Agenda item

Corporate Plan 2015-19: Performance Management

To present Members of the committee with an outline of the performance management of the Performance and Administration portfolio during the Corporate Plan 2015-19 period.


The Corporate Performance Manager presented the Committee with a report on the council’s Performance Management Framework (PMF) that has been implemented to monitor the delivery of the new Corporate Plan (2015-19) as endorsed by Full Council in October 2015. 


The Corporate Performance Manager referenced paragraph 2.2 to the Committee which set out the results of review into the previous PMF carried with the council’s Internal Audit team.

Alongside understanding what previously had worked well, the new Corporate Plan has established a PMF based on the following key conclusions from the review process:


·         create a comprehensive set of indicators which would enable performance management to take place across all Corporate Plan objective;

·         avoid indicators where data is difficult to collect (i.e. particularly where external partners are involved);

·         a number of indicators had targets that were not reflective of baseline performance outturns (i.e. they were ‘soft’ or their value was questioned);

·         previous Cabinet Committees received a lot more performance management information than others with a number of services not involved in the previous performance framework at all leading to a lack of accountability and preventing effective service panning.


Alongside the review process, the Corporate Performance team carried out a research project to understand the variety and volume of performance monitoring of other district authorities across the country. What was evident was that with the lack of a national framework, some council’s had removed themselves from performance monitoring in the public domain. From this research the Corporate Performance team were able to identify any gaps in the planned PMF with good practice from other authorities and equally adopt a series of indicators that will enable the ability for the authority to regularly benchmark its own performance with that of other peer authorities.


The Corporate Performance Manager highlighted paragraph 3.3 to the Committee and the accompanying table, explaining that the table shows how the Performance and Administration portfolio will be monitored in the future.


The table has five policy commitments which are supported via a number of different performance indicators with each indicator accountable to a key officer to enable consistent regular reporting back to senior management as well as the Committee.


However; the Corporate Performance Manager clarified that the fifth and sixth policy commitments, as detailed below, are to be monitored on a performance output basis at Cabinet level as they meet the challenge of government spending and generating income for the authority:


·         5.    Deliver on opportunities for the sharing and selling of Council services to         increase efficiencies and build business resilience

·         6.    Achieve financial efficiencies and improved levels of performance, by            continuously reviewing and adapting how we deliver our services


Following a question from a Member, the Corporate Performance Manager advised that five peer authorities had been identified through a number of criteria established by CIPFA to form a ‘benchmarking club’ as part of the on-going work by the service review team. These authorities alongside neighbouring Kent districts will continue to be monitored as part of future reporting of the new PMF.


The Chair advised the Committee that as part of this framework it was important for Members to take account of wider changes being made through government policy including Universal Credit implementation. It was recommended a formal report or training session by Mike Bytheway be organised for Members of the Committee. The Assistant Director Corporate Performance agreed to talk to Mike Bytheway and look into this.


The Chair advised the Committee that the first performance reports for the new Corporate Plan would be available at the next meeting in February.


A Member of the Committee commented on the complexity of the wording of paragraph 9.5 and the Committee agreed that it needed to be reworded to simpler terms and agreed in that all future wording should be simplified where possible.


Following a question from a Member, the Assistant Director Corporate Performance advised that the Council does not make a profit on planning applications put forward by GBC as the charges are set nationally.


The Chair thanked the officers for their detailed answers and stated he looked forward to the follow-up in February.


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