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Audit Options for Sedgefield Borough Council

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7 pages
Ref. Issue Suggested Action Priority Authority’s response Officer responsible and Time-scaleprogress report1 = Low2 = Med3 = HighIntegrating Best Value into the Council’s businessR1 Minimal central support has been Members should give high 3 Members will be invited to A Modernising Team is now in Decemberavailable for review teams, due to a priority to ensuring that central consider the way forward for Best place which links the Best Value 2001drastic reduction in resourcing levels. resources for Best Value are Value including whether the and E-Government Units as aadequate to provide the support rigorous review process (R6) will modernising team reportingnecessary for service review be resourced from the centre directly to the DCS.Septemberteams. and/or by secondment of service2001A second full time officer has beenunit staff.recruited to the Best Value Unit.R2 The investment in resources for Service review teams should be 3 Adoption of the rigorous review The BV Steering Group has agreed Decembertraining staff as Best Value assessors adequately trained, resourced process (R6) will include these the adoption of a new BV 2001has been of limited value, as these and fully equipped to complete resource issues. Workbook and a revisedOctoberstaff have been pulled off review their reviews in a thorough and Procurement Strategy to provide2001teams to return to daily service timely fashion. greater direction and support.duties.R3 There is no evidence to ...
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Ref. Issue
Suggested Action
Priority 1 = Low 2 = Med 3 = High
Integrating Best Value into the Council’s business R1 Minimalcentral support has beenMembers should give high3 available for review teams, due to apriority to ensuring that central drastic reduction in resourcing levels.resources for Best Value are adequate to provide the support necessary for service review teams.
R2 Theinvestment in resources forService review teams should be3 training staff as Best Value assessorsadequately trained, resourced has been of limited value, as theseand fully equipped to complete staff have been pulled off reviewtheir reviews in a thorough and teams to return to daily servicetimely fashion. duties. R3 Thereis no evidence to demonstrateMembers should hold officers to3 Member scrutiny of the Best Valueaccount for the timely process. completionof service reviews.
R4 ManagementTeam have notA Best Value “champion” should3 demonstrated support or commitmentbe established at Management for the Best Value process, and this isTeam level with sufficient obvious to staff at all levels in theauthority to ensure that the Authority. BestValue principles are applied.
Page 1
Authority’s response
Members will be invited to consider the way forward for Best Value including whether the rigorous review process (R6) will be resourced from the centre and/or by secondment of service unit staff.
Adoption of the rigorous review process (R6) will include these resource issues.
Officer resonsible and progress report
A Modernising Team is now in place which links the Best Value and E-Government Units as a modernising team reporting directly to the DCS.
A second full time officer has been recruited to the Best Value Unit.
Time-scale
December 2001
September 2001
The BV Steering Group has agreedDecember the adoption of a new BV2001 Workbook and a revised October Procurement Strategy to provide 2001 greater direction and support.
Adoption of the rigorous reviewThe BV Workbook requiresDecember process (R6) will include theseMember input and endorsement at2001 accountability issues.all stages. October 2001 It is planned that "Best Value" willManagement Team have gainedDecember become part of a newlyMembers’ agreement to form the2001 established "Policy Unit" dealingModernising Team. The DCS is the also with Local Strategiclead Director for Best Value. Partnerships, Community September Planning and similar issues. 2001 Initially the unit will be headed by the Director of Community Services who will "champion" Best Value within the authority.
Ref. Issue
R5 Amore effective executive structure is required than the existing Best Value Steering Group.
R6 Thereis wide variation in the quality of completed service reviews.
R7 Therehas been a lack of investment in staff and Member training in the requirements of Best Value over the last year.
Page 2
Suggested Action
Priority 1 = Low 2 = Med 3 = High
Authority’s response
Officer resonsible and progress report
Time-scale
The Best Value framework at3 Adoptionof the rigorous reviewThe BV Steering Group is now anDecember Thanet should be revised inprocess (R6) will include a reviewintrinsic part of the Councils’2001 conjunction with the newof these framework issues.reporting processes. Cabinet is to October executive and scrutinybe invited to confirm the Steering 2001 functions. Groups’role to assess BV reviews and make recommendations to Cabinet. The service review methodology3 Arevised review process will beThe following changes are inDecember should be reviewed to ensureimplemented that rigorouslyplace: 2001 that the four c’s are rigorouslyaddresses the 4C's and the issues -A new BV Workbook addressed in each serviceraised under R1, R2, R3, R5, R15 review. andR16 -A revised CorporateOctober Procurement Policy2001 -All BV Reviews will include an independent review officer -E-Government review has been included in the BV Workbook -28 BV Review officers have been identified to support reviews -BV Reviews being led by an independent officer is being trialed in 2001/2002 Undertake a fundamental2 Atraining programme will beInitial discussions have takenDecember review of Best Value trainingdeveloped, possibly as part ofplace between Thanet, Canterbury2001 needs for staff and Members,partnership working withand Dover with a view to possibly and prepare an adequatelyCanterbury and Dover Councils.working together on providing resourced training programme.training for staff and Members. (Pauline Solley)
Ref. Issue
R8 Thereis a need for the Council to review Best Value progress over the last year.
Page 3
Suggested Action
Priority 1 = Low 2 = Med 3 = High
Authority’s response
Develop Best Value feedback2 TheDistrict Auditors report on sessions for Members andour 2001/2002 BVPP and for officers. futureyears will be fed back to Members and Officers.
Officer resonsible and progress report
The DA report has been considered by Management Team and by Cabinet of the 12 July 2001.
Regular progress reports on service reviews and on implementing the actions contained in the DA report will be made to the BV Steering Group.
Time-scale
July 2001 July 2001
ongoing
Ref. Issue
Performance Management R9 Thereis no performance management system in the Authority.
Suggested Action
Members should ensure that high priority is given to preparing a performance management framework.
Priority 1 = Low 2 = Med 3 = High
Authority’s response
3 Thisis being addressed and will be given a high priority.
R10 Fewservices are covered by up toThe requirement for business3 Therequirement for business date business plans.plans to be prepared coveringplans to be current will be each service area should beenforced. enforced. R11 Thereis wide variance in the quantityProvide training for staff in the2 Thepublication "Made to and quality of performance targetspreparation of SMART targetsMeasure" has been on the "G" between service areas.and local indicators.drive since January 2001. All staff will be reminded of its availability.
Page 4
Pro-active training in performance management will be provided as part of our corporate training provision.
Officer resonsible and progress report
A new Corporate Plan, which will list key aims and objectives, will be introduced to Members in October. The Corporate Targets will be inter-linked with Business Plans, Personal Performance Targets and BV Reviews and developed with R9.
A performance management system based initially on BVPI’s has been approved by Management Team and by Cabinet of the 18 December.
Will be developed with R9.
All staff have been reminded by e-mail on the 30 July 2001
The corporate training budget has been frozen temporarily as part of a cost-cutting exercise. One this has been re-instated, the training plan/programme will be drawn up and performance management will be included as a topic for training purposes. (Pauline Solley)
Time-scale
December 2001
December 2001
December 2001
July 2001 July 2001
December 2001
Ref. Issue
R12 Thereis no evidence on record to support some of the performance indicators reported.
R13 Thereare variances in the performance data between sources for individual services.
Page 5
Suggested Action
Priority 1 = Low 2 = Med 3 = High
Authority’s response
Officer resonsible and progress report
Time-scale
Provide a better audit trail for2 Allstaff will be reminded of theAll staff have been reminded by e-July 2001 the targets and estimates usedneed to maintain an "Audit Trail"mail on the 30 July 2001 July 2001 in the monitoring process.of the performance estimates and targets passed to the Best Value Unit for inclusion in the BVPP. Introduce a vetting procedure2 Allperformance data used in theAll service managers haveJuly 2001 for performance information.BVPP is obtained from aconfirmed during July 2001 the July 2001 responsible officer named by theofficer responsible for providing individual service manager. Allthe PI data. service managers will be asked to confirm the officer responsible for providing PI data.
Ref. Issue
Improving Services R14 Membershave not been actively involved in service reviews.
Suggested Action
Priority 1 = Low 2 = Med 3 = High
Members must ensure that they3 are fully involved in individual service reviews.
Authority’s response
Members will be given the opportunity to consider what their role in Best value will be.
R15 Someof the “four c’s” have not beenThe review methodology should3 Adoptionof the rigorous review covered at all during individual servicebe revised to ensure that allprocess (R6) will include these reviews, but incorporated as tasks inelements of Best Value are fullyissues. the final action plans.addressed before individual action plans are prepared. R16 Thecompete and challenge elementsIndividual service reviews3 Adoptionof the rigorous review of Best Value have not beenshould be led by assessorsprocess (R6) will include these rigorously applied in most of theexternal to the service underreview leadership issues. completed service reviews to date.review.
R17 TheBest Value Steering Group hasReview the role and2 been ineffective in ensuring reviewsresponsibility of the Best Value are conducted with rigour andSteering Group. completed on time.
Page 6
Addressed by R5 and R6.
Officer resonsible and progress report
The BV Workbook ensures involvement of Cabinet Members and other key Members in a review.
The BV Workbook is built around the 4C’s and requires that all be addressed.
Time-scale
July 2001 July 2001 and ongoing December 2001 October 2001
For 2001 reviews and externalDecember officer is part of the review team.2001 For 2002 reviews an externalOctober officer will lead the review team.2001 The Corporate BV Steering GroupDecember will receive monthly updates on2001 BV Review progress. September 2001 and ongoing
Ref. Issue
Suggested Action
Priority 1 = Low 2 = Med 3 = High
Authority’s response
Officer resonsible and progress report
The BVPP R18 Theaudit opinion was qualified due toEnsure that all the statutory3 OutstandingPI estimates andManagement Team missing performance data.performance indicators andtargets required for the targets are included in the Plan.Performance Plan are reported to Management Team who will ensure their provision. R19 Theperformance indicators andInclude more commentary in2 Commentaryof performanceCommentary was included in the targets are listed in the BVPP with nothe BVPP on the Council’smanagement will flow from thesummary 2002 LPP and will be supporting commentary.performance against annualactions to be taken under R9included in the full LPP to be targets. publishedby June 2002 R20 Moreexplanation is needed to supportProvide more information about2 Moreinformation on the reviewJim Castle the service review programme.the service review programme.programme will be included in future BVPPs R21 Thereis no clear link in the planProvide more information on2 Moreinformation on serviceJim Castle between completed reviews andservice review outcomes.review outcomes will be provided service improvements.in future BVPPs.
Page 7
Time-scale
As required
Following action R9
December 2001
December 2001
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