NIABT Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes of Proceedings Monday 18 November 2013

The meeting opened in public session at 5:07pm.

Phil Flanagan MLA Chair
Judith Cochrane MLA
Leslie Cree MBE MLA
Alban Maginness MLA
Robin Newton MLA

Michael Bell                                       NI Food and Drink Association
Alan Dickson                                      PricewaterhouseCoopers
Glyn Roberts                                       NIIRTA
John Rooney                                       Rooney Fish
Richard Stewart                                  Treasurer/ Director of Corporate Services
Dr Joanne Stuart OBE                       Attrus Ltd, Vice Chair
Tara Whaley                                        British Telecom

In Attendance:
Louise Close                                       Deputy Secretary
Ivor Gibson                                         Co-ordinator

Lord Ballyedmond                             Norbrook Laboratories
Susie Brown                                        Secretary
David McClarty MLA
John O’Farrell                                    ICTU
John Stewart                                       Director of Information and Outreach
1. Apologies:

Due to the absence of Secretary, Louise Close as Deputy Secretary, acted as Secretary for the meeting.

Apologies are noted above.

2. Declaration of Interests:

Phil Flanagan MLA declared an interest in a forthcoming joint business visit with the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment as he is Committee Vice Chair.

3. Minutes of the meetings held on 3rd June 2013: 

Agreed: The Minutes of the Board meeting held on 30th September were agreed by the Board. Michael Bell noted that his date of appointment to the Board was not correctly reflected in the Trustee Report. This will be corrected by the secretariat.         

4. Matters arising:

The Chair advised the Board that the majority of matters arising at the last meeting formed the agenda for 18th November. The Deputy Secretary updated the Board that consideration had been given to developing a Paper looking at developing links with Kosovo. However, it was felt that the timing was not right at present and that this matter would be reviewed as and when appropriate.

The Deputy Secretary also confirmed that the Secretary was planning to conduct a review of the Articles of Association and this would incorporate looking at membership options for educational institutions and for business organisations. This review will also include rules pertaining to a minimum level of Trustee attendance at Board meetings.

5. Rotation of Board Members:

Agreed: The Board agreed to approve a Paper which provided guidance on the rules pertaining to the rotation of Trustees. It was agreed that non parliamentarian Trustees should serve a maximum of two terms of three years before facing mandatory retirement of at least two years.

BT and NIIRTA Trustees on the Board will stand down at the 2014 AGM.

It was also agreed that companies hold positions on the Board, not individuals. In exceptional circumstances, companies are permitted to rotate company representatives to the Board of Trustees.

Meeting adjourned from 5:20pm to 5:48pm due to a vote in the Plenary Chamber.

Alban Maginness MLA joined the meeting at 5:48pm.

Judith Cochrane MLA rejoined the meeting at 5:50pm

6. Financial Update – Membership Subscriptions 

The Chair referred the Members to a copy of the latest figures in relation to Business Trust Member subscriptions and overall financial outlook

Agreed: The Board agreed the content of the financial update.

7. Correspondence

The Chair referred the Board to the following items of correspondence:

  • Copy of a letter from the CBI, offering to brief the NIABT on its recent Infrastructure Report.
  • Copy of a letter from Ortus, the Business Development Agency offering the use of their newly opened City Business Hub as a facility for organisations to promote products and services.
  • Copy of an e-mail confirming membership payment from PwC.

Agreed: The Board agreed to note the correspondence from Ortus and PwC. In relation to the correspondence from CBI, the Chair informed the Board that CBI would be presenting their Infrastructure Report to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (ETI) and that the NIABT should collaborate with ETI Committee secretariat staff and invite NIABT members to the CBI briefing to the ETI Committee, therefore negating CBI presenting their Report on two occasions.

8. Past and Upcoming Events

The Chair referred the Board to a listing of past and future Business Trust events.

9. Westminster Programme:

The Chair referred the Board to a copy of the attendance list and programme in relation to the recent visit to Westminster. Positive feedback was provided by Board members in attendance.

10. European Programme:

The Chair referred the Board to a copy of the attendance list and programme in relation to the forthcoming visit to Europe. Positive feedback was provided by Board members in attendance.

Agreed: The Board agreed to invite the Northern Ireland Executive staff to deliver an overview briefing in Parliament Buildings in advance of future European Programmes.

6:09pm Glyn Roberts left the meeting.

11. 2014 President’s Dinner

The Chair drew the Board’s attention to the fact that, at a previous Board Meeting, it had been agreed to invite Daniel Calleja Crespo as the keynote speaker for the 2014 President’s Dinner. She noted that, although Mr Crespo had expressed his desire to attend, he was unable to confirm this diary appointment until December 2013 and asked the Board if they would be content to wait until December as oppose to selecting another speaker.

Agreed: The Board agreed that the Secretariat contact Mr Crespo’s office to check his availability to attend the President’s Dinner as keynote speaker in 2014.      

12. Large Business Steering Group

The Chair referred the Board to an attendee list for the next Large Business Steering Group event. A dinner has been scheduled to take place on 26th November at which existing large business members have been encouraged to invite a non NIABT business guest. It was noted that the Committee Chairs of Finance and Personnel, Employment and Learning and Enterprise, Trade and Investment had all confirmed their intention to attend this event which would involve a rotation of the Chairs to maximize the networking opportunities.

13. Membership Applications

The Chair referred the Board to a list of four applications from local organisations to join the Trust.

Three applications were approved and the Board recommended that the Secretariat contact the forth applicant querying their turnover, as there appeared to be a significant discrepancy between the amount of turnover declared on the NIABT application form and the most recent financial statements issued by the entity.”

Agreed: The Board agreed to review the rules and guidelines in respect of Trust new member application forms, to incorporate a step to clarify individual company turnover and to add a values statement for members.

14. Risk Register 

The Board noted the contents of the June 2013 NIABT Risk Register.

Agreed: The Board approved the content of the Risk Register.

15. IPEP Policy

The Chair advised the Board that the IPEP Policy had been amended to reflect the amount of subsidy that Board members attracted when attending IPEPs.

Agreed: The Board agreed the proposal.

16. Any Other Business

Robin Newton MLA had requested that attendance at sessions of the recent European Programme should be noted. It was noted that a number of attendees had pre-arranged to miss certain sessions whilst on the programme.

The Board also discussed exploring the possibility of new venues for IPEPs.

Agreed: The Board agreed that the Secretariat prepare a Paper on a potential educational visit to Edinburgh in 2014, well in advance of the Scottish Referendum.

Date of Next Meeting

The Chair confirmed that the next meeting would be held on Monday 27th January at 5.00pm.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:00pm.

Mr Phil Flanagan MLA
Chair, Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust
28 January 28, 2014