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18 October 2018 - Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Commissioners

Commissioners:

  • Bill Moyes (Chair)
  • John Baillie
  • Stephen Cohen
  • Alison Hastings
  • Sarika Patel
  • Trevor Pearce
  • Simone Pennie
  • Catharine Seddon.

In attendance:

  • Vic Beaumont
  • Teresa Camey (item 6)
  • (REDACTED) (item 7)
  • (REDACTED) (Company Secretary)
  • (REDACTED) (items 2 & 3)
  • Nicky Heathcote
  • Paul Hope
  • Philip Lloyd
  • Neil McArthur
  • Tim Miller
  • David Pemberton
  • Alistair Quigley (item 3)
  • (REDACTED) (items 4 & 5)
  • Oliver Sweeney (Legal)
  • Helen Venn
  • Richard Watson
  • (REDACTED) (notes).

Apologies:

  • Jonathan Scott.

Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest

There were no new declarations of interest.

The Chair welcomed (REDACTED).

1. Minutes and actions from the meeting on 20 September 2018

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 September 2018 were approved.

The rolling actions were reviewed, and updates agreed. The Board requested that further detail about Board related business be added to the forward look in future.

Action

Governance to further populate the Board forward look.

2. Digital Advisory Panel (DAP) Update

The Board noted the DAP update. The work was progressing well, and a further report would be made to the January 2019 meeting.

The Board expressed concern that the consultants who had been appointed to support the project did not have specialist expertise in Digital, noting that the appointees had been the only firm to bid in response to the tender. A lessons learned exercise was being undertaken with a view to improving tender response rates in the future. The appointed consultants were being managed closely.

3. Commission IT and Data Strategy

The Board considered a revised paper setting out the proposed IT and Data Strategy 2019/20. A further progress update would be reported to the Board in January 2019.

4. Developing the successor to the National Responsible Gambling Strategy

The Board received an update, which had been discussed at the recent GC/RGSB Board to Board meeting held on 11 October 2018 and noted that a further iteration of the strategy would be drafted in response to the feedback received and brought for formal approval to the January 2019 meeting.

5. Implications of Commissioners Directing Settlement Sums

The Board noted the paper.

6. NLCC Update

The Board noted the update.

7. CEO’s quarterly report

The Board received an update report from the CEO, highlighting in particular:

  • that much good work was ongoing throughout the Commission
  • the demands on staff resource to deliver current major projects, in particular NLCC and NRGS
  • financial resources, in particular increasing expenditure
  • current fee structure
  • HR matters, in particular pay and progression, and an increase in sickness absence rates.

The Board expressed concern around the pace of delivery and the level of sickness absence and requested sight of metrics around the general health of the organisation. Vic Beaumont confirmed that this work was being developed as part of HR reporting, including detailed work on the People Strategy. The Remuneration Committee report to the Board would in future include bi-annual HR metrics.

The Board noted the Milestone Delivery and Business Performance Reports that were annexed to the CEO’s report. The Board welcomed the ongoing improvements to the BPR. The format and level of the BPR content had greatly improved, and improvements would continue. The Chair of the A&RC commended to the Board the recent IA report on KPIs (available in the Reading Room), noting that whilst there was scope for further improvements to metrics, the Internal Auditors had recommended a period of stability.

8. Finance report

The Board received and noted an update from the Chief Finance Officer.

9. Audit and Risk Committee update

The Board received and noted an update.

10. Board Effectiveness Review

The Board considered a proposal to undertake a ‘light touch’ effectiveness review in the current financial year, to be followed by an external review in the autumn of 2019. The Board was concerned that the last external effectiveness review had taken place in 2014/15 and agreed that the timing of the external review should be brought forward to as early a date as possible.

The Board agreed that, in the interim, the recently appointed Company Secretary should continue to undertake the planned internal compliance review and should progress planned process improvements. In addition, the Company Secretary should use the opportunity of planned induction meetings with individual Commissioners to identify themes that would inform the external review.

Action

Company Secretary to circulate revised proposal to the Board during the week commencing 22 October 2018.

11. Public Interest Disclosure Policy

The Board approved the policy on the recommendation of the Audit & Risk Committee.

12. Review of the meeting

The Board agreed the meeting had been valuable and had especially given rise to constructive, challenging feedback among members.

13. Any Other Business

DCMS Board diversity forms:

The Chair reminded Board members to complete and return the forms to DCMS by 30th November 2018.

Board ‘suggestions box’:

Board agreed that a suggestions box would be put in place to capture ideas submitted by Board members for possible future items for discussion and resolution. Stephen Cohen requested the following suggestion to be added: ‘if we think that the industry will globalise over the next 10 or 15 years what will that mean for the Commission?’

Action

Company Secretary to add suggestion to the log.

Appointment of a new RGSB Chair:

The Board welcomed the news that Anna van der Gaag had been appointed as the new Chair of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, effective 1 November 2018.

5th December workshop:

The Chair thanked Commissioners for accommodating the workshop, which would focus on the new business plan and budget steer.

Chair appraisal:

The Senior Independent Director reported that the annual appraisal of the Chair was now underway and requested that Board members send their completed Chair appraisals to her by 26th October 2018.

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