Youth Justice Agency governance

Governance arrangements within the Youth Justice Agency including register of board members and the Youth Justice Agency Audit & Risk Committee membership and remit.

Organisational structure

The Chief Executive is directly accountable to the Minister for the Agency's performance. He is supported in discharging the day to day responsibilities by a Management Board, which comprises:

  • Director of Youth Justice Services
  • Director of Custody
  • Director of Corporate Services
  • two Independent Board Members

The current top management structure is as follows:

Role Member
Chief Executive Stephen Martin 
Director Youth Justice Services Colleen Heaney
Director Juvenile Justice Centre Mary Aughey

Director Corporate Services

Paul Gibson
Independent Board Member Dr Thomas Moore
Independent Board Member Dr Richard Horton

Register of board members interests

The Agency maintains a Register of Board Members Interests.  Where a Board member or employee is connected to a party involved in the supply of goods or services to the Agency, this information will be fully disclosed in the Annual Report and Accounts of the Agency.




Declaration of Interests

April 2024

Stephen Martin

Chief Executive Officer

  • Director (unpaid), Kilcreggan Homes Ltd


  • Member of Board sub-committee on Resources and Risk, Belfast Central Mission BCM).


April 2024

Richard Horton

Non-Executive Board Member

  • Partner is a member of the NI Judiciary.
  • Member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

April 2024

Dr Thomas Moore

Non-Executive Board Member

  • Chair of Board of Governors, Southern Regional College.

April 2024

John McCord

Independent Member of YJA ARC

  • Board member/Director of Kirkgate Developments Limited – a subsidiary of Grampian Housing Association. This is an unremunerated, voluntary position.

April 2024

Mary Aughey

Director Custodial Services


April 2024

Colleen Heaney

Director Community Services


April 2024

Paul Gibson

Director Corporate Services


Youth Justice Agency Audit & Risk Committee

The Agency's Audit & Risk Committee is chaired by Dr Richard Horton, Independent Board Member. The terms of reference for this Committee are replicated below.


The Accounting Officer/Management Board has established an Audit  and Risk Committee to support them in their responsibilities for issues of risk, control and governance by reviewing the comprehensiveness of assurances in meeting the Accounting Officer’s and Board’s Agency’s assurance needs and reviewing the reliability and integrity of these assurances.


The members of the Audit Committee are:

Role Member(s)
Independent Board Members  Dr Richard Horton: Dr Thomas Moore
Independent Representative John McCord
Chair Dr Richard Horton

In attendance

The following will also normally attend Audit Committee meetings:-

Representing YJA                     

  • Chief Executive
  • Director, Custodial Services
  • Director, Youth Justice Services
  • Director, Corporate Services
  • Financial Services Division
  • YJA Accountant
  • YJA Security Manager

External representatives           

  • Head of Internal Audit
  • NI Audit Office representative


The Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee will provide the Management Board and Accounting Officer with an Annual Report, timed to support finalisation of the Accounts and the Governance Statement, summarising its conclusions from the work it has done during the year.


The objectives of the Audit and Risk Committee are to advise the Board and Accounting Officer on:-

  • The strategic processes for risk, control and governance and the Governance Statement;
  • The adequacy of arrangements for internal control and risk management including the preparation of the Governance Statement;
  • The accounting policies, the Accounts and the Annual Report of the organisation, including the process for review of the accounts prior to submission for audit, levels or error identified and management’s letter of representation to the external auditors;
  • Planned activity of internal audit and external audit;
  • The results of internal and external audit activity including ensuring appropriate action has been taken;
  • Assurances relating to the corporate governance requirements for the organisation;
  • Anti-fraud policies, whistle blowing processes and arrangements for special investigations; and
  • The Audit Committee will also annually review its own effectiveness and report the results of that review to the Management Board


The Head of Internal Audit and the representative of External Audit will have free and confidential access to the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.


Committee meetings will be held on a quarterly basis.  The Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee may convene additional meetings, as they deem necessary.

A minimum of 2 members of the Audit and Risk Committee will be present for the meeting to be deemed quorate.

The Audit and Risk Committee may ask other officials of the organisation to attend to assist it with its discussions on any particular matter.

The Audit and Risk Committee may ask any,or all, of those who normally attend but who are not members to withdraw to facilitate open and frank discussion of particular matters.


All papers for consideration by the Audit and Risk Committee should be received by members 5 working days in advance of the meeting.

Information requirements

For each meeting the Audit and Risk Committee will be provided with:-

  • A report summarising any significant changes to the organisation’s strategic risks and a copy of the Corporate Risk Register; and
  • A progress report from the Head of Internal Audit summarising:-
    • Work performed (and a comparison with work planned);
    • Key issues emerging from Internal Audit work;
    • Management response to audit recommendations;
    • Changes to the agreed Internal Audit Plan; and
    • Any resourcing issues affecting the delivery of Internal Audit objectives.
  • A progress report (written / verbal) from the External Audit representative summarising work done and emerging findings(this may include, where relevant to the organisation, aspects of the wider work carried out by NIAO, e.g. Value for Money reports and good practice findings);
  • Any Management assurance reports; and
  • Reports on the management of major incidents, ‘near misses’ and lessons learned.
  • As and when  appropriate:-
    • Proposals for the Terms of Reference of Internal Audit / the Internal Audit Charter;
    • The Internal Audit Strategy;
    • The Head of Internal Audit’s Annual Opinion and Report;
    • Quality Assurance reports on the Internal Audit function;
    • The draft Accounts of the organisation;
    • The draft Governance Statement;
    • A report on any changes to accounting policies;
    • External Audit’s management letter;
    • A report on any proposals to tender for audit functions;
    • A report on co-operation between Internal and External Audit;
    • Internal Assurance reports/action plan updates; and
    • Information Assurance Reports.


These terms of reference for the Audit and Risk committee will be reviewed as part of the annual Self - Assessment / Health Check or at any other time deemed necessary.

Board Minutes

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