Venue: Level 5 Meeting Room, Breckland House, St Nicholas Street, Thetford IP24 1BT
Contact: Committee Services, Breckland Council Tel: 01362 656870
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2012.
It was confirmed that the actions assigned in the Minutes had been completed.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2012 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Report for Members to note and consider their response.
The Chairman introduced the review which he had found interesting and insightful. He thanked the Head of Shared Service and her team for their assistance in providing background information for the report and invited Eric Bohl to talk through the first part of the review.
Mr Bohl said that his aim was to help the Partnership decide on its future direction and delivery model. He hoped that the recommendations would be familiar and that Members would recognise the Policy Statements.
He explained the thought processes which had included looking at the current environment and prospects for growth in light of the forthcoming fundamental legislative changes.
One of the key drivers for change was that workload would remain constant even without Housing Benefit responsibilities, but there was a strong risk that the Partnership would not be fully compensated for the loss of economies of scope. There was a degree of uncertainty but he could see opportunities for growth.
In his strategic assessment he had set out what was needed for the Partnership to flourish and grow. He had identified the strengths and the issues. There was a complexity about the current ways of operating. The Joint Committee was involved in routine operational issues which could be delegated, allowing the Committee to focus on strategic issues. Evidence of how well the Partnership was doing was needed, such as benchmarking data, which would prove the Partnership’s competitiveness.
Key Policies would provide the parameters and direction to give a framework for Management. It was important to be clear about what was wanted. Currently there were no Service Level Agreements and no unit pricing. Both were needed to judge value for money and ensure a consistent approach to service delivery.
Mr Bohl suggested that to move forward it was necessary to set time aside for the Joint Committee to concentrate on future development. The complex governance arrangements needed to be scrutinised to find opportunities for delegation, to free the Committee to focus on strategic overview and scrutiny of performance. Competencies and management structure should be reviewed, to look for opportunities to streamline and free up capacity.
The Chairman invited all Members and Officers present to speak freely and comment on the report.
The Head of Shared Service noted that it was possible to provide costs for the provision of services, but those unit costs would be affected by each Authorities recharges. Change might alter costs and external and internal costs affected benchmarking.
Mr Moakes commended the report and said there was nothing to challenge in its findings which exactly reflected what Members had been thinking. The question was ‘Where next and how?”
Mr Ray asked whether the first nine recommendations were implementable immediately and Mr Bohl said that they could be undertaken before the future model was chosen, without affecting that choice.
The Chairman suggested that the Operational Improvement Board (OIB) should be instructed to work out what could be done and provide a timetable for Members’ approval.
Mr Ambrose-Smith thought that a decision was ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
Report of the Operational Board.
The Officer presented the report which proposed to bring Breckland staff into the ICT Support Team. From an ARP point of view it would provide a more seamless service. Staff were already working well together and the change would provide a slight cost saving and include some services not previously covered.
Mr Moakes was concerned about future ability to cope with growth and was advised that it would depend on the criteria. It might be necessary to grow the team but there was flexibility currently.
(i) the contents of the report be approved and that responsibility for the support of ICT for the Anglia Revenues Partnership be taken on by the West Suffolk ICT Team, noting that there is a very small saving in cost, but a demonstrable improvement in service through a more streamlined approach;
(ii) three Breckland ICT staff responsible for delivering ICT to ARP are ‘TUPE transferred’ to the West Suffolk ICT team, in line with the liabilities set out in section 4 of the report; and
(iii) an ICT Support Service Level Agreement is developed on the basis of the principles set out in the report; and
RECOMMEND TO THE PARTNER AUTHORITIES that the legal agreement between the four ARP partners is amended accordingly to reflect the change in ICT provision.
Any Other Business (Agenda Item 7)
Next Meeting (Agenda Item 8)
To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 14 March 2013, in Meeting Room 2, Level 5, Breckland House, Thetford.
The arrangements for the next meeting on 14 March 2013 at 2.00pm in Breckland House, Thetford were noted.