Agenda item

Governance & Performance Monitoring (Quarter 4 2012/13) (Agenda Item 9)

Report of the Assistant Director for Democratic Services.



The Joint Performance Team Leader was in attendance to present the report.


She advised Members that it had taken two years to get a clear format for quarterly reporting.  The report was the first attempt and could be improved in the future.


The foreword explained the vision and provided a key to interpret the report.  Two symbols were missing; a purple ? and an orange ! – both of which indicated missing data.


Each priority started with a summary which outlined how the projects were progressing.  One concern was that the Corporate Plan covered a four year period and it was not possible to deliver all aims every year. 


Rather than go through the report page by page Members were invited to ask questions.


Councillor Kybird noted that an unsatisfactory audit opinion was being discussed at the Audit Committee.  He asked if such an issue would appear on the risk register.


The Joint Performance Team Leader said that quarterly meetings were held to discuss risk.  She was not aware of the unsatisfactory opinion but it would be dealt with.


Councillor Bambridge commented that the format of the report did not display well on Members’ computers.  The multi-column report was not easy to read and so Members would want a paper copy.  He could see the advantages of the format but thought that a wide screen was needed to view it electronically.


The Joint Performance Team Leader noted that in pdf format there was a tool which would shrink the layout down, but she agreed that that made it less clear to read.  She thought the report might be one exception to a paperless future.


The Chairman noted that there were quite a few downward red arrows.


The Joint Performance Team Leader explained that although it indicated the direction of travel it did not necessarily mean that the target was not being met.  It had to be taken in context with the status of the action and would be a bigger issue if the status was orange or red.


She said that there would never be a report which was all green.  The challenge was to get accurate information and officers had been asked to be open and honest.  The Performance Board looked at all poor performance and questioned the Service Manager to find areas to give support to get the issue back on track.


The Chairman wanted the Commission to receive regular reports to allow them to scrutinise areas of concern and support the process.  Lessons could be learned from things that were going well and it was important to pick up on what was going wrong.


The Joint Performance Team Leader explained that the report went to the Programme Board, then CMT, then the Portfolio Briefing before coming to the Commission and finally on to Cabinet.


The Chairman asked Members to go through each page and raise any concerns.


On Page 49 the number of empty properties was a concern.  The Joint Performance Team Leader advised that the service restructure had affected progress and the figures showed the position at the end of the year.  Since then it had become a key Corporate project and a lot of work was being done.


On Page 55 Councillor Rogers was concerned that a huge amount of money was being spent in Thetford and Attleborough but very little in Watton.


On Page 56 Councillor Kybird noted that Moving Thetford Forward was scrutinised by its own Programme Delivery Panel.  There had been a failure to agree on the ownership of parking places in Pine Close and the Leader of the Council was in negotiation with the Housing Association.


The Chairman asked for that matter to be put on the agenda.


On Page 57 Councillor Bambridge noted that there could be severe financial impact for failure to meet the major planning application target and the Chairman thought it needed to be reviewed regularly.


On Page 61 regarding ICT platforms, Councillor Bambridge knew that there had been a hold-up with Licensing.


The Chairman was concerned that the information was 13 weeks old and it was too long for the Commission to wait to find out there was a problem.  The Joint Performance Team Leader agreed that it was unacceptable and suggested that the information could be published to the Intranet for Members to view once it had gone through the Programme Board and CMT.


The Chairman asked for a ‘snapshot’ to be sent to the Scrutiny Officer 10 days in advance of each Commission meeting so that issues could be highlighted and feedback provided by the Commission.


The Joint Performance Team Leader advised that projects and risks were only updated quarterly.  The indicators were updated monthly.


The Chairman thanked the Joint Performance Team Leader and hoped that the Commission would be able to offer more constructive comments in future.

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