Minutes of the Senior Management Team (SMT) meeting - October 2021

Minutes of SMT Meeting held on Wednesday 5 October 2021 at 9:30am
(via zoom)

In attendance:

  • R Kidd - Chair and Chief Executive
  • N Monson  - Deputy Chief Executive
  • B Monson  - Deputy Chief Executive
  • L Burns - Deputy Chief Executive
  • C Moore – Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)
  • G Alexander – Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA)

Before the formal agenda, there was a conversation with C Moore and G Alexander around some of the issues of mutual interest both looking back and going forward. It was agreed that they would join our meeting in 6 months for a further catch up.

1. Apologies

Apologies were received from K Neeson.

2. Minutes from the previous meeting

The minutes from the 6 September meeting were agreed.

3. Action Points

There were no action points not covered by the agenda.

4. Corporate Health, Safety and Welfare


  • It was noted that the Zoom session for all staff to talk through the plans and take any questions that might arise has now taken place. There were over 8  attendees and no significant issues have been raised at or following the presentation. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive regarding the proposals.
  • The Heads of Group questionnaire has been issued and this will be followed by issuing to all staff next week again to seek the views of staff.
  • It was noted that IT Assist has developed software that will facilitate room bookings and will transfer the boking to outlook calendars. This will be used by all staff to book rooms and will allow monitoring of room utilisation to assist in refining the system and room allocation.
  • M McIntyre is to confirm if staff can be notionally associated with their nearest government office while working from home and travelling direct to site.
  • NICS HR Team has been reminded about an earlier query regarding Temporary Promotion policy and has replied that they are still looking into the matter.

5. (a) Audit, Risk Management and Finance


  • R Kidd mentioned the work underway to refine the Risk Register and a first draft will be shared among SMT for comments.
  • B Monson referred to the Case Management System accident reporting audit which produced a satisfactory audit outcome.

(B) Emerging Risks

The possibility of an underspend was noted if staff cannot be appointed by the indicative dates. This will be kept under review with the finance team. It was agreed to keep this item as we have a significant number of vacancy competitions underway and until we have start dates it is difficult to project the resource available to cover the paybill to year end.

6. Staffing

  • SMT considered the current competitions. L Burns reported that he has around 35 interviews over the next 2 weeks.
  • There was some discussion on the knock on effects of the appointment of K Neeson to the permanent role of Deputy Chief Executive. This will trigger the need to backfill from the Principal Inspector list which in turn creates another vacancy at maingrade inspector.

7. Case and Project Work

(a) Major Investigation Team (MIT) update
N Monson shared the statistics on the number of cases currently with MIT. The workload is currently close to the capacity given that 2 further fatalities were added in the last 10 days.

(b) EU Exit / Transition period
L Burns updated SMT on the current position in relation to both legislation and filling of posts.

8. Business Planning

SMT agreed to arrange a half day planning session away from the office in early November to consider the next business plan.

9. Performance Monitoring

B Monson updated SMT referring to the Case Management System report. He highlighted a significant increase in the number of major injuries and wants to examine this further. Also of note was that complaints are down by almost 50% on the same period last year (a reflection on the challenges of the pandemic).

10. Board Business

There were no updates in relation to the board. The October Board meeting will be for the sign off of the annual report and accounts but this date having been pushed back also means that we will have a full Board following that.

11. Any other business (AOB)

N Monson raised an issue around how we could develop a media line in the days following a serious incident or fatality. It was acknowledged that any changes considered must not disclose details that might affect any investigation/prosecution and will also be sensitive to the family of the bereaved. However, it was accepted that it might be a time to communicate a difficult but hard hitting message in order to seek to prevent a recurrence of a similar incident. It was agreed that the matter should be given further consideration.

12. Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting is 3 November 2021 at 9:30am and M McIntyre will be invited to attend to meet SMT.

The meeting concluded at 1:50 pm.