Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

8.

Apologies

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Cllr Conrad Broadley and Cllr Colin Caller; Cllr Derek Shelbrooke and Cllr Brian Sangha attended as their respective substitutes.

 

9.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2017 were signed by the Chair.

 

10.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

 

11.

Corporate Performance Update – Quarter Two 2017-18 (July - September 2017) pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To present Members of the Performance and Administration Committee with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as set out within the council’s Corporate Plan 2015-19, for Quarter Two 2017-18 (July to September 2017).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Performance Manager presented Members of the Performance and Administration Committee with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as set out within the council’s Corporate Plan 2015-19, for Quarter Two 2017-18 (July to September 2017).

 

The Corporate Performance Manager explained that although two performance measures hadn’t been met; overall the performance is strong and in many of the areas the Council is ahead of the Kent average.

 

The Director (Corporate Services) the Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) and the Corporate Performance Manager fielded questions from the Committee and highlighted the following:

 

  • Internal Audit and Counter Fraud are monitored through the Finance & Audit Committee which receives biannual reports. Management Team also receive quarterly updates and Audit reports are issued to relevant Directors.
  • 32 Internal Audit recommendations have been completed, leaving 16 outstanding. The remaining recommendations largely relate to constitutional updates which take time to progress.
  • PM 11: The outturn for Q2 is 2.7 days below the stretching target of 18 days put in place for 2017/18, albeit 1.3 days ahead of the equivalent Kent average (as at Q1 2017/18). In Q2 resources were stretched primarily due to staff sickness and the summer holiday season. As in previous years we will be looking to improve and reach our target over the course of the second half of the year.
  • Analysis has been completed on staff sickness and stress and anxiety levels were found to be considerably lower than initially thought. There is a sub-group of the Overview Scrutiny Committee that is currently looking at sickness and stress and the impact on staff at GBC.
  • Benefits change of circumstances can be processed quicker because a lot of information is now provided electronically.
  • PM 9 – PM10: Council Tax collection is on track to achieve the target. Business rates collection: last year the Council achieved a record level of performance for the authority, 99.11%. The team will continue to work towards matching this success.
  • As long as people inform the Council about a change in their income / ability to pay; GBC can help and, if necessary, change the arrangement to suit their financial situation.
  • Debt will only be written off in circumstances where there is clearly no chance of recovering the debt.
  • PI 45: the percentage of posts involved in shared services arrangements increased from 4% to 6% (equating to around 25 to 30 officers) with the launch of the shared legal service. Looking forward; Revenues and Benefits shared service with Tonbridge & Malling is expected to be in place by July 2018. The shared HR service with Medway is progressing and a three way shared Environmental Health service with Medway and Tonbridge and Malling is also being explored.
  • Processes are in place to ensure that ‘voluntary resignation’ is a last resort for those officers who do not wish to transfer to another authority as part of a shared service arrangement. In the case of the Revenues and Benefits shared service; a satellite hub will be established at GBC, home working capabilities will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Corporate Register of Partnerships 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To inform Members of the Performance & Administration Committee of the council’s involvement in partnerships that are within the remit of the committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) informed Members of the Performance & Administration Committee of the council’s involvement in partnerships that are within the remit of the committee.

 

The current partnerships that most directly relate to the work of the Performance &

Administration Committee are as follows:

 

  • Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Service
  • Revenues & Benefits Shared Management Arrangement

 

The Committee considered each partnership and noted the information provided within the report.

 

13.

Draft Procurement Strategy pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director (Corporate Services) provided Members of the Performance and Administration Committee with a copy of the updated draft Procurement Strategy before it is formally approved by Cabinet, and to provide any comments the Committee may have to the Portfolio Holder for Performance and Administration.

 

The Procurement Strategy is intended to set out the principles that the council will follow in the acquisition of goods, works and services from third-party and in-house providers. The current strategy was last fully reviewed and updated in 2011.

 

The draft Procurement Strategy is presented at appendix two to the report and has been prepared with the assistance of procurement colleagues from Medway Council. The strategy sets out, at a high level, how the council will ensure its procurement activity is legally compliant and supported by economic and efficient processes, whilst also seeking to support local businesses in bidding for opportunities with the council.

 

The Procurement Strategy will be presented to Cabinet on 8 January 2018 for approval. At that meeting, suggestions made by the Overview Scrutiny Committee at their meeting on 19 October will also be considered.

 

The Director (Corporate Services) explained that the Council no longer has an in house procurement arrangement; instead GBC have a shared arrangement with Medway, on an hourly-rate basis, and consider opportunities for joint procurement across Kent when appropriate opportunities are identified.

 

The Committee noted the Draft Procurement Strategy.

 

14.

Oral Update on Universal Credit

Minutes:

The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) provided the following update to the Committee on Universal Credit:

 

Since implementing the Universal Credit (UC) live service on 18 May 2015 we have received 362 notifications from JCP where a claim has been made for UC.  This includes HB claimants and non-dependants.

 

We have actually cancelled 40 Housing Benefit claims where they rent from the Council and 33 Housing Benefit claims where they rent from a private landlord.  Based on the current caseload count this equates to 1.176% of 3,401 rent rebate (council tenant) claims and 1.049% of 3,147 rent allowance (private tenant) claims.

 

We have calculated 220 Council Tax Reduction claims which equates to 2.976% of our current caseload of 7,391.

 

Housing Rents currently have 29 Managed Payments in place.

 

We have a few customers who receive a monthly Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) payment to help with their rent.

 

The take up of the Personal Budgeting Support (PBS) service at CAB has been very slow.  We currently have one case outstanding, but in the few cases that we are aware of the claimant fails to attend the PBS interviews.

 

In May 2016 the full Universal Credit (UC) service for all working age claimant types began to rollout nationally (beyond London) and in July 2016 it was announced that this rollout will complete by September 2018.

 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Transitional Rollout Schedule was updated in October 2017 due to changes being made to the DWP Jobcentre estate network and to coincide with the pace of rollout being scaled up to around 50 Jobcentres per month.

 

Gravesham Borough Council (Gravesend JCP) is scheduled to transition to the full Universal Credit service on 21 February 2018.

 

After the rollout process has completed, DWP will then begin moving all remaining existing benefit claimants to the full Universal Credit service in 2019.

 

There are effectively 3 phases for the full transition:-

 

  • On go-live date LA’s must shut down the gateway and not allow any new working age claimants to claim Housing Benefit (HB) from Day 1.  They must claim UC unless they fall within one of the exception groups which will remain with HB.  Those are:-

 

Ø  Specified/Supported Accommodation

Ø  Households with 3 or more children

 

  • There will be the natural migration as a result of changes in legacy benefits (e.g. Tax Credits etc)

 

  • Managed migration which will start for us in May 2017, 3 months after going onto the ‘full’ service and the caseload migration will not be completed until at least 2023/24

During managed migration customers will stop receiving UC on the ‘live’ service and will have to reapply within 7 days to receive UC on the ‘full’ service continuously and any partners will also have to complete their section of the claim.

 

 

The DWP refer to the roll-out as being an ‘Agile’ process with constant changes.

 

General feedback is that in Year 1, Working Age caseload has the potential to reduce by 15-35%. This then slows down as generally speaking  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.