Agenda item

Operational Performance

To receive the Annual Report


The Head of ARP presented the annual report which highlighted the activities and performance of the Partnership from 1 April 2015.


In 2015/16 the major initiatives and issues related to the following:


·         understanding and reacting to Welfare reform changes;

·         the transfer of Housing Benefit Fraud to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and determination of what fraud services should be retained;

·         the introduction of an in-house Enforcement Agency (Bailiff service);

·         Phase 2 of the integration of all 7 partners to bring out equalisation of service provision;

·         development of a commercial strategy and trading arm for future growth and efficiencies.


The Head of ARP informed Members that the transfer of the retention of an ARP Fraud Team, following the transfer of Housing Benefit fraud services to the DWP had been a great success; targets for 2016/17 year had already been reached and therefore would be reviewed very soon.  He commented that the performance of the Team was to be admired for the way they had transformed the way that they worked.


The in-house Enforcement Agency had generated a surplus of £277k which had far exceeded expectations.  A number of Councils had shown interest in having their service delivered by the ARP Enforcement Agency Team.  The end of June results would be brought to the next meeting.


The Business case to create a single officer core bringing Fenland, Waveney and Suffolk Coastal into the ARP and to bring processes and procedures together on one Document Imaging System had almost reached completion whilst maintaining excellent performance.  The implementation of the second phase was already underway.


As far as commercial trading was concerned, negotiations had commenced with customers in relation to the ARP Enforcement Agency work.  Quotes for this work were in progress.


Finally, 2015/16 had been a very good year in terms of performance and the year ahead was looking the same. 


The Chairman felt that this was a very encouraging report.


Councillor Every asked when the development of the Business Plan was going to appear on the agenda.  Members were informed that this was being worked on at the moment.  There were actually 3 strands to it, the first, the bailiff service, had already been implemented, the Housing Benefit fraud transfer to the DWP had also been agreed and the third strand, the wider, bigger areas would be coming back to the Joint Committee in the near future.


The Corporate Director for Fenland District Council stated that the Operational Improvement Board was doing a great deal of work at the moment putting some clear milestones in place was very important.  He pointed out that the presentation that the Committee would see sight of later in the meeting would expand on this.


The Executive Director for Commercialisation (BDC) informed Members that an overarching strategy would be brought back to a future meeting along with business cases and saw no reason why the said Strategy could not be signed off in September.


It was agreed that new targets in relation to fraud would be circulated via email to the Joint Committee Members.


The report was otherwise noted.


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