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ILF Scotland - Minute of Board Meeting - 1 February 2022

Type of document: Board Reporting

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Published: February 1, 2022

APPROVED

Independent Living Fund Scotland: Board Meeting

Video-Conference (COVID 19)

Tuesday 01 February 2022 ~ 11:00am – 12:30pm

Present

Susan Douglas-Scott CBE                     Chair, Board Director

Alan Dickson                                         Board Director

Anne-Marie Monaghan                          Board Director

Betty McAtear                                       Board Director

Étienne d’Aboville                                  Board Director

Liz Humphreys                                      Vice Chair, Board Director

Mark Adderley                                       Board Director

Apologies                                            None

In Attendance

Peter Scott                                           Chief Executive Officer

Harvey Tilley                                           Chief Operating Officer

Jim Maguire                                          Finance Director

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

Susan Douglas-Scott (Susan) warmly welcomed everyone to the 25th ILF Scotland Board Meeting. Susan thanked everyone across ILFS for all their hard work in continuing to deliver excellent support in the face of ongoing challenges.

Declarations of Interest (DoI)

No additional Declarations of Interest were received out with DoI Register.

Chairs Introductory Remarks

Susan opened the meeting with a brief update on Q3, updating on the frenetic pace which has been felt across every part of the organisation.

The team have continued to see high demand in the Transition Fund due to numerous factors explained in previous reports.  The operational environment remains challenging for staff supporting very stretched and stressed carers and anxious and isolated young people to apply to the Transition Fund.

In tandem with the above and of particular note, the communications team worked with our Young Ambassadors to launch our first live social media event to showcase the Transition Fund.  It was a great success which Susan enjoyed being part of. This was alongside our biggest campaign to date for the International Day of Disabled People on the 3rd December.

We were awarded the Working Families Top UK Employer for the 5th year in a row and ran the inaugural Chrissie Plastock ‘Living the Values’ Award, which was a great way to end the year and celebrate truly exceptional colleagues.

So in summary, an exceptionally busy period with every part of the organisation delivering life changing outcomes for disabled people.

Susan also spoke briefly of the emerging staffing crisis across Health & Social Care sector and the effect this was having on disabled people with many services reduced or closed.

Lastly, there has been a lack of real progress in re-opening the 2015 fund however the Northern Ireland (NI) fund proposal will be formally submitted today to the Northern Ireland Department of Health Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly. Susan guaranteed that every avenue to ensure both funds are re-opened will be taken. (see AOB)

1.   Minutes of Previous Meeting (refer to paper)

The Board approved the Board Minute of 19 October 2021.

2.  Matters Arising

BD 19 Oct 2021 -ACTION 5

Anne-Marie Monaghan (Anne-Marie) offered the Board a 2nd discussion session, this time with a focus on ILF Scotland and the National Care Service (NCS).

The Chair thanked Anne-Marie for the kind offer and accepted on behalf of the Board.

ACTION 1: Anne-Marie Monaghan to facilitate  a 2nd discussion session to the Board with a focus on the NCS.

All other matters arising included within the agenda.

3.   Audit & Risk Committee (ARC) Report

Verbal Report

Following a positive and full meeting on 24th January 2022 Alan Dickson (Alan) highlighted the following papers discussed during the Audit & Risk Committee meeting.

Paper 3.

Financial Commentary - Management Accounts (to Dec 2021) (refer to paper)

Alan introduced the Management Accounts assuring the Board there are no major issues arising thereafter inviting Jim Maguire (Jim) to add further detail.

As previously highlighted the Transition Fund (TF) remains the only area of concern with challenges to spend the allocated fund for 2021-22. Quality of applications is an issue and work continues to improve this including additional staffing resource, working with external agencies to support applicants and improving online guidance.

The Board noted the Management Accounts and Finance Commentary to December 2021.

Paper 3a

Medium Term Finance Plan (refer to paper)

Whilst some other Public Bodies don’t use Medium Term Financial Planning, Alan acknowledged the positive use of the plan which highlights issues which may arise over the next few years.

A brief discussion ensued with Jim confirming inflation was not built in due to targeting efficiencies instead.

The Board approved the Medium Term Financial Plan.

Paper 3b.

Risk Register Summary (refer to paper)

Paul Hayllor (Paul) spoke to the paper and introduced the new tolerance and risk appetite reporting and format. The summary shows risks outside tolerances which were agreed during the facilitated board session in 2021.

The Board Directors discussed at length how to ensure continuous improvement and full understanding of the risk appetite and tolerances.

The Board suggested consideration be given to accessing a ‘live’ version of the Risk Register through HUDDLE.

ACTION 2: The Board requested an additional hour in the near future to discuss and agree the reporting detail for future papers focussing on the risks and not the process. Peter and Alan to discuss outwith the meeting to take forward.

The Board noted the Risk Register Summary.

Paper 3c Draft Budget Commentary &

Paper 3c (i) Budget Key Assumptions (refer to papers)

Jim spoke to the paper outlining the budgetary requirements for 2022-23, apprising that other efficiencies will supplement the remaining budgetary requirements.  

Jim has received confirmation from the Sponsor Team of Grant in Aid (GiA) 2022-23 (Scotland) for 2022-23 , which will be set at £45.8m for the 2015 Fund awards, and the Transition Fund set at £3.6m with a potential for £500k to be used for capital funding. Jim also reported an Admin budget of approximately £3m to cover Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Board welcomed the news commending Jim and the team for their hard work to secure the requested funding which also supports the Scottish Living Wage increases (Dec ’20 and April ’22).

The Board approved the Draft Budget for 2022-23 subject to minor adjustments in Transiiton Fund and inclusion of the actual GiA to be recieved.

Paper 3d

Internal Audit Update (refer to paper)

Alan spoke to the paper highlighting two very positive internal audit reports (Appeals and Complaints, and Systems Development) and a significant reduction in overall outstanding actions.

The paper also set out the procurement process used to appoint the new Internal Auditors. The new Internal Auditors have been apprised of the result in a timeous manner and appointed for the term.

The Board noted the Internal Audit Update.

Paper 3e: Audit & Risk Committee Terms of Reference (ToR) &

Paper 3f: Scheme of Delegation and Delegated Expenditure Limits (refer to papers)

Peter Scott (Peter) introduced both papers 3e and 3f highlighting the revised areas within the papers. The ARC recommended both papers for approval following the recent ARC meeting.  

The external auditors recommended a change in wording regarding the role of the Chair of the Board in relation to the Audit & Risk Committee which has been incorporated into the revised Terms.

The Scheme of Delegation and Delegation Expenditure Limits were amended, including an increase in NCA levels delegated to the Chief Executive. The Audit & Risk Committee also recommended the Scheme of Delegation be separate from the Terms of reference.

The Board approved the Audit & Risk Committee Terms of Reference & Scheme of Delegation and Delegated Expenditure Limits

The Board noted the verbal Audit & Risk Committee Report

4.  Quarterly Corporate Reporting (refer to papers)

Paper 4 Quarterly Corporate Report &

Paper 4a. Q3 Efficiency Paper (refer to papers)

Susan invited Harvey Tilley (Harvey) to speak to the newly formatted quarterly report and business plan.

Harvey spoke to the paper and thanked Paul for the new format which presents the quarterly report in a more succinct and focussed way.

Harvey apprised the Board of the exceptionally busy quarter highlighting the following:

Recipient Reviews: As lockdown restrictions were lifted at the start of Q3 reviews were restarted in Scotland. Assessors reported a more complex landscape due to the unintended consequences of decisions taken during the pandemic which has had a considerable impact on disabled people.

Harvey reported reviews and reports were taking longer than pre-pandemic timescales with an expectation it will take a couple of years to rebalance back to where we were. Towards the end of Q3 physical reviews were suspended again due to the emergence of the Omnicron variant.

Infrastructure: Work continued with Records Management project with a working group appointed and a completion date of September 2022.

£500 Thank you payment’: The team successfully delivered the Scottish Government ‘£500 Thank you payment’ working closely with Scottish Government, Scotland Excel and SDS Scotland. Due to raised awareness of the successful completion of this project the Northern Ireland Sponsor Team has invited ILF Scotland to deliver the ‘Special Recognition Payment’ for PA’s in Northern Ireland. This project is ongoing.

Working Families - Top 10 Employer award: ILF Scotland was awarded a Top 10 Employer Award from Working Families UK for the 5th year. The Board congratulated Aileen McNiven (Aileen) and the team and noted it was important to continue to enter awards to raise awareness of ILF Scotland and its work to support disabled people in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Care Experience Grant (CEG): ILF Scotland were invited to submit a proposal to deliver the CEG in Scotland. The proposal is under consideration, along with others, by Scottish Government, and we await the outcome of the decision. To ensure there is workforce capacity to deliver within ILF Scotland, acceptance of this project would be subject to full resourcing from the outset. Should this proceed the Board will be apprised in full.

The Board acknowledged that ILF Scotland has been successful in delivery of external projects and is cognisant of the need to continue to be consistent with ILF Scotland priorities, values and vision. 

Peter assured the Board that ILF Scotland will continue with its purpose to support independent living for disabled people in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Board noted the Quarterly Report and Efficiency Paper.

5. Revised Model Code of Conduct (refer to paper)

Susan spoke to the paper outlining the consultation process to revise the Board Directors Code of Conduct for relevant Public Bodies. The Board noted that The Code of Conduct has been scrutinised and approved by the Scottish Parliament. ILF Scotland has adopted the Code of Conduct in its entirety.

The Board approved the adoption of the revised Board Directors Code of Conduct subject to formal approval by the Scottish Government. A copy will then be sent to the Standards Commission and the Ethical Standards Commission for their records.

6. Board Self-Assessment – Effectiveness (refer to paper)

The Board Self-Assessment was introduced by Susan who thanked the Board Directors for submission of the surveys.

As part of the Board Terms of Reference the Board Directors are requested to self-assess the Boards effectiveness.  This is to check the Boards practice and strategies following good governance principles.

The collated survey feedback was overall positive with a couple of areas for discussion. The Board acknowledged through the survey there was a harmonious mix of personalities, skills and experience which supported the governance principles and practice.

ACTION 3: To remain effective and efficient the Board agreed to discuss the overall survey feedback during one of the facilitated Board Development Days in the near future.

The Board noted the Board Self-Assessment – Effectiveness Survey.

7. MiCase & PQ’s (refer to paper)

The Board acknowledged the increase in queries and noted the MiCase & PQ paper.

8. Health & Safety Report (refer to paper)

The Board were reassured by the Health & Safety Report commending the hard work of the team.

9. Annual – Directors Register of Interests (refer to paper)

Susan thanked the Board Directors for the timely submissions of the annual Declarations of Interests. The Board noted the 2022 Directors Register of Interests.

AOB

Succession Plan – Matrix (verbal update)

Susan introduced the agenda item inviting Aileen to update the meeting.

Aileen thanked the Board Directors for their succession plan matrix submissions which will help inform the Board Succession Planning.

The Board Succession Plan is a requirement derived from the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2016.  These regulations state that listed public authorities with appointed non-executive Board members use information about their Board’s diversity to better perform the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).

The new Board Succession Plan will be presented to the Remuneration Committee to be scrutinised ahead of submission to the Board for approval.

Following discussion the Board recommended equality and diversity continues to be at the forefront of future ILF Scotland public appointment vacancies.  Advertisements should be placed widely to attract diverse applications including in Northern Ireland.

ACTION 4: To  work with the Public Appointments Unit to ensure equality and diversity of future ILF Scotland Public Appointment vacancies to be advertised widely including Northern Ireland.

ACTION 5: In order to ensure inclusivity of Northern Ireland voices and opinions, Linda will invite the Chair of Northern Ireland Stakeholder Group to join a future Board Meeting.

The Board noted the Succession Plan verbal update.

Scotland & Northern Ireland – Re-opening Fund Update (verbal)

Susan introduced Re-Opening in Scotland and Northern Ireland apprising the Board on recent progress. 

Northern Ireland: Harvey informed the Board that the Northern Ireland proposal to re-open the fund will today be submitted to the Northern Ireland Department of Health Permanent Secretary-Richard Pengelly on 01 February 2022. Harvey confirmed the Board will be apprised of progress.

Scotland: Susan expressed disappointment of the lack of progress to re-open the 2015 Fund in Scotland. The Chair explained she had recently spoken directly with the Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Care, Humza Yousaf about re-opening the 2015 Fund and the opportunity to set up a meeting to discuss the same.

The Board discussed at length the importance of re-opening the 2015 Fund to support disabled people in Scotland.

ACTION 6: Susan to write to the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Humza Yousaf, on behalf of the Board to request a meeting, whilst updating that no formal notification has been received from the Sponsor Team on the possible re-opening of the 2015 Fund.

ACTION 7: The Board agreed to continue to raise awareness of the work of ILF Scotland through social media platforms and contacts.

12. Close of Meeting

Important Board Dates:

Next: Audit & Risk Committee: ZOOM, 10:30am, 14th March 2022

Next: Remuneration Committee: ZOOM: 11:00am, Monday 28th March 2022

Next: Board Meeting: ZOOM: 11:00am, Tuesday 26th April 2022

Next: Development Day: ZOOM: 10:30am -1:00pm, Tuesday 3rd May 2022

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