Minutes and actions of the 56th board meeting held on 2 December 2019
Tamsyn Barton (Chief Commissioner and Chair)
Hugh Bayley (Commissioner)
Tarek Rouchdy (Commissioner)
Andrew Forbes (Secretariat)
Ekpe Attah (Secretariat)
Ellie Harte (Secretariat)
Gemma Roberts-Kinnear (Secretariat)
Goknur Ozer (Secretariat)
Lauren Pett (Agulhas items 2,3,4 and 5)
Marcus Cox (Agulhas items 2,3 and 4)
Miriam McCarthy (Secretariat)
Nick Ford (DFID Procurement item 7)
Nabila Jiwaji (Secretariat)
Nigel Thornton (Agulhas items 2,3,4 and 5)
Colette Wigham (DFID Procurement item 7)
Pauline Worthington (Secretariat)
Minutes and Actions from September 2019 Board
The minutes of the December 2019 ICAI Board meeting were agreed, and the Secretariat updated Commissioners on action points from the previous meeting.
The Secretariat clarified that the quarterly lessons learned workshop for Commissioners referred to in action 14 is in addition to the lessons learned events after each individual review.
The Secretariat advised that the website updates referred to in action 9 were ready but on hold during the pre-election period.
Business Update including GDPR and Safeguarding
The Secretariat updated Commissioners on forecast spend for year 1 of Phase 3 and noted that the level of spend was consistent with ICAI’s overall 4-year budget.
Three new FOI requests had been received since the last Board, one of which was outstanding.
Action 1: Head of Reviews to organise the first quarterly lessons learned workshop for Commissioners.
Action 2: Head of Communications to investigate organising a briefing session for the IDC when reconstituted.
Action 3: Business Manager to update table 5 in the annex to include the full cost of each review.
Corporate Risk Register
The Commissioners discussed the Corporate Risk Register and considered the type and number of risks which should be included on the register. Discussion included potential risks around the process for selecting topics for review, ICAI’s engagement with HMG, ‘back office’ functions and the ongoing implications of Brexit for ICAI’s work.
Action 4: Head of Delivery to provide Commissioners with briefing showing the opportunities for HMG to interact with ICAI during the production of reviews
Action 5: Head of Delivery to retain the risk on Brexit but keep the wording under review over time.
Commissioners reviewed and noted performance against the corporate KPIs
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.
The Head of Secretariat updated Commissioners on proposed revisions to the Theory of Change and KPIs.
Issues discussed included:
- how ICAI should measure impact,
- whether measuring impact was best carried out in-house or externally,
- the challenges of setting meaningful numerical targets,
- the risk of creating perverse incentives,
- the challenge of setting KPIs that measure our performance when the responsibility for acting on ICAI’s recommendations is ostensibly with HMG, and, if KPIs are measuring other organisations’ performance, how ICAI monitors progress.
The Board agreed the updated Theory of Change and Commissioners were generally happy with the wording of the proposed new KPIs, noting that the KPIs and Theory of Change would continue to develop over time. However, they felt more work needed to be done on the metrics within the KPIs and agreed to discuss again at the next Board.
Action 6: Head of Secretariat to prepare a paper for the next Board with further suggestions on targets to be used in KPIs.
Following the Commissioners’ decision at the last Board to add a scoring mechanism to the follow up review based on evaluation of progress since the original review report, the Head of Reviews proposed options for the type of scoring system to be used and the pros and cons of aggregation of scores.
- to score the response to each ICAI recommendation as Adequate or Inadequate.
- that the Commissioners would then decide on an aggregated score for each review and this aggregated score should be published in the report alongside an explanation as to how the that score had been reached.
- To present this visually as a Tick for Adequate or a Cross for Inadequate.
Commissioners agreed that they would retain the option to carry out a further follow up on any question where they felt the response and progress was inadequate.
Action 7: Commissioners Tarek Rouchdy and Sir Hugh Bayley to take on the role of peer commissioners for the reviews being followed up and to agree who will be the peer commissioner for each review.
Action 8: Head of Reviews will update the Follow Up TORs to include the agreed scoring mechanism.
The Head of Reviews updated Commissioners on the current and future workplan noting that Review Manager vacancies within the Secretariat were impacting on the ability to scope the reviews on African Youth, Deforestation, China in Africa and Safeguarding as well as delaying work on identifying future review topics. Commissioners agreed that, in accordance with the recommendations of the Tailored Review of ICAI, it would be inappropriate for this work to be carried out by an external supplier. Agulhas offered to help with providing some mapping of topics to support the scoping exercise.
Action 9: Commissioners to consider Agulhas’s offer to provide mapping for identified review topics.
The Head of Communications presented the new ICAI communication strategy to Commissioners, who welcomed the strategy and the objectives of impact, salience and accountability and learning. The Head of Communications will continue to work on identifying new tools and carry out further research into ICAI’s audience. The Board agreed the new communications strategy.
The Head of Secretariat provided a briefing on the nature of ICAI’s classification as an advisory non-departmental public body and operating model, noting that the Triennial Review in 2013 and the Tailored Review in 2017 had previously reviewed both. The Board noted the paper and that ICAI might be reviewed again in the next Parliament.
Nick Ford and Colette Wigham from DFID procurement team explained the Phase III tendering process and updated Commissioners on the follow up to the two ICAI reviews on Procurement.
|1||Head of Reviews||Head of Reviews to organise the first quarterly lessons learned workshop for Commissioners.|
|2||Head of Engagement||Head of Engagement to investigate organising a briefing session for the IDC when reconstituted.|
|3||Business Manager||Business Manager to update table 5 in the annex to include the full cost of each review.|
|4||Head of Delivery||Head of Delivery to provide Commissioners with briefing showing the opportunities for HMG to interact with ICAI during the production of reviews|
|5||Head of Delivery||Head of Delivery to retain the risk on Brexit but keep the wording under review over time.|
|6||Head of Secretariat||Head of Secretariat to prepare a paper for the next Board with further suggestions on targets to be used in KPIs.|
|7||Commissioners||Commissioners Tarek Rouchdy and Sir Hugh Bayley to take on the role of peer commissioners for the reviews being followed up and to agree who will be the peer commissioner for each review.|
|Head of Reviews||Head of Reviews will update the Follow Up TORs to include the agreed scoring mechanism.|
|Commissioners||Commissioners to consider Agulhas’s offer to provide mapping for identified review topics.|
|1||Head of Reviews||Head of Reviews to keep portfolio under review and return to the March 2020 Board with any updates|
|2||Head of Reviews||Head of Reviews to include an internal budget guideline in each review specification|
|3||Commissioners||Commissioners to provide feedback to Head of Engagement on website design|
|4||Head of Reviews||Head of Reviews to set up a quarterly lesson learnt workshop with Commissioners|
|2||Secretariat||Secretariat to review induction of service provider team leaders with the new service provider.||In progress|