In this page
- Kathryn Bishop, Chair
- Dyfed Edwards, Deputy Chair
- Jocelyn Davies, Non-Executive
- Mary Champion, Non-Executive
- Rheon Tomos, Non-Executive
- Dyfed Alsop, Chief Executive Officer
- Becca Godfrey, Chief Strategy Officer
- Sam Cairns, Chief Operations Officer
- Melissa Quignon-Finch, Chief People Officer
- Rob Jones, Chief Finance Officer
- Amy Bowden, Interim Head of Legal
- Gareth Watson, Interim Head of Communications
- Neil Butt, Interim Chief of Staff
- Anna Adams, Deputy Director of Tax Strategy, Policy and Engagement - Welsh Treasury
1. Welcome and introductions, conflicts of interest and apologies, minutes of the last meeting, matters arising
- The Chair welcomed everybody to the meeting.
- Apologies were received from Andrew Jeffreys, Anna Adams would deputise and present the report from Welsh Treasury (WT). Dyfed Alsop was unable to join for the first few items of the meeting. Information redacted.
- At the last meeting, the Chair noted the intention to appoint a Staff Elected Member (SEM) ahead of the Board Strategy Away Day in July. However, given the considerable amount of pressure on resource, the election would be carried out in the autumn with the aim to appoint a SEM ahead of the October Board meeting. A paper would be brought to the Board in September outlining the process and seeking approval to commence the election.
- The Board interest log was agreed subject to one addition, which would be sent to the Board secretariat following the meeting.
- The minutes of the last meeting were agreed as an accurate account of what was discussed, subject to some changes that were raised at the Board pre-meeting earlier that week. The redacted minutes were agreed for the purpose of publication.
- The Board agreed the actions of the last meeting. Two actions would remain open, both of which were related to Board forward planning and would be discussed at the Board strategy away day in July as part of the forward look review.
Report, approvals and decisions
2. Chair's report
- The Chair provided an update on recent activity. It was noted that since the Board last met formally, two discussions were held, where members discussed the governance review; the cyber resilience strategy and the corporate plan and scenario planning.
- The Board would meet in July for their annual Strategy Away Day. The agenda would be formalised over the coming weeks but there would be an opportunity to consider future priorities as well as some of the issues facing the organisation in the short-term. The session would be held virtually given the latest WG guidelines on holding meetings in person.
3. CEO report and operational performance
4. Financial performance
5. Report from committees
Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC)
- The Committee Chair provided an overview of recent activity, noting that at the last meeting, the committee’s focus had been on the scrutiny of the Annual Report and Accounts.
- The ARAC annual report was circulated to the Board for information. However, the committee hadn’t undertaken its annual effectiveness review because two of the three non-executive members had only been with the committee for a short time. This wasn’t an annual requirement and so the review would be undertaken the following financial year.
- The internal audit services within WG had recently been reviewed by Audit Wales, the CE and ARAC Chair had taken part in the exercise. The outcome of the review was a positive one.
- The People Committee’s annual report had been circulated to the Board for information. The committee’s time and effort over the year was predominantly focused on succession planning and wellbeing.
- Both committees were thanked for their contribution and hard work over the past year.
6. Report from Welsh Treasury
7. Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21
- The ARAC Chair introduced the item by assuring the Board that the committee had scrutinised the 2020-21 Annual Report and Accounts and were content that it should be presented to the Board for approval ahead of sign off by the Accounting Officer.
- An Audit Wales (AW) representative presented the ISO 260 report to the Board. Members were informed that the WRA report had been submitted and that the Auditor General planned to issue unqualified opinions and certify the accounts on 30 June 2021. There had been some small adjustments made but no changes to figures were required. The Board were informed that the quality of the draft accounts and the support from the WRA was very good.
- During the production of the annual accounts, there had been three noted changes, none of which were cause for concern. The performance report aimed to provide a clear story of how COVID affected our people, stakeholder and users over the year, how behaviours changed in light of the effects and how the organisation responded. The outcome of the report shows that the WRA performed and responded well under the difficult circumstances.
- A conscious decision was made to reduce the size of the 2020-21 annual report by including links to narrative from the 2019-20 report which were still accurate and relevant. An overview of the publication plan was provided.
- The Board thanked the organisation for all of the hard work that went into producing the annual report and accounts. Members agreed the documentation for sign off by the Accounting Officer.
8. Cyber resilience strategy
- A Board briefing was held earlier in the month on the detail of the draft strategy. Since then, the strategy had been shared with the Head of Security for Welsh Government who had made some minor changes which were now reflected in the version presented.
- It was suggested that implementation and progress of the strategy is reported to and monitored by the ARAC given its importance.
- The Board endorsed the strategy, noting that it was a very thorough and comprehensive document.
9. Interdepartmental agreement
There are certain circumstances where it is not appropriate to share all of the information contained within the Board minutes, for example, where it contains personal or commercial data or relates to the formulation of government policy or the effective conduct of public affairs. In such circumstances, the information has been redacted and the text is marked clearly that this has been the case.