Agenda and minutes

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No. Item




An apology for absence was received from Cllr Gurbax Singh.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 237 KB


Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were made.



Corporate Register of Partnership - July 2022 pdf icon PDF 292 KB

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The Head of Internal Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Service presented Members of the Performance and Administration Committee with an update of the council’s involvement in partnerships that are within the remit of the committee. The paper is for information only purposes.


No questions were presented.



Corporate Performance Update: Quarter One 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 218 KB

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The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) and the Head of Internal Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Service presented Members of the Performance and Administration Committee with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as introduced within the council’s Corporate Plan, for Quarter One 2022-23 (April to June 2022).


Any outturns where data has been unable to be reported will be presented within the next appropriate reporting cycle.


The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) highlighted the following:


PI 23 – Average processing time taken for Housing Benefit claims (days)

In Q1 the average is 22.4 days compared to 16.4 days in Q4. Performance is not as high, our target is 20 days historically, so we are above that. In the month of August, we managed to process claims in 19.6 days so that shows we are starting to move towards expected performance.


Our performance for the previous year compared to national figures was, for all new claims, one day better than the national average and also one day better than the Kent average so that puts it into context.


As explained at the last committee, the move to Universal Credit for new claims means that councils only receive the more complex cases which are supported or temporary accommodation and pension age claimants. The mean average is affected by more complex cases. We had a meeting with the DWP performance team who advised that despite our concerns they deemed our performance as Good in comparison to other local authorities. That being said, we are looking to improve this and get it back to the average processing days that we had in the past year or so. We have recruited to all vacant posts now. We do have one member of staff shortly going on to maternity leave, but we do have support from an external agency which we have had for a number of years now. We have greatly reduced the amount of outstanding work and in the past month we had reduced it by a quarter, so we are starting to make in-roads. Benefits is a complex area, and it takes 6-12 months for a person to be fully trained, that being said, new staff are already having a positive impact on the workload and also performance but where we are clearing workloads it will affect the mean average.


PI 24 – Average processing time for changes of circumstances in Housing Benefits claims (days)

This is 11.5 days compared to the previous year outturn of 4.4 days. Our target has been 5 days so again that is much higher than we would have liked for the same reasons given for new claims. Q4 figures where national average was 3 days and Gravesham, and Kent average was also 3 days so we were on a par with the national average. One thing that has impacted greatly on my service is the requirement to make payments in a number of areas, one of those was energy payments and so to update committee:


We have paid out  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.


Annual Review of the internal Audit and Counter Fraud Shared Service pdf icon PDF 298 KB

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The Head of Internal Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Service provided Members of the Performance and Administration Committee with a copy of the annual review that has been conducted in respect of the Internal Audit & Counter Fraud shared service with Medway Council. The report is for information only.


In terms of justification to continue the partnership arrangement, the budgeted share for Gravesham is around £214k. Were we to have continued with the original in-house internal Audit and Fraud Teams that we had before the shared service, costs would be approx. £303k for the current year and so we currently save £89k.


Three actions were identified for service improvement for the coming year relating to quality control process, 90% compliance with PSIAS and increasing awareness of counter fraud services across both councils.


No questions were presented.


The Committee noted the Internal Audit and Counter Fraud Shared Service Annual Review Report.