Agenda and draft minutes

Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 13th July, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Virtual meeting with restricted public access

Contact: Rob Castle on 033 022 22546  Email:  rob.castle@westsussex.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

13.

Declarations of Interest

Members and officers must declare any pecuniary or personal interest in any business on the agenda.  They should also make declarations at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting.  Consideration should be given to leaving the meeting if the nature of the interest warrants it.  If in doubt please contact Democratic Services before the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

13.1       In accordance with the code of conduct, the following personal interests were declared: -

 

·       Cllr Walsh in respect of item 4, End of March 2022 (Quarter 4/end of year) Quarterly Performance and Resources Report – as a member of Arun District Council

·       Cllr Linehan in respect of items 6 and 8, Variation of Contract with Entserv UK Limited (DXC) for a Corporate Business Management Solution (Smartcore) Appendix – as a friend/business partner of someone who works for Oracle

14.

Part II Matters

Members are asked to indicate at this stage if they wish the meeting to consider bringing into Part I any items on the Part II agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

14.1       The Committee queried why parts of the item could not be held in Part I and was informed that, as advised by the Monitoring Officer, the information contained within the report was commercially sensitive.

15.

End of March 2022 (Quarter 4/end of year) Quarterly Performance and Resources Report pdf icon PDF 88 KB

A report by the Chief Executive and Director of Finance and Support Services setting out the corporate performance, finance, workforce, risk and capital programme positions as at the end of March 2022.

 

The Committee is asked to examine the data and supporting commentary for the Performance and Resources report and make any recommendations for action to the relevant Cabinet Member or Scrutiny Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

15.1        The Committee considered the End of March 2022 (Qtr 2) Quarterly Performance and Resources report by the Chief Executive and Director of Finance and Support Services (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

15.2        Summary of responses to committee members’ questions and comments: -

 

·         The relationship between the underspend and the relationship to savings through working from home was because the savings number was embedded in the underspend

·         The reduced expenditure on Members’ travel, expenses, training and refreshments due to remote working has been included in the budget for 2022/23. If any further savings are realised due to  remote working, online meetings, utilities costs and how employees work under the smarter working programme, these will be factored into future budgets ACTION – Katharine Eberhart to provide details on reduction in Member spend

·         A certain percentage of aged debtors is set aside for doubtful debt provision, which has been adjusted to be more prudent during covid. This will be considered again for 2022/23

·         Officers confirmed that the Council was not expecting to receive more covid grants from the government

·         Officers explained that the Oracle Fusion sprint phase was the part of the delivery programme when the design was tested to see if it met expectations

·         The report reflects the position up to 31 March 2022 so does not include information on changes to the Smartcore contract which arose later

·         There was a request that variance information is included in future Performance and Resources Reports to show the inflationary impact on Capital Programme projects

·         The figure for square metres of operational property has increased as it includes both the existing Durrington site (Centenary House) and the new one (Bridge House)

·         The percentages quoted in Key Performance Indicator (KPI) 52 are cumulative

·         Technical accounting adjustments in ‘Portfolio In Year Pressures and Mitigations’ are additional expenses on the budget, not an adjustment between accounts

·         There was a query as to why some Capital Programme items that have slipped are listed in the Finance and Property Capital Programme rather than service portfolios. This is because the person who administers that part of the Capital Programme sits within Finance & Property

·         The aggregated cost of the Council’s services compared to its statistical neighbours is based on returns made to the government, then specialist bodies compare councils in various categories

·         Statistical neighbours are those closest to each other in profile and demographics

·         The benchmarking provides useful information to understand where the Council could improve its value for money, but comparisons are difficult as all Councils operate differently. The information generates questions to ask about service provision but does not provide the answers

·         The risk (CR68) to deliver existing work plans has stayed the same due to consequences of the ongoing covid pandemic

·         A new fire station for Littlehampton is no longer in the One Public Estate programme – this could be because, after a feasibility exercise, not all partners have the money to progress the project – ACTION: The Leader to arrange a briefing on this for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Treasury Management Annual Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Report by the Director of Finance and Support Services setting out the performance of the Treasury Management function in 2021/22.

 

The committee is asked to review and comment on the Treasury Management Annual Report and make any relevant recommendations for action to the Cabinet Member for Finance and Property in relation to Treasury Management activity.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

16.1        The Committee considered the Treasury Management Annual Report 2021/22 (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

16.2        Summary of responses to committee members’ questions and comments: -

 

·         All current borrowing was at fixed rates so was not impacted by inflation

·         The percentage of borrowing on the Capital Programme against the revenue budget increased from 3.5% to nearly 6%

·         The Council did not have an overdraft, if it did it would incur costs

 

16.3        Resolved – that the Committee: -

 

                        i.         Recognises the need to monitor inflationary pressures, specifically on the borrowing requirements in relation to the Capital Programme

                       ii.         Thanks officers for the very informative and full report and the work undertaken throughout the year

17.

Variation of Contract with Entserv UK Limited (DXC) for a Corporate Business Management Solution (Smartcore) - Focus for Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Report by Director of Law and Assurance.

 

The appendix attached for members of the committee (Part II) sets out the urgent action decision that has recently been taken to approve a contract variation to provide the contractual basis for the successful implementation of the Smartcore programme and its costs to the Council.

 

Committee is asked to review the urgent action decision report and make any comments to the Cabinet Member for Support Services and Economic Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

17.1       The Committee considered the Part I report, Variation of Contract with Entserv UK Limited (DXC) for a Corporate Business Management Solution (Smartcore), by the Director of Law and Assurance (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

17.2       The Committee was told that the scope for the project wasn’t wrong from the outset and that more detail would come to its September meeting.

 

17.3       The Committee regretted that it had not seen the advice from the Monitoring Officer regarding restricted information before the meeting.

 

17.4       Resolved – that the Committee agrees that the report, Variation of Contract with Entserv UK Limited (DXC) for a Corporate Business Management Solution (Smartcore), by the Head of Procurement & Contract Management and Smartcore Programme SRO would be discussed in closed session (Part II).

 

18.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The Committee is asked to consider in respect of the following item(s) whether the public, including the press, should be excluded from the meeting on the grounds of exemption under Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as indicated below, and because, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption of that information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

Exempt: Paragraph 3, financial or business affairs of any person (including the authority).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

18.1           Resolved – that in respect of the following item the public, including the press, be excluded from the meeting on the grounds of exemption under Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as indicated below, and because, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption of that information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. Exempt: Paragraph 3, financial or business affairs of any person (including the authority).

Part II

Additional documents:

19.

Variation of Contract with Entserv UK Limited (DXC) for a Corporate Business Management Solution (Smartcore) Appendix

Report by Head of Procurement & Contract Management and SmartCore Programme SRO (for members of the Committee only).

 

The Committee is asked to consider the attached appendix.

Minutes:

Summary of discussions in Part II – the Committee learned that the urgent action was necessary due to late agreement with DXC on the way forward and that a further report would come to the Committee in September with more details of the variations to the contract.

 

Resolved – that the Committee: -

 

     i.        Raises concerns around the scope of the contract and why issues were not foreseen

    ii.        Recognises the need to learn from the contract issues for future projects

   iii.        Refers detailed questions to officers for further clarity and explanation

  iv.        Welcomes a further report to the committee in September

Part I

Additional documents:

20.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be at 10.30am on 9 September 2022 at County Hall, Chichester.  Probable agenda items include: -

 

·         End of June 2022 (Quarter 1) Performance and Resources Report

·         Staffing and cultural issues arising from scrutiny of the Performance and Resources Report

·         Smartcore Project

·         Pre-decision scrutiny of the procurement of a Multi-Disciplinary Consultant

 

Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 25 August 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

20.1       The Committee notes its next meeting will take place on 9 September 2022, commencing at 10.30am.