Issue - meetings

Members' ICT Options

Meeting: 12/04/2011 - Business Improvement and Projects Sub-Committee (Item 40)

40 Members' ICT Options (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 307 KB

The following documents are attached:


  • Amended report on Members’ ICT Options
  • Briefing note on Members’ Allowance


To ensure that Members receive accurate and up-to-date figures, not available at this time, additional information will be provided at the meeting.   


Members will also receive a verbal recommendation from the Joint Audit & Scrutiny Panel meeting to be held immediately before the Business Improvement Sub-Committee meeting.



Additional documents:


The Interim Business Development Manager apologised for the lateness of the supplementary report which was tabled at the meeting.  He explained that he had only recently been appointed and he had reviewed the previous report and undertaken the additional work required.


The key issue was Member support.  The hardware could be purchased by cost effective procurement through the Council but the way in which support was provided needed to be reviewed.  Some work had already been done and indicated that there was scope to improve value for money.


The report recommended Option 1 as the optimum solution, and a review of the support provision.


The Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission was in attendance.  He had also chaired the Joint Audit & Scrutiny Panel meetings.  The Panel had received the Interim Business Development Manager’s report at a meeting earlier that morning.  He said that the presentation had made a lot of sense and the Panel were recommending Option 1 with the additional note that some Members preferred desktops to laptops.


The Panel had also raised the following points:


  • ‘Twin hatters’ (Members that were both District and County Councillors) - there was concern that Breckland residents were paying for equipment used for County Council work.  The Assistant Director of Finance had advised that there was a 50/50 split between twin hatters using Breckland equipment and those using County equipment.  However, if in future more Members chose to use Breckland equipment, this would need to be reviewed;


  • There were some Citrix compatibility issues which needed to be investigated and clear guidance should be given to Members;


  • As well as laptops/desktops, Members needed to be able to scan, copy and fax documents.  Duplex printing would be more economical;


  • Member Support would need to be developed in more detail to ensure that Members were supported as fully as possible;


  • Training, specific to the equipment provided, would be required;


  • The possibility of procuring the same equipment as South Holland should be explored;


  • Reliable routers were needed; and


  • More use of ‘remote’ assistance rather than home visits.


The Business Improvement Sub-Committee Chairman noted that the option chosen had to provide best value and be fit for purpose.  There were real Health & Safety issues with the existing system of Member support and the in-sourcing of the IT contract provided a significant opportunity for improvements in IT support for the whole Council. 


Members agreed and also suggested that there might be a business case to refresh equipment on a four yearly basis in future.


The Senior Accountant Capital and Treasury noted that if Members were minded to support the recommendation they should also authorise the release of the funding required.




§         Laptops provided by the Council

§         A Member Allowance




See report.




(1)               Option 1, direct provision of a laptop/desktop and printer from the Council, with on-going support and maintenance from the IT department be approved;

(2)               a review of the provision of Member IT support be carried out in order to ensure that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40