NIABT Board of Trustees Meeting – Monday 19 January 2015

The meeting opened in public session at 4:07pm.


Judith Cochrane MLA                    Chair
Leslie Cree MBE MLA
Robin Newton MLA
Claire Sugden MLA
Chris Brown                                     MCE PR
Stephen Kelly                                  Manufacturing NI
John Rooney                                  Rooney Fish
John Stewart                                   Director of Information and Outreach
Dr Joanne Stuart OBE                   Attrus Ltd., Vice Chair


In Attendance:
Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA
Susie Brown                                    Secretary
Louise Close                                   Deputy Secretary
Ivor Gibson                                                Co-ordinator


Phil Flanagan MLA
Alban Maginness MLA
Michael Bell                                     NI Food & Drink Association
Alan Dickson                                   PricewaterhouseCoopers
James Haughey                             Norbrook Laboratories
John O’Farrell                                 ICTU
Richard Stewart                              Treasurer


1. Apologies:

Apologies are noted above.


2. Declaration of Interests:



3. Adoption of previous minutes:

Agreed:     The Minutes of the Board meetings held on 10th November 2014 and 2nd December 2014 were agreed by the Board.


4. 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.
  • The Chair noted that the Secretary had met with a representative from the Food Standards Agency to explore avenues of engagement with the Assembly.


5. Correspondence:

  • A number of items of correspondence were received from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Stratagem.


Agreed:     The Board concluded that the letter from Stratagem offering a briefing to be delivered by Social Enterprise Northern Ireland should be referred to the relevant Committee as the subject matter did not fall within the NIABT forward work plan.

The Board also concluded that the offer from the Chartered Institute of Marketing to hold an event on marketing in November 2015 should be referred to the relevant Committee.

6. Financial Update:

  • The Chair referred the Board to a copy of the latest figures in relation to 2014/2015 NIABT Income/ Expenditure.


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


7. Past and Upcoming Events

  • The Chair referred the Board to a list of past and future Business Trust events and noted a change of date for the next NIABT briefing to 3rd February 2015.


Agreed: The Board agreed that the “event topic sub group” should meet to discuss potential events following the Summer Recess.


8. Event feedback and video viewing numbers:

  • The Board discussed formal feedback on two recent events and also the viewing numbers for recent videos.


Agreed: The Board agreed to cease filming of all briefings. However, the Board agreed that the President’s Dinner and two other fellowships should continue to be filmed annually.

9. European Educational Programme:

  • The Board discussed the positive feedback from the recent European Educational Programme.


10. Inter Parliamentary Programmes:

  • The Board discussed past Inter Parliamentary Programmes and agreed a future programme schedule.


Agreed: The Board agreed to arrange a Washington programme in June 2015 and a Westminster Programme in November 2015.

The Board also agreed to move the Dublin Programme to January 2016 and to arrange a Brussels Programme in November 2016.


11. Proposed Washington Programme:

  • The Board welcomed Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA who explained some of the content for the New York New Belfast conference will take place in the Fordham University Lincoln Center on 4th and 5th June 2015.


Agreed: The Board agreed to proceed with the Washington programme for 1st June 2015 and to incorporate a visit to the New York New Belfast conference on 4th and 5th June 2015.

The Secretary reported that she will soon be speaking with the NI Bureau in Washington in relation to the programme content.


12. 2015 President’s Dinner:

  • The Chair advised the Board that a letter had been issued to Jill McDonald, North West Division President and Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s UK to invite her to speak at the dinner. Unfortunately a response has not been received in lieu of this. Consequently, following approval by the Board via correspondence, a letter of invitation was sent to Professor Mariana Mazzucato from the University of Sussex.


Agreed:     Due to the level of speaking fees, the Board decided not to pursue Professor Mariana Mazzucato on this occasion.

Following discussion, the Board decided to invite Ambassador Matthew W. Barzun, Ambassador of the United States of America to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The secretariat will follow up on this matter with a letter of invitation.

13. Review of Articles of Association:

  • The Chair advised the Board that the NIABT has registered with the Northern Ireland Charities Commission and also submitted a copy of the revised Articles of Association with the Charities Commission. The Charities Commission has advised that a response will be given by March 2015.


Agreed: The Board agreed that the revised Articles will be ratified by the NIABT membership at the 2015 AGM.

14. Associate membership:

  • The Board discussed a paper on Associate membership.


Agreed: The Board requested that the secretariat revisit this paper to clarify some of the key points.

15. Membership:

  • 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.

16. Membership analysis:

  • The Board discussed the membership analysis paper.


Agreed:     The secretariat will provide comment on the reduction within the Management consultancy category of membership.

17. E banking amendment:

Agreed:     The Board agreed that e banking view only access should be extended to include all NIABT related secretariat staff up to Director level.

18. Internal audit:

Agreed:     The Chair informed the Board that an internal audit was currently being conducted and the results would be shared with the Board on its conclusion.

19. Any Other Business:

Date of Next Meeting


  • The Chair confirmed that the next meeting would be held on Monday 9th March at 4:00pm in the Senate Chamber.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:05pm.






Mrs Judith Cochrane MLA
Chair, Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust
9th March 2015