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FSAI Board Meeting Minutes 13th December 2022


  • Mr Martin Higgins (MH), Chairman
  • Mr Patrick Knight (PK)
  • Ms Mary Cullen (MC)
  • Prof Martin Cormican (P. MC)
  • Ms. Ann Horan (AH)
  • Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan (CFN)
  • Mr Gerard McCurdy (GMcC)
  • Prof Francis Butler (FB)

In attendance

  • Dr Pamela Byrne (PB), Chief Executive
  • Mr Kevin Roantree (KR), Board Secretary
  • Mr Ray Bowe (RB), for Item 7.5

Apologies: None

The Chair commenced the meeting with a private session of the Board after which PB and KR returned to the meeting. The Chair outlined that the Board had discussed a number of matters and provided the Executive with an overview, namely:

  • The Board had discussed that the Chair’s tenure on the Board was due to cease at end of February and the need for an Interim Chair to be appointed until the Minister appoints a new Chair. The Board stated that their preference was to engage with the DoH to seek to have MH reappointed as a temporary Interim Chair until the Ministerial appointment could be made
  • The Board requested an update on PCW1% related matters as discussed at previous meetings and the Executive provided an update. The next steps, with regard to possible payment of ‘retrospective funds’ were discussed and it was agreed that it was important to conclude the matter in line with obligations in the agreement, guidance from the DoH and in ensuring internal performance. It was noted that the matter of the PCW assessment mechanism remained under discussion.
  • The Board’s expressed concern regarding the timelines and schedule to develop the FSAI’s next strategy. It was agreed that a dedicated session of the Board to discuss the development of the next strategy should occur in the first week of February. It was requested that an updated project schedule and a proposal for the Board session be circulated once developed.

Action: PB, MH and KR to engage with the DoH regarding appointment of Interim Chair

Action: Circulate a proposed Board strategy session framework to Board members

1. Disclosure of Interests

There were no disclosures

2. Minutes of the Board meetings

The Board reviewed and approved the draft Minutes from the 8th November 2022

3. Matters Arising

The matters arising were reviewed and noted by the Board.

4. CEO Report

It was agreed that the report should be taken as read and Board members were invited to raise queries or seek clarifications as required.

The Board raised a number of queries/comments and discussions were had on the following matters:

  • The Board queried the report on salmonella found in eggs and PB provided an update and outlined the issues to be resolved between the FSAI and DAFM. The Board expressed a serious concern relating to the respective roles and responsibilities of the FSAI and DAFM when responding to food incidents.
  • The Listeria found in yogurt and cheesecake update was discussed and the Board expressed a concern that the lab results were deemed invalid and queried whether this would be investigated & whether it could constitute a legal/reputational risk. PB agreed to provide an update at the next meeting.
  • The on-going resourcing demands with regard to Brexit were discussed and an update was provided on the work being done in this area including reviewing the possible impact of regulatory divergence on consumer protection
  • The Board welcomed the update that the Executive would be engaging with the DoH with regards to the Strategic Workforce Plan (SWP)

5. Enforcement Orders

Reviewed and noted

6. Board Updates

6.1 Strategic Workforce Plan Update

PB provided the Board with a presentation on the finding of the SWP including an outline of the FSAI’s current situation and the future needs of the Authority to ensure it can meet its legal obligations and its focus on protecting consumer health in an increasing complex and expanding remit. It was discussed that there was now a need to ensure that the greatest value would be derived from the report with regard to Executive analysis and utilisation and in engaging with the DoH. It was agreed to circulate the presentation to Board members for review and feedback.

Action: Circulate the presentation to Board members for review and feedback

The Board took a 10 minute break

Mr. Ray Bowe (Chair of the FSAI Food Safety Consultative Council) joined the meeting

6.2 FSCC Annual Report

It was agreed that the presentation should be taken as read. RB provided an overview which included an update for 2022, an outline of the FSCC Governance Framework, updates from the Committee workgroups and the proposed workplan for 2023.

The Board acknowledged the professional approach adopted by the FSCC, they noted the importance of a the FSCC as a resource for the Board and commented that it was critical that the recommendations from the FSCC are captured in the next FSAI strategy.

The Board thanked RB for the overview and requested that a further update be provided to the Board later in 2023

Mr. Ray Bowe left the meeting

6.3 Draft Business Plan 2023

PB presented the draft Business Plan for 2023 and outlined the resourcing assumptions which underpinned its development, the work that the SLT are continuing to engage in to ensure the optimisation of available resources to achieve strategic outcomes and that the final version of the Business Plan would be presented to the Board once adjusted to reflect the 2023 Letter of Allocation, expected in Q1 2023.

PB outlined that the draft plan included the intention of the DoH to complete a Periodic Critical Review (PCR) of the FSAI, in line with the CoP 2016. It was commented that it would have been more ideal for the PCR to be completed to allow it to be an input into the development of the next strategy however it was agreed that the output of the PCR should be reviewed in the context of determining whether a strategic adjustment was required. It was agreed that one Board member would send comments on the Executive Summary to KR.

PB left the meeting, thanked the Board for its support during 2023 and wished everybody a happy festive break.

6.4 Scientific Committee Membership Proposal & Update

P. MC (Chair of the Scientific Committee) presented the paper to the Board and outlined that he was seeking that the Board send a letter to the DoH requesting the Minister replace Dr. Micheal O’Mahony who has resigned from the Scientific Committee.

The Board discussed and agreed to the proposal and, in addition, requested that the letter to the DoH clearly outlining that the FSSC currently does not contain a public health doctor.

6.5 ARC Update

AH provided the Board with an update from the ARC meeting held on 29th November 2022. This update included that the Committee welcomed the presentation from, and discussion with, the new FSAI Governance and Information Manager and that the Committee felt more assured regarding data protection compliance following this item. It was highlighted that the Committee felt that further adjustments, and additions, were required to the Financial Summary papers provided to the Committee.

7. Financial Summary Report

KR provided the Board with an overview of the Financial Summary Report. It was queried as to some of the significant variances presented, the difference between budgeted amounts and the associated year end forecasts. KR outlined that these variances represented decisions made by the SLT to reallocate available funding, as it arose, to prioritised areas/activities within the organisation and to ensure that all available funding was optimally assigned to deliver the business plan and, ultimately, to protect consumers.

The Board requested adjustments to the financial summary report which included extracting budgeted and actual expenditure for LAVS into a separate line item with an associated sub-total.

Action: Adjust Financial Summary Report to reflect Board requests

8. Corporate Governance

8.1 Risk Register

8.2 The Board noted the Risk Register. The Board commented that they see the description of Risk 1 (LAVS) as containing more than one risk and requested the Executive to review it. On Risk 3 (Resources), the Board queried whether the stated likelihood should be ranked up to a 4 and to ensure consistency with regard to Risk 4 and 5.

Action: Executive to review Risk Register in light of Board comments

8.2 Board Workplan 2023

The Board reviewed the Workplan for 2023. It was requested to include the PDC meetings on the schedule as well as agreed dates for Board Strategy sessions and re-circulate.

9. AOB

It was noted that Navigo had been selected to complete a Board Effectiveness Review in January/February 2023 and that KR would send Board members details of the approach to the review

Action: Email Board members with details for the Effectiveness Review

Next meeting: 7th February 2023 

FSAI Board Actions: December 2022 



Date Raised




Review the Risk Policy and Register in light of the Board’s discussions and the RAS exercise

Apr 20/ Jun 21/ Dec 21




Ensure that future PCW assessment processes are merit based

Nov 21




Recruitment and Retirement Process: FSAI Executive to review and revert to the Board on actions taken

Feb 22




Revise Finance Summary Report template to reflect Board requests.

Oct 22/ Nov 22




The Board’s proposed workplan for 2023 be posted for the November Board meeting

Oct 22/ Nov 22




Provide SWP presentation at the Dec Board meeting

Nov 22




Engage with the DoH regarding appointment of Interim Chair

Dec 22




Circulate a proposed Board strategy session framework to Board members

Dec 22




Circulate the SWP presentation to Board members for review and feedback

Dec 22




Adjust Financial Summary Report to reflect Board requests

Dec 22




Executive to review Risk Register in light of Board comments

Dec 22




Email Board members with details for the Effectiveness Review

Dec 22



 To Note: Actions raised by the Board will be placed into the Actions table and remain there until completed (or removed by request of the Chair). Once an action is completed it will be marked as such for one meeting prior to being removed.