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19 April 2018 - Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Commissioners


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

Executive directors:

  • Sarah Gardner
  • James Mackay
  • Neil McArthur (CEO)
  • Tim Miller
  • David Pemberton
  • Helen Venn (Acting)
  • Richard Watson (Acting)

In attendance:

  • (REDACTED) – Licencing Manager (item 2)
  • (REDACTED) – Senior Business Manager Planning and Reporting (item 6)
  • (REDACTED) – Governance Manager (notes)
  • Simon Knee – Head of Finance (items 5)
  • Justin Oldham – Head of Governance NL4 (item 3)
  • Oliver Sweeney – Head of Legal
  • James Holdaway – Head of National Lottery Licensing (item 4)


  • None

Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest

There were no new declarations of interest.

Item 1: Minutes and actions from the meeting on 20 March 2018

The minutes of the meeting on 20 March 2018 were agreed.

The rolling actions were reviewed and updated.

Item 2: Licencing update and key performance targets 2018–19

Helen Venn presented the Licencing Performance update report. In late 2017 the underlying challenges that had resulted in a backlog in processing applications were identified. A time-limited action plan was implemented to address the challenges and a number of targets were identified for completion by 31 March 2018.

All targets for processing the backlog of applications were achieved by 22 March 2018 (with the exception of applications that had been referred to Regulatory Panel). Improvements have also been identified in Work in Progress and processing times in all areas.

To maintain progress and ensure continuous improvement long-term measures are being implemented, including:

  • the creation of a dedicated Administration Team
  • working with Unipart to identify and implement administrative process improvements
  • further streamlining processes
  • automation where possible, with the aim of having full automation of Personal Functional Licence applications by the end of 2018.

To assist in the oversight and monitoring of progress, KPIs have been devised. Helen Venn confirmed that the internal KPIs for application processing times would be published externally following the temporary suspension of target timescales which was reported to the Board in January 2018.

The Board was assured that ongoing measures were addressing the systemic issues that had resulted in the challenging position at the end of 2017. In addition, the Board were given assurance that achieving the targets has not affected quality in application processing.

The Board was pleased with the progress made, however there were some changes to the licencing performance report which the Board felt would be helpful:

  • NET costing to be used
  • headcount to be recorded as whole numbers and targets amended accordingly
  • productivity levels for staff to be set at 70% and not 80% (Appendix 2) in capacity calculations
  • KPIs relating to staff morale and customer satisfaction would add value to the report.

It was reported that staff productivity levels above the Civil Service standard are aspired to and challenging but realistic targets have been implemented to achieve this long-term.

Helen Venn confirmed that a progress update will be returned to the Board meetings in December 2018 and a full report in March 2019.

It was reported that the Licencing team are liaising with the Legal team to streamline the management of preparation for Regulatory Panels. Helen Venn confirmed that streamlining will be further supported by the new approach to incomplete applications.

Action: Helen Venn to return Licencing progress update in December 2018 and a full report in March 2019.

Item 3: National Lottery 4th Licence Competition

Sarah Gardner withdrew for discussion of this item.

The Board noted the paper.

Item 3.1: Establishing a Committee

The Board noted the paper.

Item 4: National Lottery 3rd Licence

James Mackay withdrew for discussion of this item.

Sarah Gardner returned to the meeting.

The Board noted the paper.

Item 4.1: National Lottery Update

The Board noted the update.

Item 4.2: Update of Public Accounts Committee Report

The Board noted the report.

Item 5: Finance Report

James Mackay returned to the meeting.

The Board noted the report.

Item 6: Board Performance Report

John Baillie explained that KPIs are to be determined in collaboration with teams to ensure that they are meaningful. Initial work suggests that previous KPIs have not been useful as productivity or quality measures for teams.

The Senior Business Manager for Planning and Reporting presented the newly formatted Board Performance Report with input from the Executive leads.

Executive leads explained the dependencies that impact delivery in their areas of responsibility. The timescales for completion of contributory projects are being proactively monitored to ensure accurate and timely completion of the Board Performance Report.

The Board agreed that KPIs should be outcome and not activity focused. In relation to Licensing metrics (Raise Standards in the gambling market) the Board considered that challenges, refusals and successful operator appeals would be particularly valuable metrics.

The Board agreed that careful consideration should be given to variations within information sets. For example, in relation to social responsibility breaches distinctions will be made between marketing sent to gamblers that have self-excluded and those that are at risk.

The Board agreed that percentages as well as absolute figures should be used in metrics as appropriate to demonstrate changes over time.

The Board agreed that it would be valuable to have oversight of the metrics at Committee meetings.

The Board agreed a Contact Centre deep dive will be brought to Audit and Risk Committee.

Item 7: Board forward look

Neil McArthur confirmed that the Board forward look was now aligned to Business Plan milestones. The Board forward look is an evolving document and updates will be reported at all Board meetings.

The Board discussed the reported timescales for upcoming Board meeting agenda items with their Executive leads.

The Board agreed minor amendments to the Board forward look. The Board agreed that the dates for all 2019 Board and Committee meetings should be circulated promptly.

Action: Governance to circulate 2019 Board and Committee meeting schedules and invitations.

Item 8: Review of the meeting

The Board appreciated the pace of the meeting as this afforded the opportunity to consider important issues in detail.

The Board agreed that the weekly newsletter from Neil McArthur was useful, with a well-considered level of detail and breadth.

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