The Corporate Services category consists of eight indicators from a wide range of services. View the full suite of Local Government Benchmarking Framework performance indicators for this service. Corporate Services Snapshot Profile The majority of services provided are central support functions to the council's service directorates, however there are also a number of direct services provided to the public. Corporate Services consists of a number of different services areas as follows: Corporate Finance including Procurement, Internal Audit and Corporate Fraud. Human Resources and Business Support including Learning and Organisational Development and Health and Safety. Customer Services and IT, including Benefit Delivery, Corporate Debt and Welfare Reform. Democratic and Legal Services. Our Performance HighlightSupport service costs as a % of total gross expenditure We are ranked second in our Family Group for the ratio of support services costs as a % of total gross expenditure. % of total gross expenditure fell from 5.38% in 2013/14 to 4.06% in 2015/16 which resulted in our rank improving from 7 in 2013/14 to 2 in 2015/16. This percentage is also below the group average for this indicator. Our Area for ImprovementSickness absence days per employee - teachers This PI measures the number of sickness absence days, whether self certified, certified by a GP, long term illness whether paid or unpaid, industrial injury or injury. It does not include ‘other absence’ which is recorded separately e.g. maternity leave, parental leave, special leave etc. Sickness absence is a significant cost pressure for the Council and the number of sickness absence days taken across service and staff groups varies. The ability to benchmark with other Councils is important as is the sharing of information between Councils on methodologies for tackling this issue. Cost per dwelling of collecting Council Tax This indicator looks at how effective councils are at collecting the council tax due to them by looking at how much it costs the council, per household to collect Council Tax. The effectiveness of the council’s collection systems may be affected by the ability of taxpayers to pay, and the extent of enforcement action taken by the council to recover tax due to it. The following reviews are in progress: More efficient use of resources through adopting a corporate debt approach to recovery which is currently being implemented through a restructure within Customer Services and IT. Review of all processes to ensure these are streamlined and efficient and result in improved collection of Council Tax. Review of overheads associated with Council Tax collection. Regular review and reporting of performance monitoring with management and teams. What the Council is doing to improve The Council is in the process of moving to a corporate approach to recovery for all debt individuals may have. This will allow for a holistic approach to recovery of debt and an improved service for customers. Joint working with Council Advice Services and other third sector agencies ensures early intervention for those who require assistance and advice. On-going promotion of the importance of paying Council Tax and where support and assistance relating to Money and Benefit Advice may be found. Extended open hours so staff can be contacted outwith the normal working day. Targeted initiatives will be undertaken around specific areas of debt - i.e. student liability/Council Tax reduction. Using a variety of communication methods such as phone, e-mail, letters and texting to engage with customers.