Fire Accountability Board Minutes 11 February 2020




Stephen Mold (SM)

Paul Fell (PF)

Paul Bullen (PB)

Louise Sheridan (LS)

Kate Osborne (KO)

Darren Dovey (DD)

Shaun Hallam (SH)



  • SM welcomed everyone to the meeting
  • Apologies were accepted from Rob Porter


Minutes and Actions from previous meeting


    • The minutes from the previous meeting were approved.
    • Relevant updates on any outstanding actions were provided and the Action Log updated


Service Strategies


  • DD updated on the work that had been done on the Service strategies since the first draft was shared in August 2019.
  • SM asked for the wording in the introduction in the Equipment strategy to be amended to remove references to under funding legacy which were thought to not be necessary in such a document.

Action – DD to change wording to match IT & Fleet strategy

  • DD provided overview of the spreadsheet that accompanied the Equipment Strategy which sets out the likely cost should the service replace everything on a ‘like by like’ basis.
  • There was a discussion about equipment that is both in and out of scope.
  • It was agreed that DD will provide a revised list of the operational requirement for NFRS.

Action – DD to provide final Operational requirement for equipment that is in scope to be replaced and send to SM


Action – Once received, SM will review alongside police requirements to see if there are any procurement opportunities. (It was noted that EMSCU for example are already doing this at procurement level).


  • There was a discussion about S106 money and the resultant financial implications of the delay in the transfer of fire governance in 2018/19.
  • Unlike many services it was noted that NFRS is completely unique in terms of its low cash reserves and base budget.
  • Current financial constraints are masked as not typical in sector where reserves are high.
  • It was agreed that PB and SM will document theses to see if there are any opportunities to request government support for special latitude for NFRS.

Action – PB/SM to document NFRS issues and raise directly with government.

  • SM confirmed he was satisfied with the strategies presented and subject to the work being completed around costings he is content to sign off.

Action – PB to raise Decision Record.




Internal audit reports


  • During 2019 NFRS were subject to a series of internal audits.
  • DD provided an overview of the key findings and recommendations including an update on progress to date.
  • NCFRA accounts payable procedures and processes were rated satisfactory but some control weaknesses were identified.
  • DD satisfied that they have good process and procedures in place but need to ensure they are enforced.
  • It was agreed that following the Procurement Board on Thursday, PB and DD will send out communication to all staff to set expectation and manage appropriately.


Action – DD/PB to send out communication reminding staff of the correct procurement procedures.

  • The Internal Audit Recommendations Dashboard was reviewed. Some of the updates need to change from red to green.

Action – DD to ask RP to update and send back to SM to close off

 SM was reassured that NFRS has better compliance than initially thought. When new Transformation Director is appointed, processes and procedures can be re-reviewed.





Chief Officer Report

  • DD advised that he will be producing a Chief Officer Report which will cover all of the improvements made by NFRS. He will send this to PB to review once complete. SM would like to add a foreword or afterword.

Fire Communications

  • There was a discussion about the support Fire are receiving from the Force Communications Team. DD paying for a service not a person. PB will raise