20200428 - Board Meeting Minute - 28 April 2020
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Published: March 28, 2020
Independent Living Fund Scotland: Board Meeting
Video-Conference (COVID 19)
Tuesday 28 April 2020 11:00am – 12:10pm
Susan Douglas-Scott - CBE Chair, Board Director
Liz Humphreys - Vice Chair, Board Director
Alan Dickson - Board Director
Betty McAtear - Board Director
Étienne d’Aboville - Board Director
Anne-Marie Monaghan - Board Director
Mark Adderley - Board Director
Peter Scott - Chief Executive Officer
Harvey Tilley - Chief Operating Officer
Jim Maguire - Finance Director
Kim Dams - Inclusion Scotland
Paul Hayllor - Director of Digital and Information Services
Robert White - Director of Self Directed Support
Linda Scott - Director of Policy, Improvement and Engagement
Aileen McNiven - Head of Business Services (Secretariat)
Welcome, declarations of interest and apologies
Welcome, declarations of interest and apologies Susan Douglas-Scott (Susan) warmly welcomed everyone to the first video-conference ILF Scotland Board Meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Declaration of Interest (DoI)
No additional Declarations of Interest were received out with DoI Register.
Following Susan’s considerations and guidance as a collective the Board participated in observing a minute’s silence to participate in International Workers Memorial Day, honouring colleagues who have lost their lives to COVID-19.
Chairs Introductory Remarks
Susan opened the meeting by acknowledging the heroic and compassionate work currently delivered by NHS staff / PA’s / Carers, front line workers and all other staff supporting across Scotland and Norther Ireland in the fight against COVID-19.
Susan noted that COVID-19 has further highlighted the need for further support for disabled people across Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Board collectively thanked ILF Scotland staff for their diligent hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in moving to an agile delivery model so quickly.
Due to the video-conferencing Susan had requested all comments and questions be submitted and collated in advance of the meeting. The Chair noted they had been answered almost in entirety prior to the meeting. (refer to paper: ILF Scotland — BD 28 April 2020- Comments and Questions)
1.Minutes of Previous Meeting
The ILF Scotland Board approved the Board Minute of 04 February 2020 as an accurate account of the meeting.
2. Matters Arising From Minute of 04 February 2020:
BD 04 February 2020 - Action 3: Evacuation - H&S - Wheelchair Accessibility (above ground floor in Scottish Government buildings).
Due to COVID 19, this action will be carried forward to the June Board meeting. Communication will be to the new Health & Social Care (H&SC) Deputy Director, Alison Taylor.
The Chair apprised the meeting of the new appointment of Alison Taylor as Deputy Director, Health & Social Care. Susan and Harvey Tilley (Harvey) will ‘virtually’ meet with Alison Taylor in the near future.
Jamie MacDougall (previous Deputy Director — Health & Social Care) has been appointed as Deputy Director PPE as part of the COVID-19 response and the Board wished him well in his new role. The status of both of the new appointments is currently unknown.
ACTION 1: Evacuation — Wheelchairs in SG buildings (above ground floor level) - Susan to formally write to Deputy Director Alison Taylor, however acknowledged COVID -19 issues currently have priority - Carry forward to June Board meeting
3. COVID 19 Update (Verbal)
In addition to the weekly updates circulated to the Board Directors, Susan invited Robert White (Robert) and Linda Scott (Linda) to summarise key points of operational and policy work during the pandemic.
Robert: Self Directed Support.
Operations Team: A rotational skeletal staff are currently working in the office to deal with surface mail and answer helpline calls. This is working well, however will move from 5 days with 2 staff to 3 days with 3 staff from 4% May.
Grp 1 Welfare Checks: Feedback from the Social Work Managers and Assessor Team have been positive with Grp 1 recipients, on the whole, being organised and well equipped in advance of the lockdown.
Grp 2 Welfare Checks: Some concern is being identified by recipients about inflexibility of approach from LA re utilising SDS budgets in different ways e.g. employing family members during the crisis in the absence of regular supports.
ILF Scotland are taking authorised and appropriate action to support all of our recipients, including benefit checks.
Robert informed the Board of a joint draft communication from SDS and COSLA regarding employing family carers which is due to be circulated. This will offer comprehensive guidance to LA’s and other organisations to support disable people through the pandemic.
ACTION 2: For clarity the Board requested Robert to summarise his report in an email.
Linda: Policy Change
Linda apprised the Board of the close daily work with the Sponsor Team regarding temporary policy changes to support our recipients through COVID-19. This has been focussing on HMRC job retention and employment of PA/Carers. This week the Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Care (Scotland only) signed off a further policy change which authorises ILF Scotland to pay all awards in full, allowing recipients to pay PA’s/Carers and Care Providers, even where service delivery has not been possible, if this is what they wish to do. This change ensures recipients have control and choice of their award. This change in policy is effective from 1 March 2020 until 30° June 2020 when it will be revised by Scottish Government.
The Board welcomed the flexibility of the Scottish Government, which is supportive of disabled people across Scotland. Etienne d’Aboville (Etienne) confirmed this was a helpful position in Scotland and removes the need to furlough PA’s and Carers.
Linda updated that Northern Ireland policy remains the same.
Linda also advised that the Scottish Government and COSLA draft Direct Payment guidance is being prepared to go out very soon to HSPC’s and ILF Scotland guidance should sit well alongside this, offering at least as much flexibility.
She also advised that arrangements for the local distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to PAs and unpaid carers are being finalised. The Scottish Government should issue guidance in the next week.
The Board praised the work of ILF Scotland staff during these challenging times and noted the additional COVID-19 update.
4. Annual Corporate Report & Business Plan
(refer to paper)
Harvey introduced the paper confirming that 2019/20 had been the busiest year to date for ILF Scotland, culminating with momentum being disrupted in Q4 due to COVID-19 activity. Harvey confirmed that one of the key challenges that has come into real focus, has been the ageing IT infrastructure and its ability to support digital interaction. This has been highlighted over the previous years and the busy period coupled with COVID 19 has accelerated the need for investment, which will be picked up as a priority going forward.
Work on the re-opening of the NI fund has been delayed due to COVID-19, however Colin Dunlop has assured the Executive team that work will progress as soon as pandemic restrictions are lifted.
The Staff Survey Action Plan will be circulated to the Remuneration Committee once the survey is completed in July. The working group will meet thereafter to formulate and submit a plan to the committee responding to the survey results.
Harvey updated the Board that Peter is % way through his chemotherapy and is currently shielding with his family. Peter remains in good spirits despite some setbacks through the treatment. Harvey and Susan are in touch regularly with Peter, who is also attending online video meetings with SMT to keep in touch. The Board noted the brief report and wished Peter well and a speedy return to work.
The Board were directed to the report and questions were welcomed.
4 (i). Quarterly Corporate Business Plan
(refer to paper)
The Board agreed a 3 month extension to use the 2016-2020 Business Plan framework as
a guide till such times as there is a clear emerging post COVID-19 landscape. Thereafter a new business plan 2020-2023 will be produced to support the 2020-2023 Strategy.
4a. Annual Efficiencies (refer to paper)
The Board noted the previously requested Annual Efficiencies paper.
4b. N.I Research (refer to paper)
The Board noted the NI research paper, acknowledging the clear and concise information. Harvey confirmed the full report would be available for circulation in due course. The Board welcomed the positive Social Return on Investment data which is historically difficult to measure.
The Board noted the Annual Corporate Report & Business Plan.
5. 2020-2023 Strategy (draft)
(refer to paper)
Harvey introduced the paper outlining the previous work and events in co-producing the draft strategy as it nears completion and final sign off.
Susan confirmed the Board were happy that the draft plan is reflecting the values of the organisation and focusing on independent living outcomes. The Board acknowledged that ILF Scotland may not achieve everything outlined in the plan, however the direction of travel was positive, ambitious and appropriate.
Harvey thanked the Board for their invaluable and comprehensive input over the last few months expressing that it has been invaluable.
The Board approved the 2020-23 Strategy (draft) to integrate the final comments and then be forwarded to the Chair and CEO for final sign off before being submitted to the Sponsor Teams.
6. Audit Committee Report
Draft Minute (16 March 2020) (refer to paper)
Alan Dickson (Alan) introduced the Audit Committee Report, commenting on the key points from the Audit & Risk Committee held on 16 March 2020.
Alan confirmed the finances of the organisation are in a positive shape. External Audit: The External Audit is due to begin remotely on 18 May 2020. The Annual Report and Accounts are expected to be presented to the Board at the June Board meeting. Internal Audit: The following recommendations were made from our Internal Auditors:
a) IIF Scotland Board Directors are recommended to attend a risk workshop on an annual basis to discuss and review the appropriate risk appetite for the organisation.
This workshop will be delivered by Henderson Loggie (Internal Auditors) free of charge on an annual basis.
The Board agreed to attend an annual risk workshop to consider risk appetite for the organisation.
ACTION 3: Aileen McNiven (Aileen) to facilitate the organisation of the first Risk Workshop.
b) Recommendation was made for the full Risk Register to be presented to the Audit & Risk Committee only and not additionally to every Board meeting. The rationale behind this recommendation is to have clarity and differentiate between the role of the Audit Committee and the Board.
A high level summary should be included in the Chairs Audit Committee Report for the Board to note.
The Board agreed that only a high level risk summary should be presented quarterly to the Board to note.
6a. Management Accounts to March 2020
(refer to paper)
Jim introduced the Management Accounts to March 2020 (Year End).
Jim advised the Audit & Risk Committee (ARC) had scrutinised the Management Accounts to February 2020 at the ARC meeting on 16 March with no major concerns to highlight. The Management Accounts for the year were reported as being ‘on budget’ with the Board commending the budget and forecasting accuracy.
The Board noted the Management Accounts to March 2020 (year-end).
6b. Administration Budget
(refer to paper)
The Administration Budget was further discussed, scrutinised and recommended for approval to the board during the recent Audit & Risk Committee.
Questions were tabled around the effect of COVID-19 with the Executive team expecting to report any differentials in further detail as the pandemic develops.
The Administration Budget was therefore presented and formally approved by the Board.
6c & 6c (i) Risk Register
(refer to paper)
Following a short summary the Board noted the Risk Register paper.
6d. Grant in Aid 2019-20
(refer to paper)
The Board noted and were comforted by the Grant in Aid 2019-20 letter.
6e. Grant in Aid 2020-21
The Board noted the Grant in Aid 2020-21 letter.
7. Remuneration Committee Report
(refer to paper)
Mark Adderley (Mark) introduced the paper and briefly updated on the content of the draft Remuneration Committee minute of 10 Feb 2020.
Mark acknowledged and thanked the previous Remuneration Committee Chair, Fiona O’Donnell for the solid hard work and leaving the Remuneration Committee in such good order.
Following a few amendments to the Organisational Structure, the Remuneration Committee approved the new Organisational Structure paper, which puts in place a structure which will allow the organisation to grow.
Following normal practice the Finance Pay Award 2020-21 was approved by the Remuneration Committee out with the meeting structure. (refer to SG Finance Pay Policy 2020-21 papers)
Susan updated the Board of the formal and temporary appointment of Harvey Tilley as Acting Chief Executive, until such times as the Chief Executive returns.
A collective thank you from the Board was offered to Harvey for leading the team during the challenging COVID-19 period.
The Board noted the Remuneration Committee Report.
8. Northern Ireland MOU & Letter to Joe Fitzpatrick
(refer to papers)
The Board noted with reassurance the Northern Ireland MOU and letter from Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing.
ACTION 4: Aileen McNiven (Aileen) to correct typo on MOU cover sheet to ‘understanding’.
9. MACC’s & PQQ’s
The Board noted that no MACC & PQQ’s had been received for the period 1 January 2020- 318t March 2020.
10. Health & Safety Report
(refer to paper)
The Board noted the Health & Safety Report and were assured by the measures in place supporting the workforce.
Close of Meeting
Important Board Dates:
Next: Audit & Risk Committee: 10:30am, 15 June 2020.
Next: Board Meeting: 11:00am, Tuesday 30% June 2020.
Next: Remuneration Committee: 11:00am-12:30pm, Monday 14° September.
Next: Board Development Day: 1:00pm- 4:00pm, Monday 14 September.