Minutes of HSENI Senior Management Team (SMT) meeting - April 2021

Minutes of SMT Meeting held on Thursday 1 April 2021 at 10:00am
via zoom.

In attendance:

  • R Kidd - Chief Executive (Chair)
  • L Burns - Deputy Chief Executive
  • N Monson - Deputy Chief Executive
  • B Monson - Deputy Chief Executive
  • K Neeson - Deputy Chief Executive

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. Minutes from the previous meeting

The minutes from the 10 March 2021 meeting were agreed.

3. Action Points

There were no action points not covered by the agenda.

4. Corporate Health, Safety and Welfare

SMT discussed the intended continuation of the current operating model which was agreed. Inspection activity will remain focused on essential activity. It was noted that any easing of restrictions usually brings increased risk and increased complaints. It was agreed the operating model would be kept under review and discussed at the next meeting.

5. Audit, Risk Management and Finance

  • SMT discussed the issue of cover in the finance team and the delays in getting qualified accountants at Staff Officer and Deputy Principal grade were noted
  • L Burns confirmed that he had responded to questions from the Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) chair in relation to year end reporting

Emerging Risks


  • finance continues to be a risk as the baseline is expected to be flat as in previous years with added uncertainty of long term funding for the EU Exit posts
  • The Building Safety Regulator role remains an ongoing issue with no decision taken as to how it will be rolled out in Northern Ireland. It was noted that a further draft of the Executive paper had been circulated
  • training of inspectors and the re-banding proposals continue to be explored and were substantive agenda items under staffing

6. Staffing


  • SMT noted recruitment is ongoing for a number of posts and is at various stages. Progress has been slow
  • SMT discussed a number of staffing issues
  • SMT discussed the potential regrading of trainees and noted the progress thus far. We are awaiting a response from Northern Ireland Civil Service Human Resources (NICS HR) who have referred queries around pay and pensions to the Departmental Solicitor's Office (DSO) for advice. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to follow these queries up
  • there was a discussion around the recruitment of trainee inspectors and the issues which are affecting not just HSENI but also HSE in GB. It is hoped that a paper will be ready for consultation soon following SMT’s verbal sign off on a couple of issues

7. Case and Project Work

  • Major Investigation Team (MIT) update – N Monson shared the statistics on the number of cases currently with MIT. A separate attachment was sent to SMT in advance of the meeting. She also updated SMT that an additional investigator has joined MIT on a trial basis
  • EU Exit / Transition period - L Burns advised that recruitment is progressing and the European Chemicals Agency agreement is now ready for signing by the respective parties

8. Buisness Planning

Nothing further to report at present.

9. Performance Monitoring

B Monson updated SMT referring to the new format PDF report which he had shared in advance of the meeting and outlined some of the statistics.

10. Board Business

SMT noted that the appointment process of new board members is on track for end of April.

11. Any Other Business

K Neeson mentioned the calling note on the Annual Report which has been issued for comments as well as a note regarding the proposed launch of the Asbestos campaign.

12. Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting is 5 May 2021.

The meeting concluded at 11:05am.