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ILF Scotland - Minute of Board Meeting - 10 April 2017

Type of document: Board Reporting

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Published: April 10, 2017

MINUTE

Independent Living Fund Scotland: Board meeting

Fleming B, Atlantic Quay, 5 Broomielaw, Glasgow

Monday 10th April 2017: 11:00am – 3:00pm

In Attendance

Susan Douglas-Scott                             Chair, Board of Directors

Alan Dickson                                          Board Director (by telephone)

Fiona O’Donnell                                     Board Director

Betty McAtear                                        Board Director

Bridget Sly                                             Board Director (till 2pm)

Apologies

Twimukye Mushaka                      Board Director

Elizabeth Humphreys                         Board Director

Present

Peter Scott                                            CEO

Harvey Tilley                                    Chief Operating Officer

Jim Maguire                                    Finance Director

Nadeem Hanif                                     Head of Finance

Aileen McNiven                                   Executive Business Manager (Secretariat)

Welcome, declarations of interest and apologies

The Chair welcomed everyone to the ILF Scotland Board meeting.

There were no declarations of interest expressed from any attendees.

Apologies were noted.

1.   Minutes of Previous Meeting

The ILF Scotland Board approved the Board Minute of 16 January 2017 as an accurate account of the meeting with no amendments.  

2.   Matters Arising

The following points were noted:

Pg. 3, Matters Arising/Policy 13 –Decision Review

Peter Scott (PS) apologised to the Board for an inaccurate statement made during the meeting of 16 January 2017: that Policy 13 amendment has been implemented following SG approval.

PS updated the Board stating – ‘Policy 13 has been implemented without formal Scottish Government approval (because it is a process modification with no additional financial consequence to the application of the amendment.) ILF Scotland is yet to receive formal approval from SG Sponsor team.  This has been followed up.’

Available Income Policy –review
PS also reported that ILF Scotland is still awaiting the formal approval to implement the changes to the Available Income Policy.

Pg. 9 – Action 3
The Board noted and accepted the CEO’ s explanation that following further research, there was no requirement to send a letter to Aileen Campbell (Minister for Public Health and Sport).

Pg. 9 – Action 4
PS updated the Board that at present there is no requirement to perform Public Sector Equality Impact Assessments as ILF Scotland is not currently subject to specific equality duty, only general equality duty.

PS reported that the Scottish Government is looking at Equality Duty status with a view to changing ILF Scotland to be subject to specific equality duty.

The Chair requested that this clarification be provided by Scottish Government as soon as possible to ensure best practice in relation to equality assessments,  and asked that it be added to the agenda of the next Sponsor meeting.

ACTION 1: PS agreed to add as an agenda item at the forthcoming ILF Scotland Sponsor team meeting on 27th April.

3.   Strategic Report
      (Refer to paper)

The CEO introduced the paper, reporting an especially busy period where staff have been working diligently on the New Fund, Scottish Living Wage and delivering ‘business as usual’. Peter Scott highlighted the following key points:

Scottish Living Wage (SLW)
PS apprised the Board on recent operations, following receipt of formal approval from the SG; to apply the SLW to both employed PA’s and PA’s employed by agencies. The 1st uplift has been backdated to 1st October 2016 and the 2nd uplift will be applied from 1st May 2017.

The implementation has been complex and challenging; trying to apply an uplift which is politically acceptable, acceptable to providers and affordable, however ILF Scotland is nearing the completion of the implementation solution. Uplift costs were accrued from unspent Grant in Aid monies 2016/17, which the SG formally sanctioned.

PS raised concerns regarding the affordability of applying SLW to sleep over costs over the next 12 months and how this may place some recipients over the threshold sum. PS informed the meeting that the sum required is not insignificant – however detailed analysis will be carried out in due course.

The Chair requested this to be a discussion point on the Sponsor team meeting agenda on 27th April, alongside a discussion regarding the policy on maximum payment."

ACTION 2: PS to add as an agenda item to ILF Scotland Sponsor team meeting on 27th April.

New Fund Development
The CEO told the Board that the New Scheme Fund development is now well underway with work streams up and running. The Project Board members are Peter Scott, Susie Braham, Paul Hayllor and Harvey Tilley.

The Policy development work stream is currently underway creating the eligibility criteria. This is reported as going well, however it has been difficult and challenging to ensure the most eligible disabled people are identified and can apply for an award.

The Board noted the New Fund Working Group will be reconvened to look at the developed criteria and offer feedback.

The Board acknowledged the different approach and radical vision to the new fund, which is a phased to learn implementation, looking initially at young adult transitions with time limited awards.

Concerns were noted that this new approach is different to the New Fund Scheme alluded to when the First Minister announced the opening of the New Fund in 2014. The Board acknowledged there may be criticism from Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO’s) on this approach.

The Board emphasised that a shared and comprehensive ILF Scotland/Scottish Government communication strategy is required.

A Ministerial announcement regarding the New Fund Scheme will be made before long. The New Fund Scheme is planned for launch in 2017.

The Chair thanked Harvey Tilley (HT) and Paul Hayllor (PH) for the diligent work applied to the New Fund Scheme project to date.

Our People
Fiona O’Donnell (FO’D) noted the report on Our People (requested from the Remuneration Committee), which has delivered the requested statistics and information and forms part of the Annual Corporate Report.

FO’D thanked HT for his diligence in pulling together the information in a short timescale.

Key Performance Indicators
The Board noted the draft KPIs (Pg. 30). The Chair suggested ILF Scotland identify a date for a Development Day to include Board Directors and Senior Managers  to discuss and develop organisational KPIs for 2017/18.

ACTION 3: PS/HT to identify and organise Board Development Day to include KPI discussion and development.
The Board requested Business Continuity be discussed at the Board Development Day (following the resignation of a key member of staff at such a significant time).

The Board noted and supported recent Welfare Benefit Training which staff have attended. This training has significantly benefited recipients financially. Caseworkers and Assessors have identified inaccuracies/omissions in benefits which should have been received by recipients retrospectively.

The Chair requested reassurance from the Scottish Government that Welfare Benefit training is provided annually to ensure up to date knowledge is applied and ILF Scotland continues being advocates of this work. 

Reassurance was provided this training would be on-going.

Awards
The Board noted ILF Scotland had been short listed for 6 awards and warmly congratulated the staff on winning the following 3 Awards:

  • Winner in the ‘Community Engagement Award’ category at the 2016 Scottish Public Sector Awards;
  • Winner in the ‘Finance Team of the Year’ category at the 2017 UK Government’s Finance and Internal Audit Awards;
  • Winner in the ‘David Drysdale Memorial Award’ category at the 2017 Family Friendly Working Scotland Awards;

The Board noted the Annual Corporate Report.

4.   Audit Committee Report
     (Refer to Minutes of Audit & Risk Committee 15 December 2016 & Supplementary Meeting - 27 January 2017)

Alan Dickson (AD), Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee introduced the paper and provided a verbal update on the recent Audit & Risk Committee meeting (30th March 2017).

AD advised the Board that the Audit & Risk Committee(ARC) were satisfied with the quality of the detailed papers received which has provided them with a good understanding of the financial status and risk.

The ARC reported that Internal Audit is working well, reports are offering the recommended information and they are up to date via a tracker on outstanding actions.

Administration Budget 2017/18 (refer to paper)
Jim Maguire (JM) spoke to this paper, apprising the Board with the Draft Administration Budget and New Fund Budget for 2017/18.

The Board noted the biggest cost on the budget was salaries. The Board expressed caution regarding new legislation proposed on Employed/Self-employed status and how this will affect ILF Scotland from a legal stand point.

The Chair requested FO’D and HT discuss employment law legislation out with the meeting to ensure compliance and safeguard ILF Scotland from any possible future issues concerning employment status.

ACTION 4: FO’D /HT to discuss employment law to ensure ILF Scotland is abreast of changes in current and proposed legislation changes.

Pay Remit Policy implementation costs for 2016/17 (backdated costs to 1st August 2016) and 2017/18 have been included in the budgets.

JM explained that costs have been kept down for 2017/18 despite adding Pay Remit Policy costs and cost efficiencies have allowed ILF Scotland to meet their target.

The Board noted the single project costs associated with the setup of the New Fund Scheme and acknowledged receipt of £380k from a £409k request from the SG.

The Board were informed that costs for ‘business as usual’ and new fund will be kept separate for the foreseeable future, to allow transparency and clarity of reporting.

JM advised the Board that surplus ‘Grant in Aid’ monies have been approved by the SG to meet costs incurred in 2016/17 and will propose the same strategy for 2017/18. It was noted that approval for this will may not be received until 2018, in line with 2016/17, and the Board noted the risk that SG may request the return of surplus funds at any time.

The Board approved the Draft Administration & New Fund Budgets for onward submission to Scottish Government with the caveats that the Pay Remit Process costs may or may not be included subject to approval by the Scottish Government in line with the Framework agreement and approval of a Pay Remit Policy.

(see discussion at Item 5- below)

5.   Remuneration Committee Report
      (Refer to paper)

FO’D referred the Board to the Remuneration Committee (RC) Minute of February 2017 and provided a verbal report on recent developments with regard to the Pay Remit Policy.

FO’D requested that recent Pay Remit Policy papers– Staff and CEO be circulated to all Board members.

ACTION 5: AMcN to circulate Pay Remit Policy – Staff and Pay Remit Policy-CEO.

FO’D explained the full process in detail with regard to the Pay Remit Process, commencing chronologically from February 2016.

FO’D acknowledged the updated paper presented by HT (March 2017), with 10% savings. This paper formed the discussions at a recent meeting with the RC members and Jamie MacDougall (JMacD), Deputy Director on 28th March 2017. The Pay Remit Policies endeavour to align with SG Pay Remit Policy and has been benchmarked against similar SG roles by the SG job evaluation team.

Serious concerns regarding the disparity with similar public sector organisations were raised. The RC strongly articulated the risks to ILF Scotland, the SG and staff if a Pay Remit Policy was not implemented promptly.

The RC was told that the Pay Remit Policy implementation was unaffordable but recognised it required further investigation. JMacD assured the committee that he would analyse the full data (now sent by HT) and respond to the RC in due course.

JMacD advised the RC that any uplift exceeding 1% can only be approved by Derek McKay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution.

The Board noted that SSSC have recently restructured their organisation culminating in significant uplifts exceeding 1% and significant back-payments.

The Board also noted that staff have not received a ‘Cost of living’ award (NB. All public sector staff have received uplifts in August 2015 and 2016) since ILF Scotland was created in 2015.

HT advised the Board that ILF Scotland also offered a pension of an inferior nature to other similar public sector bodies. However it was noted and agreed previously that pensions uplift and alignment would be looked at in detail following the implementation of the Pay Remit Policies.

Further discussion ensued concerning possible redundancy costs relating to Continuous Service and the financial liability to ILF Scotland.  The RC had previously requested that entitlement to continuous service for employees coming from the public and third sectors be considered.

The Board were apprised that to date no staff member has Continuous Service built into their contract. This would result in potential redundancy payments of no more than 2 years’ service for any member of staff.

The RC has agreed to a further meeting with JMacD in July with an expectation to bring the Pay Remit process to a satisfactory conclusion and implementation from 1st August 2017.

The RC requested a detailed account (in writing) of what the specific issues are and how to address them to allow approval and implementation of a satisfactory Pay Remit Policy from the SG Sponsor team.

Following further discussion the Board were informed that PCS Union have recognised ILF Scotland as an employer and will look at preliminary discussions in supporting the progression to an outcome of a satisfactory Pay Remit policy implementation.

The Board requested HT to circulate a brief paper outlining the implementation of possible 1% ‘Cost of Living’ uplift to staff (factoring detailed costing), backdated to August 1st 2016.

Given the ongoing negotiations around pay, the original executive/board approach of resolving the whole issue of pay uplift in one move is not practical.  Discussion at the meeting clarified to board members that we should consider a 1% cost of living uplift in line with SG pay policy and out with ILF Pay Remit alignment.  The board agreed this position would mitigate some of the risk involved in further delay of any pay resolution for staff.

ACTION 6: HT  to circulate a ‘Cost of Living ‘paper to the Board Directors, outlining costs and affordability.

The Board noted the Remuneration Committee Report.

Bridget Sly left the meeting to attend a funeral.

6.   Management Accounts to February 2017.
     (Refer to paper)

The following points were highlighted by NH:

Grant in Aid Award Payments

Award Payments
Payments made in February ‘17 amount to £3,911,754 with year to date payments amounting to £47,319,484.   

Grant Income – Surplus/Deficit

Based on the projected Grant in Aid income from SG and Northern Ireland, and subsequent forecasted payments, ILF Scotland is projecting an award surplus of £1.6m.  This surplus figure takes into account paying the Scottish Living Wage, backdated to October 2016.

Concerns were expressed regarding the cost of implementing overnight /sleep over uplifts for PA’s in line with SLW payments.

The Board noted that ILF Scotland is the largest funder of overnight support in Scotland and the implication in financial terms is not insignificant. Approximately 700 recipients receive overnight PA support. PS reported that ILF Scotland and LA’s are working together in investigating alternatives to overnights and some Local Authorities are looking at reducing the number of sleepovers or even removing them altogether.

Administration Budget 2016/17

ILF Scotland have received authorisation from SG to use unused Grant in Aid  from prior years to meet the shortfall in the administration running costs.  Therefore, a break-even position is now reflected in the management accounts.

It should be noted that the original budget submission to SG was for £1.81m.  This was subsequently reduced to £1.59m following input from SG.  However, the actual outturn will be closer to the original submission of £1.81m. 

Summary costs of year to date are £1,617,039.  The current administration income figure to February 2017 is £1,408,546.  Based on these costs and income figures, ILF Scotland is currently overspent by £208k. 

The Board noted the Management Accounts to February 2017.

7.   MACC’s and PQQ’s
     (Refer to paper)

The Board noted the MACC’s & PQQ’s.

8.   Health & Safety Report
      (Refer to paper)

The Board noted the Health & Safety Report.

 9.   AOB

Risk Meeting
The Chair spoke of the requirement to formalise the appetite for and preferred approach to the perceived risks within ILF Scotland.

A date was agreed to convene a meeting to discuss the above.

27th April 2017 at 5:30pm, near Haymarket, Edinburgh.

ACTION 7: AMcN to organise the venue, catering and distribute details to Board Directors by 13th April 2017.

Framework Agreement
Harvey Tilley informed the meeting that following a meeting with Fiona O’Donnell, Liz Humphreys, Central Legal Office (CLO) and Aileen McNiven the Framework Agreement has been returned to the ILF Scotland Sponsor team with a few amendments. ILF Scotland awaits feedback from the Sponsor team.

Board Interaction
As per last year’s summer Board Meeting, held in Denholm House, the Chair requested ILF Scotland to organise the following:

  • Invite recipients to meet staff and Board Directors
  • Invite staff to join the Board Directors for lunch.

ACTION 8: AMcN to invite staff to join the Board for lunch. PS to invite recipients to meet staff and Board Directors.

The Chair thanked everyone for their attendance and with no further business, the meeting was closed.

Next Board Meeting Date:
Monday 26th June 2017 in Denholm House, Livingston

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