15 April 2013

NIABT Board of Trustees Meeting

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Monday 15th April 2013

Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 5:20pm.


Chris Lyttle MLA

Leslie Cree MBE MLA

Phil Flanagan MLA

Robin Newton MLA

John Rooney, Vice Chair (Acting Chair)

Prof. James Haughey, Norbrook Laboratories

Michael Bell, NI Food and Drink Association

Alec McRitchie, Bombardier Aerospace

John O’Farrell, NIC-ICTU

Glyn Roberts, NIIRTA

John Stewart, Director of Information and Outreach

Richard Stewart, Treasurer/ Director of Corporate Services

Dr Joanne Stuart OBE, Attrus Ltd

Tara Whaley, BT

In Attendance:

Susie Brown, Secretary

Louise Close, Deputy Secretary

Ivor Gibson, Co-Ordinator


Dominic Bradley MLA

David McClarty MLA

1. Apologies:

Apologies are noted above.

2. Declaration of Interests:

Leslie Cree declared an interest in agenda item 13, concerning the Memorandum of Understanding between the NI Assembly Commission and the NIABT. Mr Cree is a Member of the Commission.

3. Minutes of the meetings held on 4th February 2013:

Agreed: The minutes of the meetings were agreed.

4. Matters arising:

The matters arising from the minutes formed substantive agenda items.

5. Financial update:

The Board discussed the financial update.

Agreed: The Board was content with the financial records.

Joanne Stuart joined the meeting at 5:25pm.

6. Events:

The Board discussed recent and upcoming events. Lack of MLA attendance, particularly at breakfast briefings was highlighted.

Agreed: From September 2013, the monthly briefings will move to a 4:00pm timeslot on a three month trial basis.

7. Events Policy:

The Board discussed an events policy paper.

Agreed: The NIABT will deliver eight monthly briefings per year during the parliamentary session.

Four briefings will be arranged in conjunction with Committees and four will be solely NIABT led.

Ministers will be invited to speak at Committee led briefings.

All business applications for briefing delivery will be considered and where appropriate will be linked to Committee led briefings.

All briefings will be approved by the Board, either at Board Meetings or via e-mail, dependent on time constraints.

8. Inter-Parliamentary Education Programmes (IPEPs):                            

The Board discussed the IPEP paper.

Agreed: The Secretariat will update the paper to reflect the following comments:

  • The Board will provide leadership when present at the respective delegations at each IPEP.
  • Large business members should have flexibility to nominate numerous representatives to attend IPEPs.
  • Political Parties will continue to recommend which MLAs attend IPEPs.
  • A compulsory pre-IPEP meeting will be held to discuss the agenda and other related matters.
  • All delegates will be expected to attend all elements of the programme.
  • Consider a staggered subsidy and timeframe policy.

9. Correspondence:

The Board discussed four items of correspondence.

Agreed: Secretariat will refer to the events policy and respond accordingly to correspondence.

Secretariat will draft a briefing template.

The meeting was suspended from 6:00pm to 6:18pm due to MLAs attending the Plenary Chamber.

At 6:18pm, John O’Farrell left the meeting and Leslie Cree MLA, Phil Flanagan rejoined the meeting. Robin Newton MLA joined the meeting at this time also.

10. Large Business Steering Group (LBSG):

The Board discussed an LBSG paper.

Agreed: The Secretariat will convene another group meeting.

The Secretariat will consider arranging another event which will focus on recruiting other large business members.

At 6:20pm, Chris Lyttle MLA joined the meeting.

11. President’s Dinner:

The Board discussed the 2013 President’s Dinner and positive feedback from Members.

Agreed: The Secretariat will make an approach to the suggested keynote speaker, Daniel Calleja Crespo.

12. Charitable Status:

The acting Chair confirmed with the Board that the NIABT charitable status has been confirmed by HMRC.

13. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):

The Board discussed and reviewed the MoU paper.

14. Conduct at Events:

The Chair informed the Board that he had spoken with the majority of Party Whips.

15. Membership:

The Board approved 11 of the 12 business applications.

Agreed: The Secretariat will write to the unsuccessful applicant to detail reasons for application rejection.

16. Membership Breakdown:

The Board discussed the analysis of the business membership. This information will be used for business planning.

17. SME Questionnaire:

The Chair informed the Board that 23 replies had been received.

Agreed: The Secretariat will report on survey findings at the next Board Meeting.

18. Annual General Meeting:

The Board discussed the procedure to elect Board members at the AGM, which is scheduled to be held on 20th May 2013. Lots were drawn to ascertain which two business Board Members and two MLAs are to retire from office at the AGM. Alec McRitchie, John Rooney, Dominic Bradley MLA and Phil Flanagan MLA were selected to retire.

Action: The Secretariat will conduct an election process with business members in advance of the AGM.

The positions of Chair and Vice Chair will be confirmed at the next Board meeting on 3rd June 2013.

19. Any Other Business:

The Chair confirmed that the next meeting will be held on Monday 3rd June 2013 at 5:00pm in Room 21.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 7:30pm.

Mr Phil Flanagan MLA

Chairperson, Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust

15th April 2013