In keeping with the Supreme Court’s policy of openness and transparency, the minutes of its monthly Management Board are published on the UKSC website.   Minutes of the meeting held on 23 February 2010 have just been added to the site, and can be viewed here.

A number of the issues discussed during the February meeting relate to the day to day running of the UKSC, but the minutes show that a number of topics of interest were also raised.  The financials of the UKSC were considered and it was reported that year to date spending (to the end of January) stood at £4.1m, which, when considered next to its budget of £4.2m, represents an under spend of £100,000.

The minutes go on to report that the forecast for the 2009/10 end year budget suggests that there may be an overall under spend of £250,000, although it was also noted that there were a number of things that could affect this including the revaluation of Middlesex Hall.

Once again there were no parliamentary questions in the previous months.   In relation to “communications”, Sian Lewis’ paper “highlighted case coverage and commentary in the media. The terrorism assets case had received international coverage and the lifting of anonymity orders for the case was widely supported in the media”.

The minutes also discuss the UKSC’s “risk register” and report that the reputational risk arising from a perceived lack of independence has been added to the register.  It is interesting to see that the UKSC clearly recognises the importance of being seen as an independent body and that it plans to address anything that risks the public’s perception of its independence.  Other points of interest arising from the minutes are that:

• the UKSC is working on an Equality and Diversity Strategy;

• it is anticipated that Baroness Neuberger’s report on diversity in the judiciary may impact on the membership of the Justices’ selection committees;

• visitors to the UKSC had reduced in January;

• the UKSC website had received a high number of “hits” in January 2010 (34,000 compared with 5,000 in December 2009);

• the flow of Freedom of Information Act requests were steady and had all been responded to within the 20 day deadline; and

• the UKSC is considering putting Welsh Language Measures in place.