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16 May 2019 - Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Commissioners

Commissioners:

  • Bill Moyes (Chair)
  • John Baillie
  • Carol Brady
  • Stephen Cohen
  • Alison Hastings
  • Sarika Patel
  • Trevor Pearce
  • Simone Pennie
  • Jonathan Scott (by phone)
  • Catharine Seddon.

Executive directors:

  • Vic Beaumont
  • Paul Hope
  • Philip Lloyd
  • Neil McArthur
  • Tim Miller
  • David Pemberton
  • Helen Venn.

In attendance:

  • (REDACTED) (item 3)
  • Tamsin Morgan (item 5)
  • Stuart Henry (item 5)
  • (REDACTED) (item 8)
  • (REDACTED) (item 8)
  • (REDACTED) (item 8)
  • Brad Enright (item 9)
  • Oliver Sweeney (Legal)
  • (REDACTED) (notes).

External attendees:

  • Mims Davies, MP (item 12)
  • Khobi Vallis, assistant Private Secretary to Mims Davies, MP (item 12).

Apologies:

  • (REDACTED)
  • Nicky Heathcote
  • Richard Watson.

Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest

There were no new declarations of interest.

On behalf of the Board, Bill Moyes formally thanked Simone Pennie, (REDACTED) and Nicky Heathcote, all of whom will be leaving the Commission at the end of May 2019, for their considerable contribution and hard work and wished them the very best for the future.

1. Minutes, rolling actions and forward look

The minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2019 were approved.

The rolling actions were reviewed, and updates agreed.

The forward look was reviewed, with the following to be added:

  • Anna van der Gaag should be scheduled to talk to Board as part of the programme of speakers
  • a workshop session should be arranged with a variety of treatment providers
  • a further workshop session should be arranged on the topic of ‘what the world of gambling regulation look like in three to five years’ time’. Insight (REDACTED) are to lead.

2. Chair’s business

The Board noted the Chair’s report, including that the annual letters to Committee Chairs have been delayed due to resource challenges within the Governance team. These are now under development and will be circulated for approval by correspondence.

3. CEO’s quarterly report

The Board noted the report, in particular that:

  • published milestones have been met
  • an Executive Group away day has been planned for 7 June 2019 to focus on ‘our offer to consumers’
  • the complexity of casework is increasing, and volumes continue to rise, especially around Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

On the Board Performance Report, it was commented that more work is required to reduce the narrative and measure the impact. The extent to which each department head is able to establish meaningful KPIs referenced to effectiveness was raised and the Key Performance Indicators therefore require review. In future, reporting at Board meetings will be the responsibility of Executive Group members rather than (REDACTED). Within the specific reports, the following points were noted:

Protect the interests of consumers:

There are some issues around measuring impact in this space, but developments are in progress. The consultation on customer interaction and ADR closed on 9 May 2019 and the consultation on gambling with credit cards closes today. The consultations will come back to Board on 18 July 2019. Regarding data gathering, we do gather data from Citizens Advice (free service). There is a plan to bring down response time in the Contact Centre to calls and enquiries from twenty to ten days as an interim step, until a better infrastructure is in place to get the response time down to less than ten days. A software fix for the Contact Centre is also being implemented.

Action

Exec Group to consider whether we have the statistical expertise within the Commission to ensure confidence around the quality of data.

Prevent harm to consumers and the public:

Tim Miller is due to meet with (REDACTED), Health Economist, who we have commissioned to undertake further work looking at more appropriate measures in this space. The National Strategy to reduce Gambling Harms has been launched which has generated positive activity.

4th National Lottery Competition:

Recruitment of a Commercial Director is underway.

Raise standards in the gambling market:

The Commission is seeing more complex applications, casework and compliance work, with an increase in “red rated” operations. We are looking to switch reporting to impact and outcomes focused measures for the next round of reporting, also possibly including tracking the percentage of cases in which settlements were accepted in order to ensure we were using punitive sanctions when necessary. It was noted that the piece on horizon scanning is lacking detail on the implications and will be reworked.

4. Financial year-end process update

The Board noted the plan to deliver the statutory financial accounts as part of the 2018/19 Annual Report and Accounts.

5. Annual report draft timetable and narrative

The Board noted the draft Annual Report and Accounts for 2018-19, which are still under development.

6. Remuneration Committee update to Board including Colleague Engagement

The Board noted the Remuneration Committee update.

The Board noted the results of the Staff Engagement Survey and the ongoing activity to address the results, with main points captured as follows:

  • The survey took place in the autumn of 2018 shortly after the restructure and although the overall results were disappointing, the rates of engagement are still good in context. However, there were technical issues with the Civil Service survey provider ORC which meant there was a significant delay in receiving the results.
  • We are working with PCS to raise awareness and be more informative concerning staff engagement, and especially looking at the bullying and harassment figures.
  • We are about to embark on the Pulse survey which will be a temperature check marker.
  • For the next survey, Board will see the results a lot sooner than was the case this year.
  • The HR team is currently undergoing a significant transformation, with the appropriate resources expected to be in place by the beginning of July 2019.
  • It is not certain as to whether the Civil Service Employee Survey will be used the next time around, as a lot of the questions within the survey are not relevant to the Commission. We could, for example, tailor make a survey, using an external provider, giving rise to the opportunity to add in more qualitative questions instead. This option will be considered.
  • The Board requested more frequent updates on the survey. More work is to be done to find out more detail with reference to the comments made and how the Leadership Team have progressed in taking action.

7. Audit & Risk Committee update to Board

The Board noted the report, with no questions or comments.

8. National Lottery Competition

The Board noted the NLCC update and considered the papers attached.

9. Response to consultation on 16/17 year-old play

The Board noted the paper and the draft Annexe A letter to the Minister, Mims Davies MP.

The Board agreed with the conclusion that there was not clear evidence in support of one option. They accepted that the letter highlights relevant issues to DCMS and ultimately the final decision will be for Ministers.

The Board agreed that subject to some further clarifications within the letter on the distinction between product types and a reference to wider debates on age restricted activities, they will not need to see the letter again prior to it being sent.

10. NL Committee update and annual report to Board

The Board noted the paper.

Trevor Pearce reported that Camelot’s Chair, Sir Hugh Robertson, had attended the last NL Committee on 9 May 2019, in place of Camelot’s CEO, which gave rise to a very constructive and insightful meeting.

11. Pre-briefing ahead of the Minister joining the meeting (not minuted)

12. Closed discussion session with Mims Davies, MP (not minuted)

13. Review of the meeting

The Board agreed it had been a good meeting and welcomed the Executive Group leading on Board Performance Reporting at future meetings.

A clear steer is required from Deloitte on the specific recommendations that have emerged from the Board Effectiveness Review. The Chair will feed back that request to Deloitte.

14. Any other business

There was no other business to report.

15. Closed session – Commissioners only (not minuted)

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