Govcom minutes 2016-08-11

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These minutes were approved at the Govcom meeting of 2016-11-07.

Minutes of the Govcom meeting, Thursday, 11 August 2016 at Development House

Present: Michael Maggs (chair), Kate West, Carol Campbell, Greyham Dawes, Rosie Chapman.

Lucy Crompton-Reid was ill and was unable to attend.

Declarations of interest relating to matters on the agenda[edit | edit source]

There were no declarations of interest

Minutes of last Govcom meeting[edit | edit source]

The minutes of the last meeting were approved

Matters arising[edit | edit source]

It was noted that the changes to the articles had been approved by the members at the AGM, and that the changes had not been contentious. The work to define the division between strategic policies which are the responsibility of the board and operational policies which are the responsibility of the CEO has been completed. Lucy has established a schedule for the regular review of operational policies.

Succession planning[edit | edit source]

MM noted that we were pleased to have been able to attract two further high-quality trustees, both of whom were elected at the AGM. It was noted that a number of potentially suitable individuals who had been approached as possible trustee candidates had said that they were not able to make the necessary time commitments. RC noted that this is a problem faced by most charities.

We need to be as open as possible to suitable trustee candidates, for example by varying the times and places at which board meetings are held, while continuing our practice of actively encouraging suitable high quality candidates to stand. One name was mentioned for possible future consideration.

One-year review of the experience of non-trustee appointments to board committees[edit | edit source]

The presence of independent non-trustee experts on both the ARC and on Govcom has been an unqualified success over the last 12 months. Both committees have attracted exceptionally experienced new members who have integrated well and who have provided invaluable input. Since none of the external members are – for the present at least – able to join the main board, these new roles have provided the charity with significant expertise which would not otherwise have been available.

Annual board self-appraisal[edit | edit source]

The committee discussed Lucy's report on the board self-assessment exercise, and it was agreed that a report should be presented in confidence to the main board at its September meeting. The assessment indicates that trustees have confidence in their co-trustees, and that the board is working well together. This is the second time that the board self-assessment has been carried out and it was agreed that for next year the following improvement should be incorporated:

  • reduce the size of the list of points to consider, and make it more general
  • make it clearer that only a single score for each trustee is required, not multiple scores
  • ask for a separate score for the operation of the board as a whole
  • incorporate formal feedback from the CEO
  • design a mechanism for the CEO to obtain feedback from all staff members, and to incorporate staff feedback into the results

KW volunteered to provide a template for a staff survey of the type she has used elsewhere.

Govcom long-term planning[edit | edit source]

Govcom is currently happy with the governance structure of the charity, as well as the way governance works in practice. It was noted that the committee may not have sufficient business at present to make it necessary to meet every quarter, but that the quarterly schedule of meetings will be maintained in any event. Any meeting that is not required can then be cancelled near the time.

Membership of Govcom[edit | edit source]

GD said that as he was now happy with the governance structure of the charity he felt that his special skills are no longer needed on Govcom. There was a general discussion about the possibility of other trustees joining, and both KW and CC said that they would be happy to stand down if another trustee wants to accept a post on the committee.

Membership applications[edit | edit source]

The procedure for handling membership applications was discussed. It was agreed to provide a full report at the next board meeting.

AOB[edit | edit source]

It was noted that the date of the next Govcom meeting will be Monday 7 November (not Thursday 10th as previously indicated), at 2.30 pm.