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BBRS SME Liaison Panel

Held virtually 1400 – 1500 on Wednesday 8th September 2021


SME Liaison Panel:

  • Antony Townsend (AT), Chair
  • Janine Alexander (JA)
  • Tony Baron (TB)
  • Mark Bishop (MB)
  • Heather Buchanan (HB)
  • Diana Chrouch (DC)
  • Nish Kotecha (NK)
  • Cat MacLean (CM)
  • Katie Matthews (KM)
  • Nikki Turner (NT)


  • Caroline Barr (CB), BBRS Board Member
  • Dan Kent (DK), Director of Quality and Change
  • Secretariat, (JL)
  • Dirk Paterson (DP), Customer Director
  • David Rose (DR), Head of Campaigns


  1. Chair’s introduction

The Chair, panel members and BBRS attendees introduced themselves. The Chair set out some principles for the panel: it would be transparent and independent and, while not a decision-making body, it would act as a source of advice, information and constructive criticism for the BBRS.

The Chair proposed that a meeting note/digest of issues discussed by the panel should be made public, but that no attribution of comments to individual panel members should be made.

Several panel members expressed support for this approach, not least to ensure that it was clear where the panel had diverged from the BBRS in its views. It was agreed that the approach to be taken was that matters discussed at meetings should be reported publicly unless there was a good reason not to.

Panel members thought it was important for SMEs and members of the public to be able to contact it, perhaps via an email address on the BBRS website alongside information the role of the panel. The Chair explained that the BBRS was in the process of setting up such a facility, which should be operational by the time the panel reconvened in October.


  • BBRS to continue ongoing work to allow public comments/suggestions to be conveyed to the panel, with a view to operationalising this by the October meeting of the panel
  1. BBRS: matters for SME Panel awareness/discussion: Post-Implementation Review (PIR)

The BBRS set out the background to the Independent Steering Group (ISG) decision that the BBRS should commission a post-implementation review.

Panel members expressed concerns about the timing of the request for feedback following BBRS Board approval of the PIR Terms of Reference, and the deadline for submitting feedback.

Several panel members commented that the PIR should be a mechanism for addressing concerns about the scope of the BBRS. One of these concerns was the eligibility criteria for the scheme.


  • Chair and a nominated panel member to discuss draft response to BBRS. Draft response to be circulated to Panel for approval.
  • Panel to submit to BBRS comments/proposed amendments to circulated PIR ToR by 24th [Extension to the deadline agreed after the meeting with the SME Liaison Panel Chair. To note that the panel is welcome to put forward possible Reviewer names for PIR Sub-Committee consideration as part of this feedback].
  • Panel member to circulate to all panel members a paper summarising the history of discussions leading to the BBRS Scheme Rules.
  1. Next meeting

The panel discussed the agenda for the (2 hr) 13 October meeting and expressed an interest in understanding key information about the BBRS scheme, such as numbers of: cases in the system, outcomes, cases deemed eligible/ineligible etc. The Chair and the BBRS explained that such information was currently being assembled for key stakeholders and that the panel would receive and be able to draw on this at the next meeting. In response to a question, the Chief Adjudicator confirmed that some complaints had now been through the system with a satisfactory resolution.


  • BBRS to supply current information relating to the scheme to support SME Panel discussion.
  • The proposed second meeting had been planned as a Teams meeting, but the Chair undertook to investigate a “hybrid” option, with some panellists meeting in person if they wished.