Minutes

 

CONFIRMED MINUTES OF THE BOARD MEETING OF THE JNCC SUPPORT CO. BOARD HELD WEDNESDAY 15 JUNE 2005 AT THE TRE-YSGAWEN COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL, CAPEL COCH, LLANGEFNI, ISLE OF ANGLESEY, NORTH WALES LL77 7UR.

 

Present:

Dr Andrews     
Mr Darby                                                        
Dr Blakiston Houston                                 
Professor Ingram
Mr Lloyd-Jones
Dr Markland
Dr Moser
Professor Pentreath
Professor Sprent
Mr Steer
Dr Vincent
Mr Yeo   
In attendance:
Ms Fowler
Mrs Quince
Apologies:
Sir Martin Doughty
Professor Doyle
Mr Brown
Mr Burton 
 
                                       
 

Contents:

 
Decision papers
1.                   Chairman's opening remarks.
2.                   Declaration of Interests.
3.                   Minutes of the First Board Meeting (BD05M01).
4.                   Matters Arising.
5.                   Standing Orders for meetings of the JNCC Support Co. Board (BD05P04).
 
Information papers
6.                   Report from the ARMC (BD05P05).
7.                   Report from Executive Management Board (BD05P06)
8.                   2004-2005 Out-Turn Report (BD05P07)
9.                   Any other business.
 
 

1. Chairman's Opening Remarks

 
1.1       Chairman informed the Board that John Faulkner had left the Board with effect from 31 March 2005.  Professor Janet Sprent and Mr Bob Brown had joined from 1 April 2005. 
 

2. Declaration of Interests

 
            2.1       Nothing was declared.
 
3. Minutes of the First Board Meeting (BD05M01)
 
3.1       The minutes of the first Board Meeting were agreed without amendment.
 

4. Matters Arising

            4.1       Nothing was discussed.
 
 
5. Standing Orders for meetings of the JNCC Support Co. Board. (BD05P04)
      
5.1 Mr Yeo introduced the paper. In discussion the following points were raised:
 
i. Paragraph 2.4 – in SNH, the onus was on individual members to consider if they had a potential conflict of interest and should withdraw from the meeting, not the Chairman of the Board;
 
ii. Paragraph 2.5 – it was agreed that the register of interests should be kept up to date to prevent individual declarations of interest being tabled at each meeting;
 
iii. Paragraph 6.2 – it was agreed that Board members' dissent from majority agreed decisions should be recorded in the minutes;
 
iv. Paragraph 6.3 – it was confirmed that Chairman has the casting vote as well as a deliberative vote.
 
AP1. Position re Board members' conflict of interest to be reassessed in the light of SNH's policy.
 
5.2 The Board endorsed the Standing Orders, subject to the comments noted above.
                      
                                               
6. Report from the ARMC (BD05P05)
 
6.1       The report was presented by Professor Ingram who explained that the meeting that took place on 13 June was the first meeting of the JNCC Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC).
 
6.2       The Board were informed that ARMC had:
 
i.          agreed that the relationship between ARMC and English Nature's Audit Committee should be clarified with NAO;
ii.          approved the Audit Strategy for 2005/06;
iii.         agreed performance Indicators for internal audit;
iv.         agreed the Statement of Internal Control for 2004/05;
v.         noted the draft accounts for 2004/05;
vi          agreed that further clarification on the final assurance report for 2004/05 should be sought from PKF.
 
6.3       ARMC had noted the delays with the appointment of external auditors and had agreed a fall back scenario should the current tendering process fail to secure an appointment. The Board agreed to delegate the appointment of external auditors to the Chairman of the ARMC.
 
6.4       ARMC had discussed the Brussels Office audit, the work programme of the European Co-ordinator and the value for money of the Office.  In discussion the Board noted that:        
 
i.          it was important to ensure that the Inter-Agency International Network informed the European Co-ordinator's work programme;
 
ii.          the office in Brussels was beneficial to both the JNCC and the country agencies.
             
6.5       A request to change the dates of ARMC meetings was agreed by the    Board.  New dates would take into account English Nature's ARMC meeting dates and Company Board dates.
 
 
7. Report from Executive Management Board (BD05P06)
 
7.1       The report was noted.
 
8. 2004-2005 Out-Turn Report (BD05P07 Part A, Part B, )
 
8.1       Mr Yeo introduced the report which presented information on finances, staffing and performance against targets for the JNCC for the year ended 31st March 2005.
 
8.2       The Board noted the overspend of £49k for last year. The overspend on salaries was partly due to the need to employ a temporary finance manager through a recruitment agency for much of the year.
 
8.3       The Board requested that staffing figures for JNCC include the independent members of Committee and the Chairman.
 
8.4       The Board noted that 15 out of 20 key targets had been fully completed with another four at 90% completion.  Staff were congratulated on the achievements made. Specific comments were made on two key targets
 
i.          Habitat Surveillance project – the Board were informed of the slow progress of the project and the time pressures the team responsible had faced with other priority work.  The Board were informed that the target was now a high priority for 2005/06, although there were still risks around delivery.
 
ii.          Ecosystem Approach – the Board were informed that the production of the sourcebook was only one component of JNCC's work on the Ecosystem Approach. The Board agreed that Committee members should be sent details of the sourcebook.
 
8.5       The Board discussed target setting and the importance of pitching targets at the  correct level.  The Board requested that problems be brought to their attention as soon as possible and that information provided to them should be as up to date as possible.
 
8.6       The Board agreed that a small number of performance indicators for the business should be selected so the Board could monitor the performance of the business. It was agreed that this would be included in the re-design of the quarterly     monitoring report.
 
AP2.    Independent Committee members to be included in staffing figures.
 
AP3.    Committee members to be sent details of the Ecosystem Approach sourcebook.
 
AP4.    A small number of performance indicators for the business to be selected and included in the re-design of the quarterly monitoring report.
                                   
 

9. Any Other Business

 
9.1       None was discussed.