5 November 2012

NIABT Board of Trustees Meeting
Minutes of Proceedings
Session: 2012/2013
Date: Monday 5 November 2012
Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings

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


Chris Lyttle MLA                               Chair
Leslie Cree MBE MLA
David McClarty MLA
Robin Newton MLA
John Rooney                                       Vice Chair
Michael Bell                                        NI Food and Drink Association
James Devlin                                       BT
Prof the Hon Dr James Haughey        Norbrook Laboratories
Alec McRitchie                                   Bombardier Aerospace
Glyn Roberts                                       NIIRTA
John Stewart                                       Director of Information and Outreach
Joanne Stuart OBE                             Attrus Ltd

In Attendance:

Louise Close                                       Deputy Secretary
Ivor Gibson                                         Co-Ordinator
Peter Hall                                            Secretary
Richard Stewart                                  Director of Corporate Services


Dominic Bradley MLA
Phil Flanagan MLA
John O’Farrell                                     NIC-ICTU

  1. Apologies:

Apologies are noted above.

  1. Declaration of Interests:

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

  1. Minutes of the meeting held on 24 September 2012:

Agreed: The minutes of the meeting were agreed.

  1. Matters arising:

The Chair declared that the NIABT bank account attracted interest of 0.25%. The matters arising from the minutes formed substantive agenda items.

Agreed: Board Secretariat will explore account options which will attract a higher interest rate.

  1. Charity Status:

The Chair asked the Secretary to detail the position in relation to the NIABT no longer having charitable status. The Secretary reported to the Board that it has come to his attention that the NIABT no longer has charitable status. However, this matter is being investigated with HMRC on the NIABT’s behalf by RSM McClure Watters, the NIABT accountants.

Agreed: The Board Secretary will update the Board of further developments in relation to this matter. The NIABT accountant, RSM McClure Watters is acting as an agent of the NIABT in dealings with HMRC in relation to this matter.

  1. Financial update:

The Chair led a discussion detailing the current financial position of the Trust.

Agreed: The Board was content with the financial update.

  1. Events:

The Board discussed the list of recent and forthcoming events.

Agreed: The costs attributed to each event will be shown as net costs.

  1. 2012 Westminster Programme:

The Board discussed the Westminster Programme. Several of the Board members who were in attendance at Westminster provided feedback about the visit for the rest of the Board. A letter from Peter Spratt of Anderson Spratt Group was discussed. Mr Spratt had also attended the Westminster Programme. The Programme was generally commented on as being well organized and a valuable investment of time.

  1. 2012 Brussels Programme:                          

The Board discussed the upcoming Brussels Programme. Members reiterated the need for a robust programme in Brussels. The Programme is being arranged by the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive.

  1. President’s Dinner:

The Board discussed the President’s Dinner which will take place on the evening of 7 March 2013. As Lord Coe has not responded to his invitation, the Board have suggested inviting the Secretary of State.

Agreed: The Board has requested the Secretariat write to the Secretary of State to act as guest speaker.

  1. Membership applications:

The Board approved seven membership applications. The Board also noted that five companies have decided not to renew membership for 2012/13 and these will be removed from the membership list.

Agreed: Exit proformas will be issued to all companies as they leave the NIABT. Phone contact will also be made to larger companies who leave.

  1. Exit proforma:

The Board approved the use of an exit proforma which will be issued to all outgoing business members.

The meeting was suspended at 5:55pm

The meeting resumed at 6:20pm without Glyn Roberts, John Rooney and Robin Newton MLA.

  1. Educational Steering Group:

The Educational Steering Group met on 18 October and the Board discussed a paper on its recommendations.

Agreed: The Secretariat will produce a paper on options for filming briefings for the next meeting.

  1. SME Steering Group:

The SME Steering Group plan to meet during November 2012.

  1. Large Business Steering Group:

The Large Business Steering Group met immediately prior to this Board meeting.

Agreed: The Secretariat will produce a paper on the steering group’s discussion for the next Board meeting.

  1. Membership breakdown:

The Board noted the business membership breakdown.

  1. Treasurer:

The Board discussed a paper on the proposed new role of Treasurer. Richard Stewart, Director of Corporate Services is to fulfill this role.

Agreed: The Secretariat will arrange for an amendment to the Articles of Association to reflect this change.

                        The Secretariat will arrange a Northern Bank credit card to be applied for with appropriate authorised users.

  1. Website update:

A paper on website activity was discussed by the Board.

Agreed: Secretariat will ensure that all invitations to events to be uploaded on website in a timely manner.

  1. Any Other Business:

The date for the next meeting is Monday 10 December at 5:00pm in Room 21.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 6:40pm.

Mr Chris Lyttle MLA
Chairperson, Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust
10 December 2012