Board minutes February 2019

Published: 12 June 2019
Freedom of information class: How we take decisions

Our board minutes for February 2019.

Chair   Jennifer Henderson, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland
Present Janet Egdell, Accountable Officer
Billy Harkness, Corporate Director
Kenny Crawford, Business Development Director
Deepa Mann-Kler, Non-Executive Director
Jayne Scott, Non-Executive Director/ARC Chair    
Fiona Ross, ex-Non-Executive Director
Shrin Honap, Non-Executive Director 
In attendance Head of Finance (SW)
Head of Risk and Information Governance (JM) - item 5
Registration and Policy Director (CK) - items 6, 9 and 10
Head of Service Delivery (CG) - item 7
Head of Customer Experience (IM) - item 9
Apologies None
Secretariat Head of Secretariat (LW)

Introduction, apologies and declaration of interests

1. Jennifer Henderson welcomed everyone to the February RoS Board meeting. No apologies were received.

2. The board noted that some of the non-executive Directors had been appointed to new roles and as such, it was agreed that the register of interests would be recirculated to ensure that all appointments are declared.

3. Fiona Ross was nominated as the Board observer.

Minute of meeting previous meeting

4. The minute of the meeting of 21 November 2018 was accepted as an accurate reflection of the meeting.

Action log

Actions: 2919, 3154, 3156, 3158, 3164, 3423, 3424, 3425, 3426, 3427, 3430, 3431, 3432, 3433, 3434, 3437, 3438, 3440, 3441, 3442.

5. The board agreed that these actions are now closed.

Actions: 3144, 3428, 3429, 3435, 3436 and 3439.

6. The board agreed that these actions are ongoing.

7. Jayne provided an update on the Audit and Risk Committee (ARC). The board noted that the new ARC members were building their knowledge impressively quickly and added great value at the latest meeting.

8. The  board  noted  that  two  additional  internal  audit  reports  were presented to the ARC at their February meeting and the ARC felt assured that the quality and depth of the reports had improved since the new head auditor had been appointed.

9. Jayne highlighted that the first draft of the 19/20 internal audit plan was presented at the February meeting and the ARC felt it was a robust plan, which took a risk based approach and incorporated management and ARC feedback. The board noted that the external auditors would be reviewing transparency in June and it was suggested that it may be beneficial for them to review the outcome of the transparency review being presented to the May Executive Management Team (EMT).

10. The board noted that the RoS assurance framework was reviewed at the  February  ARC  meeting,  the  ARC  were  grateful  to  the  (EMT)  for completing this and will keep it under review.

11. Finally, Jayne highlighted that the ARC undertook a deep dive into the business transformation benefit realisation. The ARC found the deep dive helpful and were assured to see the tangible and non tangible benefits summarised during the session.

12. The board thanked Jayne for the update.

Risk update

13. Jim McConnell joined the board and provided a summary of the risk activity over the last year in advance of the risk workshop due to take place the next day.

14. The board noted a change in approach, which had been approved by the EMT, whereby the risk and information governance team offers a service to the business and are responsible for the implementation of the risk management framework and its compliance, including enterprise wide training and awareness, on behalf of the Accountable Officer/SIRO.  The board were impressed with the maturity of risk management at RoS, however, cautioned the  importance  of  ensuring  risk  management  doesn’t  become  a  process heavy activity, which may lose sight of management judgement and organisational benefit.   The board were provided with assurances that the EMT are keeping this under regular review alongside other management tools and are ensuring that no process overrules another.

15. The board thanked Jim for the update and looked forward to discussing risk in more depth at the workshop the following day.

16. Chris Kerr joined the board and provided an update on Land Register Completion. The board noted the land mass and title coverage to date and Chris highlighted that the Keeper Induced Registration (KIR) project had been stopped as the result of the project didn’t meet the benefits expected, such as assisting with the clearing of the arrear.

17. The  board  noted  the  immediate  priorities,  namely;  complete  public sector land mass titles in hand, complete KiR Public addresses in prep phase to the contribute to the 2019 target.  Complete first registrations and voluntary registrations in the arrear.  Overall, these activities equate to circa 50% land mass, which contributes significantly to meet the 2024 target.

18. The board noted the strategic approach proposed, which included prioritising land  mass  over  title  coverage; taking  tailored  approaches  for public, land and estate and the agricultural sector; the creation of a pre registration layer to gain an understanding of who owns Scotland with a reasonable degree of accuracy and changes to our current ways of working.

19. The board noted that land register completion has been recognised as a challenge over the next few years and as such, a senior manager has been appointed as Head of Land Register Completion to oversee this work.

20. The board thanked Chris for the update.

New services update

21. Kenny Crawford and Craig Gardiner provided the board with an update on new services. The board noted the makeup of the service alignment team (SAT), which has brought senior managers from various areas of the business together to address our key priorities, driven by enduring customer needs.

22. The board noted that a strategic roadmap was being created and would be brought back to a future EMT. The board noted that workforce planning was still required and this would be completed once the corporate plan was signed off and reported back to the May board.

23. The board noted that the SAT team are designed to take a holistic view of the impact across the whole business and work to create a service that benefits the customer. The board noted the buying and selling example whereby a multi skilled and cross trained team has been created to look at new ways of working and that this approach has resulted in a more engaged and productive team.  The board suggested that this organic model may start to develop the future organisational structure and it was agreed that it would be helpful to map out the structure now vs the structure in 5 years time in order to help the organisation understand this transition.

24. The board were heartened to hear the approach that the buying and selling team are taking and felt that this was a move in the right direction and should be welcomed and encouraged, however, highlighted that although moving to this approach on a small scale throughout the business was encouraged, this should be monitored closely to ensure that staff are brought along on the journey at the point that it becomes the majority way of working.

25. The board noted an update on ScotLIS, including the vision, mission, successes, improvements to date and future objectives.

26. The board thanked Craig and Kenny for the update, which concluded with a showcase to meet the buying and selling team and hear more about their work.

Finalise Corporate Plan

27. Isla MacLeod presented the Corporate Plan for board approval. The board had a lengthy discussion around the corporate plan. It was agreed that the six priorities should be reduced to three, grouped under the headings ‘Do’, ‘Consolidate’ and ‘Create’.

28. The board considered the financials and noted that EMT planned to break even on core operating costs and are choosing to invest in mitigating the risk of the digital estate and progress land register completion.  The board noted that there was some discretionary estates infrastructure investment planned and were assured that this would be considered on a case by case basis by EMT.

29. The board agreed the financial projections, although suggested that a narrative should accompany the figures to highlight that the investments over the next five years will get us to a position where RoS moves to a sustainable, break even position from year six onwards and to explain the effect that the recent changes to employer pension contribution has had on the financials.

30. The board agreed the KPIs and noted that they would be reframed around the new priority headings and circulated to the board outwith committee.

31. The board noted the benefits realisation year to date and agreed that the decision to take the time to consolidate the work to date was a positive one.

32. The board thanked Isla and Janet for the update.

Review of KPI data

33. Stephen Welham talked the board through the latest financial update. The board noted the current financial position and that lessons have been learned from the financial projections vs actuals this year that would be fed into next year’s process. The board highlighted the importance of ensuring cash improvement was captured as part of the benefits, as a result of actual savings, it was noted that internal audit were looking into benefits realisation and this would be included and shared at a future board.

34. The board noted the latest KPI dashboard and noted that customer satisfaction rating had dropped following the latest survey.  It was agreed that customer satisfaction would be added to the May board agenda for a longer discussion as the KPI most out of tolerance.

35. The board thanked Stephen and Janet for the update.

Financial delegations 2019

36. Stephen Welham talked the board through the financial delegations paper. The board noted that this was the annual review and no changes were being proposed.

37. The board questioned whether there was confidence that there was appropriate oversight of project approval to ensure that small projects weren’t being approved which, if looked at collectively, may be considered as a larger project requiring higher level approval.  The board noted that all projects are directed through the programme office and overseen by the Business Portfolio Board, which is the governance body with the oversight and as such, there is confidence that this would be captured.  It was also noted that the EMT do a quarterly review of expenditure, where such spend would be easily spotted.

38.  The board noted that there was an error in the paper at paragraph 7 and this should state ‘April 19’.

39.   The board thanked Stephen for the updates.

Civil Service People Survey (CSPS)

40. Jennifer talked the board through the high level CSPS results and highlighted that a lot action was being taken to clearly demonstrate how action has been taken as a result of the CSPS, including:

  • Local  teams are  reviewing their  personal  results and  action planning within their teams
  • At the recent townhalls, Jennifer highlighted what she thinks the senior management feedback is telling us and a live poll suggests that staff largely agreed her summary of the outcome
  • EMT  and  C2 community have  reviewed  the results and taken individual actions to address
  • Listening sessions with EMT have been arranged to allow staff to tell EMT how they feel in more detail
  • The Keeper has met with all C2 managers individually to hear what they are planning to do in their areas

41. The board were encouraged to hear the action being taken and highlighted the importance of recognising the good results, where RoS are doing well, as well as addressing the areas where improvement is required.

42.  The board noted that the progress with action planning would be reviewed throughout the year and thanked Jennifer for the update.

Audit & Risk Committee Minutes – November 2018

43.  The Board noted the November Audit and Risk Committee Minutes.

Board observer feedback

44.  Fiona Ross advised that this was a good meeting with good challenge, which was both well taken and given.   It was observed that the audit and risk committee update is likely to cover some sensitive issues and therefore it was suggested that a high level covering paper would be useful for future board meetings to ensure board members are aware of the topics being covered in advance of the meeting.

45. Fiona highlighted that it was a good meeting with mainly update items and suggested that, although this is an advisory board, it would be helpful to structure the agenda in a way that makes it clear where a decision is required in future.

46. Fiona welcomed the visit to buying and selling and the guest speakers throughout the day and encouraged more of this activity in the future.

47. Jennifer thanked Fiona for her observations and Deepa Mann-Kler volunteered to be the board observer at the May meeting.

Any other business

48. No other business was discussed.

Date of next meeting

49. The board noted that the next meeting was scheduled to take place on 2 May 2019.

Post meeting note:- in order to facilitate appropriate use of Board time and priorities for various discussions, activities recommended for the May board have been split between the forthcoming May and June Boards.

Was this page helpful?