Equity Diversity Interdependence
Promoting a Peaceful and Fair
Society based on Reconciliation
and Mutual Trust.
02 February 2012
MINUTES OF THE ONE HUNDRED & FIFTY SECOND MEETING OF THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL HELD ON THURSDAY 2nd February 2012 @1.30 P.M. IN THE BOARDROOM OF CRC’S OFFICES @ 6 MURRAY STREET, BELFAST BT1 6DN
2250/12 PRESENT: Action:
Mr T McCusker (Chair), Ms R McCorley, Mr J Deery, Mr W Gamble, Ms S McDermott, Mr H Mansour, Mr T Kennedy, Ms K Hanlon, Ms H Francey, Dr D Russell, Ms S Gordon.
Dr L Litvack, Mr E Oakes, Mr J Byrne, Ms McShane, Ms J Witherow (on maternity leave), Mr R Morton.
Ms R Dalton (OFMDFM)
2252/12 IN ATTENDANCE:
Ms J Irwin [Acting CEO],Mr P Jordon [Funding & Development], Ms T Wilson [Finance Officer], Ms D MacBride [Cultural Diversity] and Ms H Scott [Personal Sec].
Mr C Mountstephen [Deloitte]
2254/12 CLOSED SESSION:
(i) The Chair updated Council Members on the CEO recruitment process.
(ii) SEUBP – Members discussed general matters pertaining to this contract.
It was agreed that while Council could not enter into the contract currently on offer, it would be willing to consider, without prejudice, a service level agreement to support SEUPB in the delivery of the next phase of the priority. Council realises that this option was suggested to SEUPB early in negotiations and rejected. Members felt that it was the opinion most likely to be reconciled with the Council’s wider governance requirements..
Minutes of the previous meeting 13th December 2011 having been circulated were
taken as read. One amendment was noted to page 1, Ms R Dalton was present at
this meeting as an OFMDFM Observer. The minutes were approved subject to this
2256/12 PRESENTATION: Colin Mounstephen [Deloitte]
[Four papers: e-mailed to members prior to meeting & available in hard copies @ meeting. (i) Draft Final Report (ii) CRC Research Scheme & executive summary (iii) Review of effectiveness of summer interventions and (iv) Research Scheme ‘An emerging typology?’]
· Review of summer interventions
· Research Scheme – ‘An emerging typology?’
Mr Mounstephen outlined the background and key findings:
Limited role within the bigger picture
What the quantum of ‘Summer Intervention’ funding is
Scope for improving the process
Challenge of assessing impact and value for money
Political leadership/strategic priorities tier
Operational leadership tier
Local area structures
Initial community with groups/communities
Early meeting with other funders
Invite expressions of interest
Joined-up assessment of expression of interest
Early understanding of funding pot
Assessment of applications
Early award of funding
CRC Pathfinder programme.
Mr Mounstephen indicated there were two main recommendations:
(i) Data and monitoring of these – there needed to be some understanding of how this is captured. (The Good Relations indications could be reviewed and better aligned.)
Who would fund CSI is talking about a funders group and taking into account that there will be a “smaller pot” (with the decrease in IFI funding).
(ii) This model could have value in current context of CSI (but required further testing and refinement linking with outcome contingent on the awaited results of CSI which could strengthen the typology.
2256/12 PRESENTATION: Colin Mounstephen [Deloitte] continued: Action:
There followed a brief general discussion.
The Chair said that Members needed to come back to this as there was insufficient time today and that future discussions would be dependent on the outcome of CSI. He suggested that this discussion could happen at either the March or May meeting. Chair/Acting CEO
2257/12 MATTERS ARISING:
Mr Deery enquired about the OFMDFM base lines for the GR indicators.
Ms Irwin said that the indicators continued to be worked on but there is general agreement that they measured bad relations as opposed to good. She said that there was a fundamental issue that lots of agencies have inventories re GR work but they are often not describing the same things or in the same way e.g. descriptions were under different headings and located in differing geographical areas.
Mr Gamble said it was important to record positive developments.
(Mr Mounstephen (Deloitte) Ms McDermott and Ms Gordon left the
boardroom at 3.25 p.m)
2258/12 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 CEO recruitment – this had already been covered in the closed session.
3 Parades Commission –there had been a meeting to discussion the relationship between them and CRC.
4 Rowntree – there had been a successful meeting on Friday (27 January) in York and the (Mr Paul Nolan’s) research report was to be finalisednext week. The Chair indicated a series of roundtable and events in connection with this research would be planned.
2259/12 MATTERS ARISING:
CSI update [Mins 2242/11, page 2, item3 refers] – The Chair said he understood that the programme was still being debated by the five party political group.
2260/12 AUDIT ISSUES:
[Paper CRC/152/02/12/01 refers]
Self Assessment – Mr Gamble said Ms McDermott’s report was self explanatory.
Practical Risk Management booklet – Mr Gamble told members that Ms Kane (NI Audit Office) had mentioned this advice and guidance booklet at the Audit Committee meeting (18.01.12) and encouraged all members to read it. The
NIAO had also recommended a short presentation to members at a Council/or other meeting.
Mr Gamble recommended that CRC invites Ms Kane/NIAO to speak to members, possibly a single-issue meeting.
The Chair suggested that before anything is arranged Management needed to check if a charge would be involved (given the unexpected cost of this year’s audit which had not been budgeted for in the financial year 2010-11).
Ms Irwin advised CRC had not received an extra allocation to pay for this increased time she had spoken to Ms Kane (NIAO) and it been raised with OFMDFM for the additional funding. Ms Irwin
Mr Kennedy asked who updated the Terms of Reference
Mr Gamble said that the Audit Committee would do this.
Mr Kennedy suggested that any updated TOR are circulated to Council, as well as Audit Committee minutes. Ms Irwin/Ms McDermott
Insurance cover for CRC – Ms Irwin told members that this matter had been discussed at the Finance and General Purposes Committee (19.01.12) as it had been outstanding with OFMDFM since August 2011 despite repeated requests for a decision. She said that the CEO (Dr Morrow) had raised this matter and that an internal business case had been provided but that, to date, no clearance had been received from OFMDFM on this matter.
Ms Irwin pointed out that prior to Christmas the then CEO, Dr Morrow had made the decision that CRC could not continue without insurance cover and had again brought this to the attention of OFMDFM. Having had no response he felt he had no alternative but to take insurance cover.
Irregular payments– in connection with the above insurance cover, Ms Kane (NIAO) had advised that if some areas were subsequently established as insured by OFMDFM then additional payments (for the same cover) would be, despite the failure of OFMDFM to respond, considered “irregular spend” though she had said that the materiality of the spend would be considered.
2261/12 STRATEGIC PLAN: Action:
Ms Irwin reported that this was complete and formatting was being arranged by Mr Mullan prior to publication.
2262/12 OPERATIONAL ISSUES:
[Papers CRC/152/02/12/02, 02.1 refer]
Equality Update – Ms Irwin advised that a seminar had taken place on 15 December attended by members of Council and staff. Bob Collins, Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission had given a presentation.
Operational Plan – Ms Irwin said she would have liked in “slower time”, to review the format of the Plan, however the draft was now up for approval (in conjunction with the draft budget) to take forward discussions with OFMDFM on the business plan for 2012-13.
[Papers CRC/152/02/12/03, 03.1, 03.2refer]
Ms Wilson presented the Management Accounts for the 8 months ended 30 November 2011 and talked members through the SOFA (Statement of Financial Activities) page 4, and the deferral to the Balance Sheet of grant paid in advance, which resulted in a SOFA deficit of £30,216. Ms Wilson highlighted some areas of spend in the notes to the accounts on pages 6-7 and discussed some year on year variances.
Ms Wilson reported that KPMG had been appointed as internal auditors for the next three years.
Balance sheet(page 5) Ms Wilson indicated that the net assets position was comfortable. There were currently two bank accounts with cash in hand. She reported that these Management Accounts showed an increased cash position due to the timing of grant drawdowns. The final Core Funding draw down for the financial year had been received this morning and the final Victims Programme monies for the financial year had been drawn down last week.
The Chair asked how the Council was progressing towards the Departmental underspend target.
Ms Irwin confirmed that the target was 0.5% p.a. which might be difficult to achieve. She said that the previous CEO had sent an e-mail to the Departmental Accounting Officer and had had discussions and that she had since met with OFMDFM (Retained Finance staff) and there appeared to be a degree of flexibility. She said staff might, in future years, have to look at grant scheme arrangements to be able to achieve the 0.5% target.
2264/12 ACTING CEO’S REPORT:
[Paper CRC/152/02/12/04 refers]
The above paper outlines the main areas of work.
SEUPB – contract negotiations and other issues had been discussed (during closed session).
Victims Service– Ms Irwin confirmed there had been several meetings relating to the new Victims Service, service delivery and stakeholder engagement.
Dept of Justice– there had been a number of meetings with DoJ in connection with interventions on interfaces, DoJ’s barrier removal initiative and the continued collaboration and co-ordination at government level between government and interface communities.
District Councils– meeting in relation to the Decade of Remembering project and BCC had held a community planning seminar on 19th January which Ms Irwin had attended.
Advocacy – Ms Irwin said current round of meetings have come to an end and the next phase of the Plan was considered at the Policy & Communication Committee and a new schedule of meetings would be developed (paper 05 refers).
2265/12 MARKING ANNIVERSATIES LECTURE SERIES:
[Paper CRC/152/02/12/06 refers]
The above paper outlines the background to the series.
Ms MacBride informed members that the “live streaming” element was not happening as CRC would not have any control over the outputs.
Three media grant applications were tabled at meeting:
(i) Media title – ‘Samhlaigh Sin/Imagine that’
Grant requested = £14,000
Grant recommended = up to £14,000
(ii) Media title – Tapestry of Colours
Grant requested = £25.000
Grant recommended = £22,850
(iii) Media title – Life as an Interface
Grant requested = £17,050
Grant recommended = £16,150.00
The Chair asked that members take these applications home and peruse them and come back by e-mail with their decisions to Ms MacBride. He said the
Secretary (H Scott) would e-mail copies to members after the meeting.
2265/12 Marking Anniversaries Lecture series/media grant applications continued: Action:
Ms Irwin told members that they needed to reply saying “content/not content” within a week.
The Chair suggested these replies be received by Wednesday of next week (8th February) and that no response would be considered approval. D MacBride
Ms McCorley said that she would like her approval (for all three media grants) noted at the meeting. D MacBride
2266/12 SECTOR REPORTS:
The following reports are for Member’s information.
Communication & Learning Resources (Paper CRC/152/02/12/07refers)
Mr Gamble suggested that it might be helpful to have a grid for the FoI’s.
Funding & Development Programme (Paper CRC/152/02/12/08 refers)
Dr Russell asked about the review of research awards (deadline was 19
Ms Irwin pointed out that this was for information and the review would
take place on Monday 6th February.
Victims Programme (Paper CRC/152/02/12/09 refers)
Policy Development Programme (Paper CRC/152/02/12/10refers)
Community Bridges Programme (Paper CRC/152/02/12/11 refers)
Mr Kennedy pointed out that there was no overview on the
IFI/Community Bridges projects and said that at some stage he thought
the Council would like to hear about the outcomes.
Ms Irwin said she would speak to Mr Hinds and see what could be done
for the next Council meeting in March. Ms Irwin
EU Programme (Paper CRC/152/02/12/12 refers)
Cultural Diversity Programme (Paper CRC/152/02/12/13 refers)
The Chair asked Ms MacBride if she would circulate members (e-mail) with the current plan of the lecture series so that they could advise if they wished to attend any of these. D MacBride
226712 AOB: None
2268/12 PROPOSED DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS:
Thursday 29 March 2012; Wednesday 30 May 2012 and
Thursday 28 June 2012.
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