58th Board Meeting of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact held on 22 June 2020
Tamsyn Barton (Chief Commissioner and Chair)
Hugh Bayley (Commissioner)
Tarek Rouchdy (Commissioner)
Lauren Pett (items 4, 5, 6 and 7)
Marcus Cox (items 4, 5, 6 and 7)
Nigel Thornton (items 4, 5, 6 and 7)
Minutes and Actions from March 2020 Board
- Commissioners noted that the board papers had been circulated prior to the announcement of machinery of government changes resulting in the merger of the FCO and DFID, and ICAI would need to keep the implications for its work, and the scrutiny of ODA more broadly, under review.
- The minutes and actions of the March 2020 ICAI Board meeting were agreed. Commissioners noted the value of their inclusion in the monthly Secretariat meeting and they would welcome that continuing when office based working conditions resume.
Action 1: Secretariat to reschedule next monthly meeting to week commencing 6 July 2020.
Business Update including GDPR and Safeguarding
- Commissioners discussed the spend for both the first 9 months of Phase III and the financial year April 2019 to March 2020, noting that spend was within budget and in line with expectations.
- The Secretariat advised Commissioners that there was a shortfall in the budget allocation for 2020-21, due to the budget allocation not reflecting the budget approved by Commissioners (and therefore ICAI’s monthly ‘actuals’). However, it was noted that the forecast spend for 2020-21 might reduce further as a result of the likely reduction in spend on overseas travel.
Action 2: Secretariat to review forecast spend to allow for the likely reduced spend on non-salary costs, resulting from reduced overseas travel in the current financial year.
Action 3: Secretariat to work with DFID to resolve budget anomaly before September 2020.
- Four non-ICAI specific FOI requests have been received since the last Board and these have been passed to DFID for a response, as they all related to corporate services provided by the Department.
Corporate Risk Register
- Commissioners discussed the Corporate Risk Register noting that this had been updated prior to the announcement of the merger of DFID and the FCO. Commissioners discussed the implications of the announcement on all risks, the identification of direct and indirect risks, the question of the continuing necessity for a risk relating to Brexit and the reduction in risks relating to Secretariat and Supplier performance. Commissioners agreed that the risk register required a thorough review in the light of the recent merger announcement and the continuing Covid-19 situation.
Action 4: Secretariat to draft a revised corporate risk register and meet with Commissioners within a fortnight to discuss and review further.
- Commissioners noted there had been no Subject Access Requests in the last quarter.
- Commissioners noted there had been no instances of non-compliance with ICAI safeguarding standards in the last quarter.
- Commissioners discussed performance against the draft revised KPIs and the challenge of ensuring KPIs monitor ICAI’s impact and performance rather than the government’s.
Action 5: Secretariat to review the wording of the Follow-up KPI
- The Head of Secretariat updated Commissioners on the work updating the impact report and progress on contracting with the supplier.
Action 6: Head of Secretariat to meet with supplier to provide draft proposal to Commissioners in July.
- Head of Secretariat updated the Board on discussions with Internal Audit on their draft report. It was noted that the DFID / FCO departmental merger had subsequently altered the context in which ICAI would need to frame its management response.
- The Head of Reviews updated the board on progress with the current work plan, highlighting that this paper had been prepared before the recent merger announcement. The Head of Reviews mentioned current key risks were around engagement with government while their resources are diverted to the Covid-19 response and logistical difficulties in holding IDC hearings. Commissioners noted that good progress had been made on the workplan in difficult circumstances.
Action 7: Secretariat to discuss options for hearings on the information note on Anti-corruption and illicit financial flows with the Committee clerks.
- The service provider team updated Commissioners on how they were tracking the Covid-19 response by government. Commissioners welcomed the information and had found the work had usefully informed the recent GAVI information note. Commissioners will use the information to ensure that the impact of Covid-19 is adequately reflected in the future work programme and individual reviews.
- The Head of Reviews updated Commissioners on options for the future work plan. Commissioners discussed the options and agreed the need to maintain some flexibility to pick up new and salient topics in view of uncertainty as to future arrangements for parliamentary scrutiny. The Board discussed options for using local research partners if international travel continues to be restricted.
- The Head of Engagement updated the Board on communications and engagement activities including the newsletter, webinars, database, social media activities, quarterly evaluation summary and communication with the IDC. Commissioners reiterated ICAI’s commitment to ensuring reviews were salient and agreed ICAI always needed to be mindful of diversity, inclusion and citizen engagement issues as it carried out its work.
Action 8: Head of Engagement to commission service provider to produce an interactive map showing where ICAI has reviewed programmes over the past and current phases of ICAI
|1||Head of Delivery||Secretariat to reschedule next monthly meeting to week commencing 6 July 2020.||In progress|
|2||Business Manager||Secretariat to review forecast spend to allow for the likely reduced spend on non-salary costs, resulting from reduced overseas travel in the current financial year.||In progress|
|3||Business Manager||Secretariat to work with DFID to resolve budget anomaly before September 2020.||In progress|
|4||Head of Delivery||Secretariat to draft a revised corporate risk register and meet with Commissioners within a fortnight to discuss and review further.||In progress|
|5||Head of Secretariat||Secretariat to review the wording of the Follow-up KPI||In progress|
|6||Head of Secretariat||Head of Secretariat to meet with supplier to provide draft proposal to Commissioners in July. ||In progress|
|7||Head of Engagement||Secretariat to discuss options for hearing on the information note on Anti-corruption and illicit financial flows with the Committee clerks.||In progress|
|8||Head of Engagement||Head of Engagement to commission service provider to produce an interactive map showing where ICAI has reviewed programmes over the past and current phases of ICAI||In progress|
|1||Head of Secretariat||Head of Secretariat to investigate inviting internal audit to a future board meeting.||Noted for future board meeting|
|1||Head of Engagement||Head of Engagement to investigate organising a briefing session for the IDC when reconstituted.||To be pursued when there is clarity on Parliamentary scrutiny arrangements.|