NHSCFA Board meeting 14th March 2023

Minutes of NHSCFA Board meeting - FCG-BOA-MIN - Meeting – 14.03.23

Version: 1.0

Date: 14/03/23

Meeting time: 09:00 – 09:45

Meeting title: NHSCFA Board Meeting (single agenda item via TEAMS)


  • (TT) Tom Taylor (Non-Executive Director – Chair, NHSCFA)
  • (AF) Andrew Flanagan (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (AC) Alyson Coates (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (AR) Alex Rothwell (Chief Executive Officer, NHSCFA)
  • (MJB) Matthew Jordan-Boyd (Director of Finance & Corporate Governance, NHSCFA)
  • (TM) Tricia Morrison (Director of Performance & Improvement, NHSCFA)


  • (AS) Ann Sturgess (Head of Business Support & Board Secretary, NHSCFA)
  • (SS) Sonia Sousa (Governance & Assurance Assistant, NHSCFA note taker)


  • (MS) Martin Spencer (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (JS) Jayne Scott (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)
  • (GH) Gaon Hart (Non-Executive Director, NHSCFA)


TT welcomed all to the meeting.


Apologies were received from Martin Spencer, Jayne Scott and Gaon Hart.

Declarations of interest

No new declarations of interest were made.

DFU Procurement Process

TT commenced the meeting with a brief introduction and then handed to AR and MJB.

AR reflected on the learning concerning governance issues and confirmed that this has been taken into account in the annual review of both Standing Orders (SO’s) and Standing Financial Instructions (SFI’s) which are due to be presented at the Board meeting on 27.3.23.

MJB echoed AR’s comments and clarified that although there are two single tender awards which require retrospective approval, the contracts themselves have not yet started. The Board noted the matter was discussed at length offline between the various parties (including NAO). MJB opened for questions

AF queried why the use of a certain software was the only option. MJB explained that due to the ISO accreditation we hold and also our needs in terms of meeting deadline requirement this particular software is the best option. MJB recognised this had limited the time available to identify a wider range of other possible solutions.

AF also queried if the request for approval of hardware only, rather than the whole interconnected procurements package, doesn’t mean non-compliance with the SFI’s. AS clarified that due to the unique requirements of the department in question, each contract finishes at a different time and therefore it is not possible to treat it as one. TT requested this to be made clear in the paper produced for the next Board meeting where it’s applicable

AP175 – Upcoming review of the SFI’s and SO’s to include a detailed review in terms of the contract amounts that require Board approval

AC noted that all her questions had been appropriately answered by MJB offline.

Board members queried if these governance issues were mainly due to lack of resources. MJB and AR gave assurances lessons were learned and procedures will be put in place to tighten the governance arrangements in this area. AR added he is comfortable with the current approach to delivering Digital Forensic Services both internally and externally however confirmed this does not preclude exploration of alternative delivery models in the future (e.g. additional collaboration or partnership approaches) which may allow a better return on investment.

The Board formally approved the following regarding the Digital Forensic Unit (DFU) procurement proposal:

  • (retrospectively) two single tender awards made in 2022
  • the larger contract with a value of approx. £692
  • waiving of formal tendering

TT informed all attendees he will attending a meeting with Lord Markham to discuss delivery of Counter Fraud work and efficiency opportunities.

TT confirmed a significant number of Board appointments are currently being held pending ministerial responses and there is no current induction on the timescale for when the CFA appointments will be advertised.

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