NIABT Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes of Proceedings Monday 18th May 2015

Session: 2014/2015

Date: Monday 18th May 2015

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 4:05pm. Phil Flanagan MLA chaired the meeting.


Leslie Cree MBE MLA

Phil Flanagan MLA

Alban Maginness MLA

Michael Bell, NI Food & Drink Association

Chris Brown, MCE PR

John Rooney, Rooney Fish

Deborah Loughran, Norbrook Laboratories

Stephen Kelly, Manufacturing NI

John O’Farrell, ICTU

John Stewart, Director of Information and Outreach

In Attendance:

Roisin Fleetham, Deputy Secretary

Nicola Crawford, Minutes


Judith Cochrane MLA, Chair

Claire Sugden MLA

James Haughey, Norbrook Laboratories

Alan Dickson, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Dr Joanne Stuart OBE, Attrus Ltd., Vice Chair

Susie Brown, Secretary

Ivor Gibson, Co-ordinator

Richard Stewart, Treasurer

  1. Apologies:

Apologies are noted above.

  1. Deputy Secretary:
  • The Chair advised that in the absence of the Deputy Secretary, Louise Close, Roisin Fleetham who has assumed the role of Outreach Manager will take on the duties of Deputy Secretary.

Proposer:  Alban Maginness MLA

Seconder: Leslie Cree MLA

  1. Declaration of Interests:

Nothing to declare.

  1. Adoption of previous minutes:

Agreed: The Minutes of the Board meeting held on 9th March 2015 were agreed by the Board.

  1. Matters arising:

The Chair advised the Board that:

  • The majority of matters arising from the agenda at the previous meeting had formed the basis for the agenda items for this meeting.
  1. Correspondence:
  • The Chair advised that an item of correspondence from a member who attended the NIABT European Programme in November 2014 had been received. Mary Trainor-Nagelle, CEO of Arts and Business had written to state that, as a result of attending the NIABT Programme, Arts & Business NI were invited to speak at a conference in Brussels in April 2015.
  • The Chair stated that this was proof of the importance of NIABT and how it can make connections work.
  1. Financial Update:
  • The Chair referred the Board to a copy of the latest figures in relation to 2014/2015 NIABT Income/ Expenditure and gave them information on SP15+ and its effect on the Assembly’s budget for NIABT activities.

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

  1. Past and Upcoming Events
  • The Chair referred the Board to a list of past and future Business Trust events.
  • The Chair proposed deferring a Dublin Inter Parliamentary Programme until after the election in the Republic of Ireland Alban Maginness stated that the election shouldn’t affect the visit. John Stewart advised that they are being cautious in case there are no politicians available to meet the group due to Purdah.

Agreed: John Stewart to speak to counterparts in the Oireachtas re dates for Purdah and the election.

  1. Briefing Topic Sub Group:
  • The Chair advised that the briefing topic sub group met on 9th

Agreed: The secretariat to proceed to incorporate some of the suggested themes into the forward work plan for approval at a future meeting.

  1. Washington Programme:
  • The Board discussed the draft programme.
  • John O’Farrell stated that meetings with the AFL-CIO and SEIU (US union groups) might be useful to in relation to TTIP.

Agreed: The secretariat will follow up on this possible meeting.

  1. 2015 President’s Dinner:
  • The Chair advised the Board that the annual President’s Dinner would take place later that evening with the US Ambassador to the UK, Matthew W. Barzun, as the keynote speaker.
  1. Membership:
  • The Chair advised that one member, has not paid membership subscription since being approved at the November 2014 Board meeting and will be removed.
  • The Chair referred the Board to a list of applications from local organisations to join the Trust and asked the members if they were happy to approve these applications.

Agreed: The Board agreed to approve all applications.

  1. Chair rotation:
  • The Board discussed the content of the Chair rotation paper.

Agreed: The current arrangement which is nomination by MLAs followed by a vote if necessary will continue.

  1. Internal Audit:
  • The Chair advised that an internal NI Assembly audit has been conducted into the secretariat support provided to the NIABT and, that members should note that this is only relevant to the Assembly Commission contribution; NIABT raised funds are audited separately.
  • The report gives a satisfactory level of assurance which is good news.
  • Any issues that require action have been addressed by the secretariat.
  1. Draft Reserves Policy:
  • The Chair asked Members to take note of the draft reserves policy which was recommended as part of the internal audit. The purpose of the policy is to ensure that the NIABT has sufficient resources to deliver its services and manage future work programmes, in line with financial constraints.

Agreed:  The Board was content with the policy.

  1. Any Other Business:

No other business.

Date of Next Meeting

  • The Chair confirmed that the AGM will be held on Monday 15th June in Room 115 and the next Board meeting would be held on Monday 22nd June at 4:00pm in the Senate Chamber.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:20pm.

Mr Phil Flanagan MLA