Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions
WELCOME AND APOLOGIES
Apologies were received from Cllr Claire Stewart and it was noted that Cllr Andrew Stafford is no longer on the workstream.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No declarations were received.
To receive a report on capital expenditure, staff reductions and agency numbers.
The Chair sought to clarify the total cost of Enfield 2017 over the timescale of the project. He queried whether the costs were:
· Consultants-directly related to the project
· General overheads
Paul Kearsey, Assistant Director Transformation advised that there is very little hardware costs as there has been a move away from this. Whilst, it used to be the case that hardware was needed to sit alongside the software this is no longer the case. There will still be some desktop equipment, but this would have to be recycled and replaced over time anyway.
The Council now uses the Azure cloud based solution for storage as opposed to hosting the software on its own servers. The cost of cloud storage is factored into the cost of all new software.
There has been investment in software and development, a key part of this is the investment in the WIFI networks. Investment was needed to maintain the speed of the internet and keep up with the increased volumes of internet traffic; now that more and more devices connect to the Council’s internet so this needs to be resilient and to keep increasing speed to keep up with this demand.
Members were advised that investment would have been needed anyway; and that there will always be an element of maintenance in the ICT infrastructure. Some of the savings made by these improvements will need to be reinvested in improving technical capability. Similarly some of the other software would also need to have been replaced as well.
The Chair wanted details of the total cost over the lifespan of Enfield 2017. £16 million was set aside when the savings were agreed at Cabinet in October 2014 and then at Council in November 2014. However the scheme was accelerated to achieve the savings faster. This raised the costs to between 4-5 million to achieve this. Paul advised that within this there were also some major systems that would have needed to be upgraded anyway as they could no longer be supported on the system; Care First (the Adult Social Care system); the telephone system; and the Housing system. These were all additions to the originally agreed Enfield 2017 programme.
The total cost of Enfield 2017 including these additions was £21,551,572.52 roughly 2 million of this was overspend. This is due a large increase in the scope from what the project was originally set out to do. Also over the course of the project there have been good and bad suppliers and some projects did not deliver as originally planned necessitating more work. Power BI is an example of this where the providers had to be changed.
The budget and the process are managed by the Strategic Delivery Board. The decision was taken at this board to increase the scope of the project and every major change has also been reported to this board.
Whilst the workstream were advised that the audit trail of the project is through the Strategic Delivery Board, they have ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
To receive the final Internal Audit Report.
The Audit report was then discussed and the workstream noted that this questioned whether the benefits were as substantial as originally expected.
The report queried the difference between the cashable savings reported to Cabinet and those within the benefits tracker maintained by Corporate Finance.
There was particular concern with the non cashable benefits of the programme and the report identified this as high risk suggesting action going forward. Paul confirmed that there were no monitoring arrangements in place for non cashable benefits and that there is still work to be done to both realise and track the non cashable benefits.
The Enfield 2017 has been very challenging and there are a number of factors increasing the complexity for Local Authorities; severe budget cuts; the fact that local authorities offer a very broad range of unconnected services (in excess of 800); and some of the council’s processes are very complex to digitise. The removal of 600 staff in less than one year has also added to the challenge.
The Enfield 2017 project is now closed, no non cashable benefits were ever specified or baselined. Instead, the focus was only ever on cashable benefits these being the delivery of products and the removal of posts.
A number of measures of non cashable benefits were discussed such as maintaining the quality of service, increased take up of services 24/7, the amount of failure demand (not getting things right first time, progress chasing etc).
Going forward a number of potential methods were discussed; failure demand could be recorded; satisfaction with website; staff surveys; and monitoring of the hubs to see if they providing the resilience that was promised, and can they provide a one stop customer service).
Members discussed the example of fly tipping; the ease of access to this service has improved and resulted in increases in demand. This may create an issue of demand management in the future.
Members were advised that Audit will monitor and track the actions recommended in this report and will not close this down until resolved.
The Audit report went to the Strategic Delivery Board last Thursday. The Board also discussed major programmes coming up. All new projects will be monitored on Verto. On this system each project details of the scope and the benefits both cashable and non cashable will be recorded. All major projects already in place will also be migrated onto Verto in the same level of detail.
Paul advised that there will be starting over the summer/autumn a full cultural audit of the organisation which be completed by external consultants. This will look at whether staff feel empowered, are collaborating, engaged and their responses to change management amongst other things.
Enfield 2017 had completed the visible side first and the Council will now need to look at the cultural side.
Members felt that the Council needs to seek and understand the views of staff, specialised organisations and groups and the general public.
The appeared to be a lack of a corporate ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
To receive a report on the feedback that the workstream has received.
Susan O’Connell advised that the report on feedback involved meeting with the main advisors at Age UK, attending a staff meeting of CAB, sitting in a drop in session with the Over 50’s Forum and attending a full meeting of Enfield Vision.
General comments that were echoed were at the start of the report and then issues were grouped. General views were that the website was very helpful for the IT literate but provided a barrier for those who had difficulties using IT. They all found everyone very helpful once they spoke to someone on the telephone they did not want this service to be automated.
Further comments were detailed on; issues with online forms; resistance to connected account; website and telephone glitches.
Both residents and organisations were not clear where people can still go to get face to face services from the Council. The general public do not understand the difference between the hub libraries and normal libraries.
Since speaking to the organisations immediate work has been undertaken on some of the issues that were raised with officers from the hubs.
Whilst all computes in every library have the specialist software for the blind installed, the staff did not know how to use them. Following on from this there are now guides for the system for staff and braille guides for users at all hub libraries. Unfortunately these are not available at non hub libraries due to space limitations.
Organisations raised that forums that used to exist to discuss changes to welfare reform no longer existed and expressed concern that they might not be providing the correct advice. Working with officers from the hubs ways to regularly disseminate and discuss information around welfare benefit reforms and universal credit has now been found within existing resources.
Some issues that were identified on some of the online forms have also now been resolved.
Members felt that not everything could be digitised and that IT could have been more targeted at user groups who would most benefit. They also discussed going forward could processes be simplified and whether it was necessary for customer to provide so much information at the start could a simple online triage process be used instead.
AGREED ACTIONS AND DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS
To discuss possible draft recommendations including the evidence base and any agreed actions from the meeting.
It was agreed that this would be the final meeting of the workstream and a report would be produced.
The notes from the meeting would be circulated very shortly, members were asked to think about the recommendations that they may wish to put forward on this workstream. A report would then be drafted.