Venue: Conference Room 4B - Tŷ Hywel. View directions
Contact: Liz Jardine
Introductions, apologies and declarations of interest
Apologies were received from Elisabeth Jones (Chief Legal Adviser) and Lowri Williams (Head of HR). There were no declarations of interest.
Communication note to staff
Anna Daniel would draft a note of the Management Board discussion for the staff news page.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The minutes of 10 October Management Board meeting were agreed as a correct record.
Siân Wilkins introduced the discussion as Mental Health Champion, explaining that her role was to work with HR to promote and facilitate policies and activities, and to be a sounding board, keeping a strategic view of the direction of travel.
Mental Health related issues constituted a third of staff sickness absence records in the past year. It was important to build on the positive response to activities, sessions and advice provided by staff and invited external organisations for Mental Health Awareness Week held at the Assembly in October, in order to support those suffering mental health issues and those line managing them.
Management Board discussed the next steps, agreeing that the workshop sessions had been powerful in instigating conversations but noting they should address issues that were relevant to staff, such as long working hours, with effective support in place to manage issues that might arise. The Board also recognised the importance of addressing contributing factors that could create stress, for example, responding to emails out of hours.
HR had talked to the mental health charity, MIND, who offered training for line management, and general awareness and resilience training. The Assembly also had a Mental Health and Wellbeing network in place.
Action: the Board agreed that workshop sessions would be helpful but that a holistic approach was needed to equip the organisation to manage such situations effectively. Siân Wilkins to work with HR to progress.
The Board continued its discussion from the meeting on 10 October, revisiting the posts not agreed at that meeting in order to explore further and consider timing and prioritisation. An updated spreadsheet was provided showing in-year and year-on-year costs to 2020 for the approved proposals and those to be revisited, to ascertain the impact of the proposals on the budget.
To add context, Nia Morgan provided an outline of the latest financial management report for October, following adjustments to the forecasts received from Service areas. Taking into account the effect of the capacity plans that had been approved on the committed expenditure, Nia asked Heads to provide accurate forecasts, early intelligence on commitments and a reduction in the occurrence of retrospective orders, to help manage the increased costs and mitigate any risk of overspend. Heads should let Nia know if any extra support was needed from the Finance team.
Craig had considered each plan and whether there had been sufficient consideration of bilingual capacity to deliver our services. While he was content that all capacity planning documents had provided some focus on this, it would be important for Service Heads to consider regularly their bilingual capacity in the light of the ambitions in the draft Official Languages Scheme.
Dave Tosh provided the Board with an overview of the Security proposals having prioritised the requirements. In line with the aspiration to be world class but with a growing demand on the existing security team and the necessity for greater flexibility around the working day, the review had identified the need for a revised structure and additional posts, the cost of which would be offset to an extent by reduced overtime and agency costs. The Board supported the proposal and agreed that it should go to the Investment and Resourcing Board (IRB).
The Board also discussed ways to help the security team feel more a part of the organisation, for example, through secondments to other service areas and Heads arranging visits to their team meetings, in such a way to fit with the constraints of the security rotas, to update them on projects and activities. It was noted that the Welsh Language Tutor Manager was already considering meet and greet training for them ‘in situ’.
The remaining proposals were considered and it was agreed that the ICT, Strategic Transformation, Communications, Coordination Unit and Policy and Legislation Committee Service proposals would be taken forward to IRB for further scrutiny. Furthermore, the Board agreed that:
· Sulafa Thomas would liaise with Non Gwilym, Lowri Williams and Anna Daniel to explore further the function and location of the internal communications proposal;
· The agreed TS role in Coordination unit would be deployed wherever needed to provide support to other service areas;
· Non Gwilym and Nia Morgan would look at the Communications requirements to assess the budget implications; Non to provide a structure chart with the request to IRB; and
· Chris Warner and Siân Wilkins would attend IRB to discuss the requirements for support to committees.
The remaining posts were not required imminently and so put on hold to review as projects and anticipated activity progresses. The Board agreed there was no need to review the proposals that were not approved at the previous meeting.
The Board also briefly discussed:
· the MySenedd programme and the support that would be needed to take ideas forward into deliverable projects. It was agreed to extend a marker around project management for the future;
· the implications and pressures on teams who have people who are seconded; and
· what was needed in terms of HR and accommodation to support the proposals.
Action: Heads to review the 2016-17 costs and confirm, or advise if anything could be delayed or needed to be added.
Claire Clancy thanked the Management Board members for the well-prepared work that underpinned the capacity planning process, which meant that full account, based on sound evidence, was being taken of the challenges that the Assembly was facing.
Any other business
Gareth Watts would circulate the new risk policy for comment ahead of it being presented to Audit and Risk Assurance Committee on 21 November.
The next Management Board meeting would be held on 12 December.