Minutes of the VSS Board Meeting No 70
Board Meeting Type: Strategic Board Meeting
Tuesday 12 May 2020 at 10:00am
Remote – via Zoom
Board Members Present:
Oliver Wilkinson (OW) Chair
Patricia Haren (PH) Board Member
Bertha McDougall (BMcD) Board Member
Richard Solomon (RS) Board Member
VSS Officers in Attendance:
Margaret Bateson (MB) Chief Executive Officer
Andrew Walker (AW) Acting Head of Operations
Tara Lewsley (TL) Acting Head of Corporate Services
Melissa McCartan (MM) Business Support Officer (minutes)
Apologies were received from VSS Board Member Beverley Clarke.
The minutes of the previous Board meeting held on 22 April 2020 were approved.
The Board discussed strategic matters for the year ahead and highlighted which areas they wish to focus on over the next 12 months. This included VSS’ approach to PEACE Plus, Historical Institutional Abuse, the needs of the bereaved and carers and a review of the INP frameworks and Victim Support Programme.
Other strategic issues the Board wish to discuss is how to progress the VSS needs based model and how to amend VSS’ offering of services with virtual HWB interventions - once data is gathered post Covid-19 period.
It was noted MB, AW and Chairman OW have attended various meetings with VSS funded groups in relation to PEACE Plus and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.
NIO attended the meeting from 11:00am to provide the Board with an update on the recent Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) and the Victims Payment Scheme. NIO welcomed questions from the Board and VSS Officers in attendance.
Recent Written Ministerial Statement (WMS)
It was noted the written ministerial statement was issued in March 2020 outlining the Governments new approach to addressing the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland. It was advised that, due to Covid-19, the deadline to legislate within 100 days as set out in the ‘New Decade, New Approach (NDNA)’ agreement, had not proven feasible; and the appropriate moment for further detailed engagement with the NI parties, Irish Government and wider sector was currently under careful review.
Victims Payment Scheme
It was noted legislation of the scheme is due to have effect by the end of May 2020. NIO confirmed that responsibility for the administration and implementation of the scheme is with the Executive Office. VSS noted communication in relation to the timeline of the scheme by TEO needed to be addressed as soon as possible.
The Chairman requested availability from VSS Board Members to arrange individual Zoom meetings to discuss Board Appraisals.
AP1: BSO to set up Zoom meetings on behalf of OW and issue Zoom invites to Board Members.
The next meeting of the Board is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 9th June 2020 via Zoom.