Department for the Economy Board minutes 2022 - 24 November 2022

Minutes from the Departmental Board meeting on 24 November 2022.


  • David Malcolm (Chair)
  • Heather Cousins
  • Shane Murphy
  • Paul Grocott
  • Sharon Hetherington
  • (Name redacted)
  • Alan Russell
  • Chris McConkey
  • Richard Rodgers
  • Fiona Keenan (Non-executive Board member)
  • Colm McKenna (Non-executive Board member)

In attendance:

  • Name redacted (CMB)
  • Name redacted (CMB Secretariat)
  • Name redacted (CMB Secretariat)
  • Lisa Morgan (for ODT)
  • (Name redacted) (for ODT)
  • Michelle Scott (for Invest NI)


  • Mike Brennan
  • Michael McKavanagh (Non-executive Board member)

Agenda Item

Actions arising from discussion

Action Owner and current position (to be completed prior to the next Board meeting)

Agenda Item 1:Board Register of Interests/ Conflicts

No new interests declared.


Agenda Item 2:Minutes of meeting 27 October

Agreed without amendment.


Agenda Item 3: Strategic Issues

A number of areas were discussed:


Further education review

  • The first workshop with the FE sector is being held tomorrow.


Good Friday Agreement anniversary

  • A series of events have been planned, including an investment conference which could take place later in the year.

Energy Support Scheme

  • The £400 payment and that for alternative fuels and non-domestic side were discussed.
  • Arrangements from April 2023 were discussed.

Agenda Item 4: Finance update

Sharon Hetherington presented:

  • The DoF proposal to switch Capital funding to Resource to address the NI Block overspend has not been agreed by HMT.
  • As a result, Capital was available at a NI Block level for 2022/23 and DfE has asked for £4m.
  • Secretary of State is due to make an announcement on the 22/23 budget.
  • HOCS to consider how to split a shortfall in funding in 2023/24 between departments.
  • There is budget uncertainty going into next year.
  • Prioritisation of resources will become more important.

Agenda Item 5: Invest NI – Independent Review and Board Effectiveness Review

Michelle Scott presented:

  • The Independent Review of Invest NI is reaching its final stages, with publication of a final report likely in January 2023.
  • A draft Board Effectiveness Review report in respect of Invest NI has been completed.
  • Interim findings from the Independent Review, and the Board Effectiveness Review, have identified concerns.
  • The Invest NI Board and Executive Leadership Team are holding a workshop on 30 November to include considering roles and responsibilities, refreshing the code of conduct and reviewing the role of the Secretariat. There will also be a range of 1 to 1 sessions.

Agenda Item 6: Papers to Note

HR update

  • There is a new structure and G5 in NICS HR.
  • New G6/7 and AO recruitment competitions postponed.
  • Need to understand the relationship between short and long term sick absence.
  • Need a breakdown of sick absence by G3 command.
  • Need to know how many inefficiency warnings under consideration result in a warning/final warning.
  • COVID and non-COVID absences need separated.

10x update

  • The Board noted initial arrangements for a small 10x stakeholder group and that further work will be done on external engagement on 10x.

Assurance statements

  • No questions.

Corporate Risk Register

  • Quarter 2 updates agreed.

Business Plan

  • Quarter 2 progress updates agreed. These will be published on the department’s website.






















Agenda Item 7: Organisational Delivery & Transformation Programme

Board members convened a Programme Board meeting for the rest of the available time.


Agenda Item 8: AOB

There was no AOB.



Date of next meeting: Thursday 15 December 2022 at Ulster University in York Street, Belfast.  

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