4 February 2013

NIABT Board of Trustees Meeting

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Monday 4 February 2013

Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 5:00pm.


Chris Lyttle MLA, Chair

Leslie Cree MBE MLA

Robin Newton MLA

John Rooney, Vice Chair

Lord Ballyedmond, Norbrook Laboratories

Michael Bell, NI Food and Drink Association

Alec McRitchie, Bombardier Aerospace

Glyn Roberts, NIIRTA

John Stewart, Director of Information and Outreach

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

Phil Flanagan MLA

David McClarty MLA

John O’Farrell, NIC-ICTU

Richard Stewart, Director of Corporate Services

  1. Apologies:

Apologies are noted above.

  1. Declaration of Interests:

No interests were declared by Board members in relation to the agenda items.

  1. Minutes of the meetings held on 5 November 2012 and 10 December 2012:

Agreed: The minutes of the meetings were agreed.

  1. Matters arising:

Tara Whaley has been nominated by BT to represent them on the Board, replacing James Devlin.

Two matters arising at the Board Meeting of 10 December 2012 are being carried forward.

Agreed: Joanne Stuart will provide written feedback on learning points for businesses attending Assembly Community Connect sessions.

The Secretariat are developing an SME questionnaire in order to glean information about SME business membership.

The remaining matters arising from the minutes formed substantive agenda items.

  1. Charity Status update:

The Chair confirmed that as a result of investigations carried out by HMRC, the NIABT’s charitable status will be re-instated without incurring any financial penalties.

  1. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):

The Chair informed the Board that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission had requested that a MoU between the NIABT and the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission be developed.

The Commission agreed the content of the MoU on 30th January 2013 and a copy will be issued to Board Members.

Agreed: The Secretariat will issue a copy of the MoU to Board Members.

  1. Financial update:

The Board discussed the financial update.

Agreed: The Board was content with the financial records.

  1. Events:

The Board discussed recent and upcoming events. The Christmas reception attracted particular positive feedback from Board Members.

  1. Inter-Parliamentary Education Programmes:                              

The Board discussed the Inter-Parliamentary Education Programmes. As a result of the discussion, the Board decided to revisit a previous NIABT paper which dealt with Inter-Parliamentary Education Programme subsidy rates at the next Board meeting. In addition, the Board also asked the Secretariat to draft an options paper on attendance at Inter-Parliamentary Education Programmes.

Agreed: The Secretariat will draft an Inter-Parliamentary Education Programme Options Paper and bring the existing Inter-Parliamentary Education Programme subsidy rates paper to the next Board Meeting.

The meeting was suspended from 5:27pm to 5:38pm due to MLAs attending the Plenary Chamber.

  1. External Education Programmes:

The Board discussed the 2013 External Education Programmes.

  1. CERN visit:

The Board considered an application to attend the CERN visit in March 2013. After deliberation, the Board decided that it could not support the application as it did not meet the required criteria.

Agreed: The Secretariat will write to the applicant to advise of the Board’s decision.

The Secretariat will also write to the Chair of the Committee for Employment and Learning to advise of the Board’s decision.

  1. Correspondence:

The Board discussed an item of correspondence from a business member suggesting that one of their clients deliver an NIABT briefing. The Board were not satisfied that this particular event met the criteria set out in the NIABT events framework and therefore, could not be approved in its current format.

Agreed: The Secretariat will reply to the business member to advise of the Board’s decision.

The Secretariat will revisit the events framework and review if necessary.

  1. Media coverage:

The Board discussed media coverage of a recent Inter-Parliamentary Educational Programme.

Agreed: The Secretariat will investigate options to alleviate issues which may occur at future NIABT Inter-Parliamentary Educational Programmes.

Robin Newton MLA left the meeting at 6:12pm.

  1. President’s Dinner:

The Board discussed the upcoming President’s Dinner, where the guest speaker will be the Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Agreed: Board members are asked to send guest names to the Secretariat.

  1. Large Business Steering Group:

The Chair informed the Board that the Large Business Steering Group will meet with a number of members from the large businesses sector for an informal dinner immediately following the Board Meeting.

Agreed: The Large Business Steering Group will report back on the outcome of the dinner at the next Board Meeting.

  1. Audio Visual Services and Support of NIABT events:

The Board discussed advice from the Head of Procurement in the Northern Ireland Assembly in relation to audio visual services and support of NIABT events. The Chair advised that there were no procurement obstacles with the process followed by the NIABT. The Board agreed that three quotes are not required for services where the NI Assembly or their suppliers will provide best value for money.

Michael Bell left the meeting at 6:20pm.

  1. Membership:

The Board approved the seven business applications and recommended that one business be removed from membership due to non payment of membership.

Joanne Stuart confirmed that Dr Norman Apsley is the CEO of Northern Ireland Science Park.

Agreed: The Secretariat will amend the “Membership due for removal” portion to read “Applications/membership due for removal.”

  1. Bank account interest rate options:

The Board agreed to invest an amount of £20,000 in a two year savings bond.

Agreed: The Secretariat will make contact with Danske Bank to make arrangements for the investment.

  1. Articles of Association update:

The Board noted that the Articles of Association do not need to be updated to reflect the appointment of a position of Treasurer.

  1. Any Other Business:

The Chair confirmed that the next meeting will be held on Monday 15th April 2013 at 5:00pm in Room 21.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 6:45pm.

Mr Chris Lyttle MLA

Chairperson, Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust

4 February 2013