NIABT Board of Trustees Meeting – Monday 10th April 2017

NIABT Board of Trustees Meeting

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2016/2017

Date: Monday 10th April 2017

Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 4:35pm.


Roy Beggs MLA

Clare Bailey MLA

Sinéad Bradley MLA

Stephen Kelly, Manufacturing NI, Vice Chair

Nicola Bothwell, NB Chartered Communications

Noel Brady, Consult NB1 Ltd

Norah-Anne Barron, Pi Communications

Michael Bell, NIFDA

Chris Brown

In Attendance:

Maeve Donnelly, Secretary

Louise Close, Deputy Secretary

Gillian Barker, Minute taker

Gareth McGrath, Director of Parliamentary Services

Richard Stewart, Treasurer


Conor Murphy MLA

Trevor Lunn MLA

Barry Turley, Turley PR and Public Affairs

1. Apologies:

  • Apologies are noted above.
  • In the absence of Conor Murphy MLA, Stephen Kelly, took the Chair in the interim.

2. Declaration of interests:

  • The Vice Chair invited declarations of interest. No declarations were made.

 3. Adoption of previous minutes:

The Board identified that an agreed action was not noted against item 7 on the agenda. As item 7 was agreed by the Board the minutes will be updated to reflect this.

Agreed:  The Board agreed to adopt the minutes of 30th November 2016 including the identified amendment.  Minutes proposed by Stephen Kelly; seconded by Nicola Bothwell.

4. Matters Arising:

All items arising are on the agenda.

5. Chair of NIABT:

  • The Board noted Jonathan Bell had not been re-elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly. As joint Chair of NIABT the Chair’s role would now move across to Conor Murphy MLA.  The Board recorded their thanks to Jonathan for his work on the Board.

Agreed: The Board welcomes Conor Murphy MLA as Chair of the NIABT and a letter of thanks will be sent to Mr Bell.

6. Correspondence:

  • Correspondence had been received from the Charity Commission of Northern Ireland in relation to concerns around the purpose of the NIABT and changes in Directors. This has been followed up with the Commission confirming the charitable status of NIABT.

After some discussion the Board requested additional information from the Commission.

Agreed: To request in writing from the Charity Commission confirmation of the NIABT charitable status; and to bring to the Board information and an understanding of the boundaries of the Business Trust having charitable status.

  • The Board noted correspondence in relation to the China programme. The correspondence predominately related to notes of thanks from those engaged with during the visit.

Agreed: The Board were content to note the correspondence.

7. Future of NIABT:

  • The Board discussed the future structure of the NIABT with reference to a paper which had been circulated in advance. The Board agreed that a more detailed position paper from the Assembly was needed to allow the Board to make an informed decision on the future of the NIABT.

The Board requested the following actions:

  • To obtain clarity on whether or not the Board can operate in the event no MLAs are in post and able to fulfil their Board positions. Clarity on this issue will be referenced within the Articles of Association; and to circulate to the Board the NIABT Articles of Association.
  • The issuing of invoices to business members will be delayed for the 17/18 Year; and the Trust will write to members to explain that fees will be postponed due to the current political situation.
  • To retract the discussion paper which was circulated and subsequently revise to provide further information to the Board. The revised paper will set out the full list of functions undertaken by the Secretariat in relation to Business Trust activity including governance requirements and annual costs. The paper should present options on how the Assembly envisages the Business Trust can continue. The paper will be circulated in advance of the next Board meeting.
  • To circulate in advance of the next Board meeting detailed information on the existing Assembly Community Connect programme including how it is structured, resource requirements and analysis of the programmes engagement levels.
  • That all Board members will consider how the NIABT should operate and present ideas for addressing issues identified at the strategy away day as well as ensuring the Trust is meeting the objectives for which it was established.

Agreed: The Board agreed these actions to be discussed at the next meeting.

8. Financial Update:

  • Paper was agreed.

9. Any Other Business:

  • A letter will be sent to the DUP to make their nomination for the Board.
  • The interim Chair confirmed that the next Board meeting would be held on Tuesday 9 May 2017 at 4:30pm in Room 21.

The meeting was adjourned at 5.50pm.

Stephen Kelly, NIABT Interim Chair