might be an appropriate time to discuss replacing board members.
The Chair pointed out that there now was no representation for the West and North West. He confirmed however that Ms Hetherington has agreed to stay on as Chair of Victims Committee until a new Chair had been appointed.
11 Rowntree Research: The Chair said that there would be a meeting on Friday 3rd
June to discuss the report produced by Mr P Nolan and it was hoped that this piece of work would meet with Rowntree’s exacting standards.
12 TUPE/Victims Programme - closed business: A letter from Mr Colin Jack (OFMDFM) re TUPE issues and the move to a Victims Service as provider was briefly discussed The Chair suggested that all Victims staff should immediately be advised (2nd June) of the essential information relating to their posts. CEO
2194/11 PRESENTATION BY CEO: Budgets and Profiles
· CRC Core Running Costs – savings plan
· CRC Core costs 2011/2012
· Savings 201/12
· Savings 2012/13
· Savings 2013/14
· Savings 2014/15
· CRC staff (diagram) current levels)
· CRC functions that OFMDFM supports financially – Diag.1, 2 and 3
· CRC staff profiles years 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014
· Key issues
There followed a general discussion regarding the potential end of other funding streams (2012-2014), the need for further strategic planning and what the future challenges might be.
The Chair confirmed that two half days had been set aside for further strategic planning, these were 13th and 20th June around 2.30 p.m. but times would be confirmed by e-mail. Secretary
[Papers CRC/148/06/11/01(a), 01(b) & 01(c) refer]
Management Statement/Financial Memorandum – 01(c)full copies were available @ meeting. (Also see AOB Item No. 4)
The CEO told members that these papers had passed through the Finance and General Purposes Committee last week.
There were no questions.
[Papers CRC/148/06/11/02(a) &(b),02.1, &02.3 refer]
Operational Plan (cover page) – 02(a)
Operational Plan – 02(b) copies of full Plan available at meeting
CRC Business Plan – 02.1
Equality Scheme update - 02.3
Operational Plan: The Chair said that Plan did not mention the higher level staff discussed earlier.
Ms Irwin said that this would be included when the strategic planning had been completed.
(Ms McDermott left the seminar room at 3.30 p.m.)
The Chair suggested it might be useful if the completed Operational Plan went to CRC Committees to look at. Deputy/CEO
[Papers CRC/148/06/11/03 & 03.1 refer]
· Lettershandoney Community Association - 03
· REAL project – 03.1
* These papers were tabled at the meeting.
Lettershandoney Community Association - 03
The CEO advised members that this application was looking for a replacement for core staff for a year but that it did not qualify for support under CRC’s remit. He said that OFMDFM had turned this application down and that it was brought to Council should members wish to carry this forward for discussion.
This application was not approved.
Mr Gamble enquired who would write to the applicants, would it be CRC or the Department. He expressed the view that as the Department had turned it
2197/11 PATHFINDERS continued: Action:
down initially and it was not within the CRC remit, the Department should advise applicants of the decision not to fund.
(Mr Deery declared an interest and left the seminar room at 3.38 p.m.)
REAL project – 03.1
The CEO told members that this was different in as much as the project was supported by IFI but the application for an extension had been turned down. He said that the difficulty was that the applicants wanted £44,000 for a 6 month period (£90,000 total).
The CEO said that IFI had indicated that the project was commendable but the costs were not.
The CEO pointed out that Pathfinder grants had changed completely from their original intent, they used to be small in number and to address a clear identifiable need or gap in provision, not comparing like for like. He said that applications were now coming to CRC because funding streams had ended.
The CEO stated that CRC did not have the resources it could not be supported.
Mr Kennedy concurred saying if IFI and the Department (OFDMFM) could not support this application there was no justification for CRC to fund.
Mr Gamble said that he was also unhappy with the way the Pathfinder scheme was now being used and would like members to look at the criteria at a later meeting. CEO
This application was not approved.
(Mr Deery returned to the seminar room at 3.48 p.m. Ms Gordon left the seminar room at 3.50 p.m.)
2198/11 CEO’S REPORT: Action:
The CEO said he would take any questions.
Summer inventions: Ms Francey said that Belfast City Council was still waiting for a letter of offer from OFMDFM.
The CEO said that he had spoken to Mr Colin Jack (OFMDFM) to ask if CRC could put its allocation of money in with BCC’s hoping for a more joined-up approach.
2198/11 CEO’s report continued: Action
Ms Dalton (OFMDFM) advised that there would be a meeting on Friday (3rd) to formalise the letters of offer.
The Chair suggested that CRC write to Ministers asking for a meeting (re CSI sub groups) to find out how CRC could support its work.
2199/11 SECTOR REPORTS:
[Papers CRC/148/06/11/05 to 12 refers]
These reports outline the main areas of work.
Communication & Learning Resources
(Paper CRC/148/06/11/05 refers)
Funding & Development Programme
(Paper CRC/148/06/11/06 refers)
(Paper CRC/148/06/11/07 refers)
Policy Development Programme
(Paper CRC/148/06/11/08 refers)
Community Bridges Programme
(Paper CRC/148/06/11/09 refers)
(Paper CRC/148/06/11/10 refers)
There were no questions.
1 A report on Core Funding – will be presented at the next Council meeting.
2 Audit up-date:
The CEO gave a detailed report on all cases.
Case 1: The CEO reported that CRCfunding ended this month. Group has been asked by OFMNDFM to answer specific questions. This is with their solicitor.
Case 2: The CEO reported that CRC was currently awaiting the outcome of the Goldblatt McGuigan audit which might reveal the scale of the fraud.
5 group (risk assessed) audit: The CRC reported that 3 of the groups had been audited and there had been no evidence of misconduct so funding has been resumed. The other 2 groups has objected to audit of their computer records stating that they were “confidential”. The CEO indicated that CRC had been
2200/11 AOB continued: Action:
advised that an analysis of computer records on site would be costly and it would be looking into the practicality of this. Meanwhile the paper audits were almost complete and these had revealed no sign of financial discrepancy.
The CEO informed members that Mr Allister MLA had written to CRC in connection with one of these two groups and a letter of reply was in the process of being drafted.
(Mr J Byrne left the seminar room at 4.00 p.m.)
Ms Irwin told members that CRC had advised OFMDFM officials that there had been no sign or evidence of fraud in these audit but the officials seemed to be insisting on a forensic audit.
3 IFI/Community Bridges paper: The CEO advised that this paper was “all but written” and would be presented at the next Council meeting.
4 Management Statement: The Chair said that copies were available (at the meeting) but would be e-mailed to members (except by request, J Witherow, T Kennedy, B Gamble and R Morton) and if the CEO/Chair did not hear from members it would be passed at the next Council meeting on 29th June 2011.
5 Audit: The CEO informed members that a further audit by OFMDFM’s internal auditors of CRC’s relations with funded groups was to take place from Monday 6th June.
The CEO told members that the Chair had raised the point with these auditors that all they might be doing was to do an audit or the audits because CRC was internally audited as well as audited by NIAO and representatives from both of these agencies sat on CRC’s Audit Committee.
2201/11 DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS:
Wed 29 June 2011 (6 Murray Street)
* Thurs 6 October (changed from 29 Sept 2011- venue TBA)
Wed 30 Nov 2011 (venue TBA)
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