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Board minutes

In the interests of transparency, the CCRC publishes minutes of our Board meetings, which are generally held every other month.

We also hold a public Board meeting once per year, which is typically held in November. This meeting provides an opportunity for members of the public to gain insight into the important work that the CCRC carries out.

We hope that this page provides you with the information you need to better understand the workings of the Criminal Cases Review Commission and its commitment to ensuring that the best possible reviews of potential miscarriages of justice take place.

Most recent Board minutes – 30 January 2024

Meeting held remotely by video conference

Present:

Mrs Helen Pitcher (Chairman)
Miss Karen Kneller (Chief Executive)
Ms Amanda Pearce (Director of Casework Operations)
Mr Peter Ryan (Finance & Corporate Services Director)
Mr David Brown (Non-Executive Director)
Mrs Linda Lee (Non-Executive Director)
Mr Rob Ward (Non-Executive Director)
Mr Mark Oldham (Independent Non-Executive Director)
Mr Martin Spencer (Independent Non-Executive Director)
Mr Andre Katz (Independent Non-Executive Director)

In attendance:

Item 7 – Mr Wayne Gough (WG) (Head of Business Planning & Performance)
Item 8 – Mr Alex Simpson-Vince (ASV) (Head of Information Governance)
Item 9 – AOB Mr Paul Napier (Head of Communications and External Affairs) and Mr Chris Webb (Communications Adviser)

1. Welcome and declarations of interest:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting. There were no apologies and no declarations of interest.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting and matters arising:

The minutes of the Open Board meeting held on 27 November 2023 were approved.

3. Chairman’s update:

The Chairman advised that she had been spending been a significant amount of time talking to the Ministry of Justice regarding various issues, including resourcing. She has also been responding to correspondence from MPs and applicants.

The Chairman reported that she recently had her appraisal with the Chief Operating Officer at the MoJ who advised that he was pleased with the overall performance of CCRC but recognised that resourcing is an issue, and that case review will slow down if this is not addressed.

4. Chief Executive’s update:

The Chief Executive provided a verbal update to the Board. It was reported that SLT are juggling several important issues, and although they would endeavour to maintain ‘business as usual,’ inevitably there may be some delay in providing responses.

The CEO advised that the MoJ business case regarding Commissioner fees remains outstanding.

The CEO updated the Board in respect of potential legislation in respect of Post Office Horizon cases. We will continue to engage with MoJ to ensure we can provide assistance.

The Management Information Pack was noted by the Board. In respect of the casework archive, the CEO confirmed that this is a long-standing piece of work nearing completion. It will form part of the communications strategy and will be housed on the CCRC website in due course. It will be used to inform people of the work of the Commission.

5. Casework report:

The report was received and noted. The Casework Operations Director reported that performance against most KPIs is good save for Long Running Cases where there has been an increase in cases open for over two years.

Intake remains high, with an 18% increase on last year. The COD advised that it has been a sustained increase over several months and will be monitored before confirming if this is the new ‘normal.’ The COD also reported that there has been a 25% increase in case completion.

The Chairman thanked the COD for her report and stated that it is commendable that the team is still performing well despite the ongoing resourcing issues.

6. Queuing Cases:

The Casework Operations Director led a discussion on the various options for queuing cases, should it become necessary. This is because of the sustained increase in applications. The Board agreed that a sixth casework group was needed, and that funding should be provided to facilitate that. It was agreed that it was important, should queuing become necessary, to ensure that groups of applicants are not disadvantaged, and that communication is transparent.

Having discussed queuing at the Board, the COD proposed that she now shares this with staff for their input. The COD agreed to report back the findings from this consultation enabling the Board to make an informed final decision regarding the various options.

7. Review of Corporate Plan and Proposed Business Plan Actions

The report was noted by the Board. The Head of Business Planning & Performance reported that whilst there had been solid performance in many areas, there are some areas which were challenged because of insufficient capacity currently and funding issues.

It was agreed that it was important to maintain flexibility given challenges facing the CCRC and the extra strain on BAU caused by diverting resources to address those challenges. The introduction to the plan would emphasise the current pressures facing the CCRC. The revised plan will be presented at the next Board meeting in March.

8. Information Governance report:

The report prepared by the Head of Information Governance was noted by the Board. A question was asked as to whether the CCRC had been the subject of any cyber-attacks. ASV confirmed that none had been reported.

ASV confirmed that our IFG framework is comparable to that of other organisations and is compatible with ISO 27001 standard.

The Chairman thanked ASV for this report and re-iterated that this is a very important part of the business.

9. AOB:

There was a discussion in respect of communications attended by Paul Napier, Head of Communications & External Affairs, and Chris Webb, Communications Advisor.

Date of next meeting:

19 March 2024 10.30 – 12.30

Board minutes archive

Our archive of meetings goes back to April 2020, allowing you to review the decisions and discussions made by the Commission since then.

2023 Board minutes

2022 Board minutes

2021 Board minutes

2020 Board minutes