Best Value Performance & Efficiency Sub-committee Of The Policy & Resources Committee - 18/09/2001
At a MEETING of the BEST VALUE SUB-COMMITTEE OF THE POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE held at Dundee on 18th September, 2001.
Julia STURROCK, George REGAN, Neil GLEN, Dave BEATTIE, Allan PETRIE
Councillor Glen was substituting for Councillor Mervyn Rolfe.
Councillor Julia STURROCK, Convener, in the Chair.
Unless marked thus * all items stand delegated.
I BEST VALUE REVIEW OF MAILROOM, TAYSIDE HOUSE
There was submitted Report No. 563-2001 by the Chief Executive reporting on the Best Value Review of the Mailroom, Tayside House, function within the Support Services Department.
The Review accounted for 6.4% of the Department's Administration Division Revenue Budget at a budget cost of 150,748 and 37.4% of the total expenditure reviewed in the Administration Division 2001/2001.
The Sub-Committee approved the following recommendations:-
(a) that the Director of Support Services should continue to provide mailroom services on behalf of Council Departments.
(b)to note the areas identified for continuous improvement as follows:-
annual customer survey
maintain high standards with regard to critical success factors, in particular flexibility
improve flexibility by providing mail uplifts from departments within Tayside House to allow improvement and spread of mail processing workload
implement pilot scheme of mailroom staff delivering mail to local Solicitors' offices currently posted via Hays Document Exchange
mailroom staff to assist City Archivist with records management within Archives when workload permits
II BEST VALUE REVIEW OF DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL'S HOMELESS SERVICE
There was submitted Report No. 609-2001 by the Chief Executive reporting on the results of a Best Value Review into the Homeless Service provided by the Housing Department as part of the Council's Best Value Review process.
The Review accounted for 1.3% of the Department's Revenue Budget at a budget cost examined of 430,150 reviewed.
The Sub-Committee agreed the outcome of the Review as contained in the report and approved the Director of Housing's proposals for continuous improvement outlined in Section 13 of the Report.
III RENT ARREARS IN COUNCIL HOUSING
There was submitted Report No. 617-2001 by the Chief Executive reporting on the Best Value Review of the Rent Arrears process as it pertains to house rents within the Housing Department. The report was essentially concerned with the maintenance of current tenants' current rent accounts.
The Review accounted for 1.3% of the Housing Department's total Revenue Budget in the financial year 2001/2001. No additional costs or savings will result but if financial targets are achieved, some 250,000 additional rental income will be collected over the next three financial years.
The Sub-Committee agreed to the continuous improvement proposals as follows:-
(a)to continue with the improvement action plan agreed at the Housing Committee in March 2000 and detailed in Appendix 5 of the Report.
(b)to implement the action detailed in Appendix 6 of the Report.
(c)to undertake the action outlined in Appendix 7 of the Report.
(d)to avoid unnecessary delays in processing arrears action via routine audit checks on performance. To be introduced from January, 2002.
(e)to amend rent arrears procedures to better illustrate officer responsibility and to accommodate any necessary changes as a result of agreed action items e.g. improved recording of case information. To be completed by December, 2001.
(f)to investigate the feasibility of developing a range of sound benchmarking criteria in consultation with other local authorities and major Housing Associations. To be completed by March, 2002.
(g)to adopt a standard repayment formula in an attempt to provide greater guidance to staff and ensure greater consistency of approach and fairness to the setting of arrears payment agreements. To be completed by March, 2002.
(h)to examine ways in which the communication process between the Housing Department and other Council departments could be improved. To be completed by December, 2001.
(i)to train Housing staff to use earnings arrestment appropriately. To be completed by October, 2001.
(j)to undertake further investigations to determine if an external organisation could provide a comprehensive arrears service more economically and effectively than the current In-house team. To be achieved by June, 2002.
IV BEST VALUE REVIEW: EMERGENCY PLANNING SERVICE 2000/2001
There was submitted Report No. 242-2001 by the Chief Executive reporting the result of the Best Value Report into the Emergency Planning Service provided by the Support Services Department as part of the Council's Best Value Review process.
The Review accounted for 1% of the Revenue Budget of the Administration Division of the Support Services Department at a budget cost examined of 46,000. This represented 11% of expenditure reviewed in this Department in 2000/2001.
The Sub-Committee agreed to develop the Service within existing structures with the aim of ensuring that Officers with sufficient knowledge of the emergency planning arrangements are available to respond to an emergency at any time.
In addition, the Sub-Committee approved the following recommendations:-
(a)that a Council wide emergency planning liaison group be set up under the chairmanship of the Director of Support Services or Administration Manager.
(b)that the Emergency Planning Officer arrange further half-day seminars to brief key staff on local emergency planning issues.
(c)that the Emergency Planning Officer prepare a training plan to ensure that staff are adequately trained for their emergency role.
(d)that a complete review of Dundee City Council's Civil Emergency Plan be undertaken and a report presented to the Chief Officers' Management Team by September, 2002.
(e)that the Emergency Planning Officer carry out an annual survey to determine that progress is being achieved in relation to issues identified in the course of the Best Value Review.
(f)that discussions are initiated to explore the possibility of developing mutual aid arrangements with Fife Council, in addition to those currently in place with Angus and Perth and Kinross through the Regional Emergency Co-ordinating Planning Group (RECAP).
JULIA STURROCK, Convener.