MINUTES DEPARTMENT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT BOARD MEETING Friday 30th JANUARY 2015 Board Members Present: Will Haire (Permanent Secretary) Andrew Hamilton (Deputy Secretary, Resources & Social Policy Group) Tommy O’Reilly (Chief Executive, Social Security Agency) Tracy Meharg (Deputy Secretary, Urban Regeneration and Community Development Group) Deep Sagar (Independent Board Member) Roy Keenan (Independent Board Member) Attendees Maeve Walls (Director of Human Resources) Deborah Brown (Director of Finance) Dave Wall (Director of Communications, Policy and Strategic Support) Mick Shine (Secretariat) Bernie McCafferty (Secretariat) Presenters Caron Alexander (Digital Services, Department of Finance and Personnel DFP) Malcolm McKibbin (Head of Civil Service Northern Ireland) Stephen Martin (Housing Division) David Malcolm (Child Maintenance Service) MINUTES 1. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING The Board agreed the minutes of the DMB meeting of 28th November 2014. 2. MATTERS ARISING There were no matters arising. The following action points were carried forward: Agenda item 13 from 27th September 2013 Agenda item 7 from 31st January 2014 Agenda item 3 from 28th March 2014 Agenda item 8 from 1st August 2014 Agenda item 11 from 1st August 2014 Agenda item 12 from 26th September 2014 3. CHAIR’S UPDATE The Permanent Secretary briefed the Board on events from the Permanent Secretaries Group meeting. He also highlighted the challenges that lie ahead with the Voluntary Exit Scheme (VES) and Welfare Reform. He highlighted that after the proposed changes to the number of government departments, this Department will employ about one third of all Civil Servants. 4. WELFARE REFORM – VERBAL UPDATE Tommy O’Reilly gave a verbal overview of Welfare Reform and informed the Board that an agreement was reached by the political parties on 19 December 2014. The Executive agreed the Welfare Reform Bill on 22 January 2015 and the consideration stage is set for 10th February 2015.Tommy added that his team has a very busy 18 months ahead of them in order to introduce all of the agreed reforms of the Welfare Bill. Will thanked Tommy and his staff for all of their efforts and in particular for their assistance at the Stormont House talks in December. MINUTES 5. NICS CITIZENS CONTACT STRATEGY-DEPARTMENTAL ACTION PLANS DMB 01/2015 Tommy O’Reilly presented this paper to the Board. The Board: Noted the key findings of the Landscape Review for the Department and the areas for future consideration; Considered and endorsed the Digital Action Plan 2014-2016; and Noted the plans for a further review during the 2015/2016 financial year. 6. URBAN REGENERATION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GROUP – VERBAL UPDATE Tracy Meharg gave an overview of the Directorate and informed the Board that the Regeneration Bill was at its second stage and that a presentation was being prepared on this matter for the Social Development Committee. Tracy stressed that all regeneration projects undertaken by the Department would need to be cleared by the end of the financial year. Tracy added that the Department had a very good working relationship with the councils. 7. HOUSING REFORM - VERBAL UPDATE Andrew Hamilton informed the Board that the consultation on Tenant Participation commenced on 15th January. A briefing on Regulatory Framework will be made to the Social Development Committee on 12th February and a further consultation on Regulation is planned in the near future. Andrew added that work on the Landlord functions was progressing and that the housing stock condition survey was almost complete. 8. PRESENTATION: THE NORTHERN IRELAND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME. This presentation was delivered by Caron Alexander (the Director of Digital Services DFP). Caron outlined the vision and the services that will be available by March 2016.The Board thanked Caron for her presentation. MINUTES 9. STORMONT HOUSE AGREEMENT Malcolm McKibbin addressed the Board and gave an account of the lead up to the Stormont House Agreement. He gave a chronological timeline of the differences/difficulties facing the political parties and the efforts made to resolve them, this culminated in the signing of the agreement on 23 rd December 2014. He then outlined some of the main reforms of the agreement such as the reduction in Government Departments to nine, the number of MLAs to 90, a reduction in the size of the Civil service and agreements on finance and welfare reform. Malcolm then outlined the challenges facing all departments especially in view of the budget reductions. He informed the Board that the Voluntary Exit Scheme would affect all departments and that it would be published shortly. He thanked officials for all of their hard work over the past year and he made special mention to SSA officials for their assistance, during the Stormont House Agreement negotiations. The Board thanked Malcolm for taking time out of his busy schedule to address the Board. 10. FINANCE PAPER DMB 02/2015 The Board noted: the December /January monitoring outcome; the current financial position; the position on 2015-2016 budget work; and the latest prompt payment performance figures and that the NIHE position will also be reported in future. 11. CORPORATE RISK REGISTER DMB 03/2015 The Board: agreed the revisions to the Corporate Risk Register and Issues Log; agreed that CR8 is not moved to the Issues Log; and agreed the Issues Log update. Risks will be updated to reflect restructuring of departments MINUTES 12. DRAFT BUSINESS PLAN—VERBAL UPDATE Deborah Brown gave the Board a verbal update on progress with the draft Business Plan; she informed the Board that the Strategic Planning Group will be meeting on Thursday 5th February and that their proposals will be presented to the senior management team on February 23 rd. 13. MINUTES OF THE DEPARTMENTAL AUDIT AND RISK ASSURANCE COMMITTEE DMB 04/2015 The Board noted the draft minutes of the departmental Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meeting held on 9 December 2014. 14. DEPARTMENTAL INTERACTION WITH PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR AND OF HOUSING IN PRIVATE SECTOR DMB 05/2015 Tracy Meharg declared a potential conflict of interest, given family involvement in private rented sector. Stephen Martin presented this paper on behalf of Housing Division. He outlined the review of private rented sector regulation and the review of the statutory housing fitness standard across all tenures. The Board thanked Stephen for his presentation and noted the contents of the paper. 15. HUMAN RESOURCES—VERBAL UPDATE Maeve Walls gave the Board a verbal overview of the main challenges facing HR at the moment. Maeve stated that HR were to the fore in dealing with the effects of the VES scheme, the possible redeployment of staff and the reduction in the numbers of staff. She informed the Board that there were regular forums with TUS. Maeve also informed the Board that a settlement had been agreed with lawyers representing tribunal staff and that this agreement would have far reaching affects across the NICS. 16. BUSINESS CASE ON SECURITY AND ANCILLARY SERVICES DMB 06/2015 The Board noted: the content of the paper. MINUTES 17. ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT DMB 07/2015 Maeve informed the Board that it is highly unlikely that the Department would achieve its target for Attendance Management. She however highlighted that DSD and DFP were still the best performers among the 12 government departments in terms of Managing Attendance statistics. The department is currently showing an average absence figure of 11 days as opposed to a target of 10.7 days. The Board noted the content of this report. 18. ACCOMMODATION STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS DMB 08/2015 The Board noted the content of the paper: and endorsed the need to develop an estate strategy for DSD; noted the plan to bring a positional report to the Board by the end of March 2015; and noted the plan to bring a first iteration of a new Strategy and Asset Management Plan to the Board in May 2015. 19. CHILD MAINTENANCE SERVICE-PERFORMANCE UPDATE DMB 09/2015 David Malcolm presented this paper and informed the Board about the Fees and Case Closure Regulations, CMS performance highlights and the creation of 70 new temporary jobs from DWP. The Board noted the performance of CMS for October and November. 20. ANY OTHER BUSINESS As this is the Permanent Secretary’s final Board meeting before his retirement, the Board thanked him for his leadership and support over the past four years and wished him every success for the future. Will thanked the Board and expressed his gratitude for their support and assistance over the past few years. 21. DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING The date of the next meeting is Friday 27 March 2015.