OFMDFM DEPARTMENTAL BOARD MEETING
30 MAY 2012, GLASSHOUSE, STORMONT ESTATE
PRESENT: Malcolm McKibbin, Stephen Boyd, Richard Bullick, Mary Bunting,
Stephen Grimason, Neill Jackson, Noel Lavery, Denis McMahon, Alan
Maitland, Dara O’Hagan
APOLOGIES: George Thorley, Brenda King
IN ATTENDANCE: Olive Maybin
1. Minutes of 25 April 2012 Meeting
The minutes of the April 2012 Board meeting were agreed subject to minor amendments.
2. Matters Arising
Board members reviewed progress on matters arising. Alan Maitland said that he had
received a report from Paul Wickens on absence management which he would circulate.
[Action: Alan Maitland]
On prompt payment performance Stephen Boyd agreed to provide an analysis, including
any common themes, to the next Board meeting on why the 10 day target is not being met.
[Action: Stephen Boyd ]
3. Declaration of Interests
There were no declarations of interest.
4. Current Context
Neill Jackson reported that the next Executive meeting would take place on 31 May and
that a number of OFMDFM papers were under consideration. There would be meetings of
the Executive on 14 June and 5 July before the summer recess with the possibility for a
further meeting to discuss June monitoring.
Current Strategic Issues
Internal Audit: It was agreed that the Board’s finance reports and minutes of meetings
should be circulated to OFMDFM’s Internal Audit.
[Action: HOCS office]
Corporation tax: The Board noted the upcoming meetings with Treasury and the desire to
reach decision point around the end of the summer.
Whitehall reforms: Malcolm McKibbin outlined the programme of reform underway in
Whitehall and the opportunity to tie in, as appropriate, with relevant theme groups.
Post- 2015 structures of government: Malcolm said he had been invited to meet with
Executive party leaders to explore issues relating to numbers and functions of departments.
Public Accounts Committee: Malcolm reported that he would be meeting the PAC on Senior
Civil Service engagement with the Committee and a personnel matter.
North South Ministerial Council: Neill stated that an NSMC Plenary and a British-Irish
Council Plenary were scheduled to take place in June. Mary Bunting also reported that a
new Joint Secretary (South) was being appointed and that there would be corresponding
changes in her office prompted by her upcoming retirement. The Board also noted the
imminent retirement of the deputy Joint Secretary (North) and that Mary will also retire at
the end of September.
Historical Institutional Abuse: Denis McMahon reported that an announcement on the Chair
and the forum would be made on 31 May.
Social Investment Fund: Denis also reported the good progress that was being made on the
UK City of Culture: Noel Lavery updated members on the position relating to the Turner
Prize venue to be delivered by ILEX.
Maze/Long Kesh: Noel reported that the initial interviewing process for the Chair and Board
was complete. A submission would be prepared for Ministers.
NI Direct: Stephen Grimason reported progress on the Social Investment Fund and
Delivering Social Change. Paul Wickens had been appointed as Senior Responsible
Owner for the Programme for Government commitment to improve online access to
5. Governance and Financial Management
OFMDFM Annual Report and Accounts: The Board noted the draft annual report and
accounts that had been submitted to the Northern Ireland Audit Office on 25 May.
Audit and Risk Committee Update: Noel gave an update from the OFMDFM Audit
Committee meeting on 14 May. He was pleased to report the annual Internal Audit report
and opinion had provided satisfactory assurance and that the good progress, particularly in
the Equality and Strategy Directorate, had been noted. He reminded Directors of the
importance of identifying emerging issues on stewardship statements. The Board
welcomed the update.
Finance Report – Analysis of OFMDFM Provisional Outturn: Stephen Boyd introduced the
finance report. On administration and resource expenditure he reported a provisional
outturn underspend of £0.578m. The capital budget had been underspent by £0.288m. He
said that performance against the opening allocation was a significant improvement on the
previous four years. The Board noted that improved reporting and forecasting measures
were being introduced and that the Accounting Officer would be holding regular governance
meetings to examine spend against budget profiles. The Board noted the provisional
outturn and the positive action being taken.
6. Strategic Planning
Half-year Resilience and Security Report: Alan Maitland introduced a new report aimed at
providing assurance on civil contingencies, business continuity, ICT, and Information
Management. He said there was a slight risk to business continuity planning as a result of
staffing shortages but otherwise there were no significant issues. On the Olympic Torch
Relay he was satisfied that the necessary preparations were in place.
Draft May Departmental Brief
The Board reviewed the draft brief and agreed the items for inclusion with some minor
There were no items of any other business.
9. Date of next meeting
The next meeting would at 10.00 a.m. on 27 June 2012.
The meeting closed.
31 May 2012