Transform, Innovate and Change (TIC) Programme

Annual Report 2015/2016

 &

 Business Plan 2016/2017

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Foreword2

Introduction3

Section 1  - What is TIC and what are our objectives3

                      Governance Arrangements4

                    The TIC Team5

                    TIC Methodology & approach6

 

Section 2  - What did we achieve in 2015/16 ?

                     Work Programme  2015/16 8

                     Efficiencies and Cost Savings 10

                     Case Study – School Meals Returns Process12

                     Communications 14

                     Learning and Development14

                     National and Regional Working 15

                     External Validation16

 

Section 3 – TIC Projects - Case Studies

                     Projects supported during 15/1617

                     Completed projects – monitoring role32

                     List of projects completed in previous years 36

 

Section 4 – TIC Business Plan 2016/17

       Key Objectives 2016/1738

                    

 

 

 

 

 

Foreword

Many of you will know that we have recently undergone an exercise to refresh our core values and to understand and develop the workforce in a better way. We have also developed our People Strategy whose key themes are to Lead, Support and Engage, and I believe that the TIC Programme has a key role to play in supporting each of these aims.

It’s hard to believe that almost 4 years has passed since the TIC Programme was first launched, but I believe the work of the team is just important as when it was first established back in 2012. As an Authority, we are still in a situation where budgets are diminishing and there is a perceived uncertain future, but we must ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’. This phrase to me, means trying to maintain a positive attitude, whilst still looking to make a difference.

Over the course of the last 4 years, hopefully the organisation has developed a better understanding of the role and purpose of TIC, and that it is an ‘enabler’ and not an ‘enforcer’ of change. The role of TIC is to act as a critical friend, but who will also help services find solutions in the support of change and improvement.

Last year I asked people to come forward with the issues that those people thought that we as an organisation should focus on. This year I would like to see if there are any issues within your particular department or service area that YOU feel would make a difference to the Council. All staff have an integral role to play and I hope that you will take up this year’s challenge.  

My grandmother used to say with regularity, ‘Look after the pence and the pounds will look after themselves’. While many of the TIC projects involve reviews of services with budgets of millions of pounds, very often it is by changing little things can have such a big impact. For example, a review of how we deal with manage our  out-going mail and postage has  resulted in over £200k of savings, and I am delighted to say that the TIC team has helped identify or deliver over £6m of efficiency savings since the programme was first launched back in 2012.

Well done to all and keep up the good work.

Cllr.  Mair Stephens, Executive Board Member – HR, Efficiencies & Collaboration.


Annual Report 2015/16 & Business Plan 2016/17

 

Introduction

·         This combined Annual Report and Business Plan provides an opportunity to reflect on the work of the TIC Programme over the last year. It also provides an opportunity to look ahead to the programme’s work for the coming year and sets out some key objectives to support our longer terms of achieving sustainable change and improvement.

 

Section 1

What is TIC and what are our objectives?

 

·          The TIC programme was established in response to the severest of financial challenges, set against a backdrop of rising public expectations, increasing service demands and ‘getting better at what we do for less’.  Hence the purpose of the team is to help us “achieve a sustainable financial future through transformation, innovation and change’.

 

·         The Programme aims to support the delivery of the Council’s Corporate Strategy by ‘improving its use and management of resources to deliver more efficient and effective services’.

 

·         TIC also has a key role in supporting the three themes of the People Strategy namely:

o   Engage – Employee Engagement and Wellbeing

o   Lead – Leadership and Management

o   Support – Supporting Transformation and Change

 

·         The focus of the programme is on supporting cultural and behavioural change by thinking differently, acting differently and therefore delivering differently (i.e. not because ‘we have always done it this way’). The natural and intended consequence of delivering against these principles is eliminating waste and doing more with less.

 

·         The Programme is focussed on delivering the following objectives :

 

·         Putting customers first

·         Improving and re-designing services

·         Challenging existing ways of working

·         Reducing waste

·         Delivering efficiencies

·         Facilitating and driving organisational change

·         Sharing learning and knowledge

·         Seeking and exploiting opportunities for collaboration


Governance arrangements

TIC Programme Board

·         The programme is underpinned by clear and robust governance arrangements, with political accountability operating through the Executive Board member for HR & Efficiencies, Cllr. Mair Stephens, and a cross departmental Programme Board, chaired by the Chief Executive.

 

·         The project board meets on a bi-monthly basis and is responsible for providing strategic direction, agreeing a work programme, monitoring progress and project outcomes and identifying and over-coming barriers to change.

TIC Programme Board - membership

 

Mark James  - Chief Executive

Steve Pilliner – Technical Services Department

Robin Staines – TIC Head of Service lead

David Astins – Education and Children’s Department

Chris Moore – Director of Corporate Resources

Alison Wood – HR Advisor

Jonathan Fearn/Ian Jones – Chairs of Heads of Service Group

Deina Hockenhull – Communications Advisor

Wendy Walters – R&L Departmental representative

Jon Owen – TIC Programme Manager

Dylan Owen – Social Care, Health and Housing

Sam Watkins – TIC Senior Officer

 

·         Cllr Mair Stephens, Executive Board member for HR & Efficiencies,  is also invited to attend meetings of the TIC Programme Board

 

·         Robin Staines, Head of Housing and Public Protection, acts as the strategic lead for the TIC Programme.

TIC Programme Governance Framework

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The TIC Team

 

Wider team

 

·         The wider TIC team is made up of staff who undertake TIC duties as part of their substantive roles, and includes staff who directly lead and support on TIC projects, and those who provide an advisory and support role covering areas such as finance, communications and IT.

·         During the course of the year, we have sought to widen representation on the group and to ensure that every department now has a representative at TIC team level.

 

Robin Staines

Cllr Mair Stephens

Alan Howells

Owen Bowen ( Financial Advisor)

Angharad Lloyd Probert*

Samantha J Watkins*

Cheryl Reynolds

Sarita Bennett (IT Advisor)

Jon Owen*

Simon  Williams*

Victoria Williams (Communications Advisor)

Robert Jenkins

Sue John

Gareth Millar

 

* Full time TIC support

       

Core TIC Team

·         One of the initial drivers for establishing the TIC team in September 2012 was the recognition of the need to provide full time support and capacity to drive forward a new approach to the efficiency agenda.  

·         Core Team Structure – December 2015

Jon Owen

TIC Programme Manager

Sam Watkins

TIC Senior Officer

Angharad Lloyd Probert

TIC Officer (secondment)

Simon Williams

TIC Officer (secondment)

 


 

TIC Approach and methodology

Selection of projects

·         The TIC programme to date has been made up a range of corporate and service based projects. Proposals for projects can emerge from a number of sources, including elected members, CMT, departments or individual members of staff.

 

·         The prioritisation and selection of projects for inclusion in the TIC Programme is then undertaken by the TIC Programme Board, taking into account factors such as its potential to deliver financial efficiencies, service improvement or provide opportunities to work collaboratively with other public sector partners

 

·         However,  due to the increasing scale of the financial challenges that lay ahead of the Council, the TIC Programme Board agreed that the work of the TIC team should be focused on larger scale, transformational projects where there would be the potential to deliver greater efficiency savings. This objective was then reflected in the team’s business plan for 2015, where projects such as Income and Charging, Back Office, and Mobile and Agile Working projects were added to the programme.

 

TIC Methodology

·         The TIC Programme is underpinned by a flexible and pragmatic approach, and makes use of a range of methods and techniques depending on the nature of the project.

 

·         Many of the projects adopt traditional project management techniques, and are underpinned by robust governance structures and utilise a variety of methodologies based around data analysis and process review work to identify the potential to deliver cost/efficiency savings.  Examples of projects that are adopting this approach include: Income and Charging, Printing and Correspondence and Fleet Management. As part of its consideration of the TIC Business Plan for 2016/17, the Corporate Management Team also agreed that the management and delivery of projects could be further strengthened by allocating a Director or Head of Service to act as ‘strategic lead’ on some of the larger, cross-cutting projects.

 

·         One key features of the TIC approach, is that as well as helping supporting services to identify the potential for change, it will actually provide capacity and support to make change happen, often through re-designing working practices and developing new models of service delivery.

 

·         Early within the life of the TIC Programme, it was identified that the use of the Vanguard/Systems thinking method could support one of TIC’s key objectives of delivering significant transformational change across the organisation.   

 

 

 

·         The Vanguard/systems thinking method involves reviewing and re-designing services around customer demands, which helps lower costs as service, revenue and morale improve. The approach also a promotes a cultural change within these services as staff are provided with a greater clarity of purpose based around the needs of the customer, and  will also now have the means to improve the service. As of the end of March 2016, 8 projects have been undertaken using this method including Housing Voids, Adult Social Care, Planning Services, Non-housing Property Maintenance, Housing Rent Arrears, Housing Options, Procurement, Careline and Housing Repairs.

 

·         The Vanguard/systems thinking method requires managers and their teams to undergo a normative experience, and in particular, to experience the service from a customer perspective.   This is an important stage in the process, as it helps staff to understand the need for change, so that they are then in a better position to develop and implement new ways of working.

 

·         Many of the staff involved in projects which have adopted this approach have found the experience to be highly motivating and rewarding. Some have also gone as far to say that they have found it to be to be liberating experience, as it has provided an opportunity to challenge and review outdated processes and procedures which often compromised their ability to undertake their professional role. Over 500 staff across the organisation have now some awareness or knowledge of the principles that underpin this approach. This approach has significant potential to act as an effective way of increasing employee engagement across the authority, and will support one of TIC’s key objectives of generating longer term cultural and behavioural change across the organisation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 3 – What did we achieve during 2015/16?

 

Work Programme 2015/16

·         One of our principal objectives for 2015/16 was ‘to maintain  a balanced work programme to ensure that TIC can support and promote longer term, sustainable change and improvement, whilst also recognising the need to focus on meeting the financial challenges in the short term/medium term’.

 

·         The TIC team helped support 14 projects and reviews over the course of the last year, some of which were new projects while others were on-going projects from previous years. In total, the team has helped support over 25 projects since the TIC Programme was launched back in 2012.

 

·         The table below provides a list of on-going and new projects that the TIC team have supported  over the course of the last financial year, with a brief description of the project and its current status.

 

·          Further details of all the projects, including outcomes and benefits achieved can be found in Section 3 of this Annual Report.

 

Project

Project Description

Current Status

1.       Careline

·         To take forward the outcomes of the review of the service with particular emphasis to be placed on addressing the financial viability of the service.

 

Complete

2.       External Correspondence and Printing

·         To review existing external correspondence practices and to identify how the organisation can communicate more effectively and efficiently with its customers.

 

On-going

3.       Third Party Spend

·         To reduce spend on 3rd sector services, but in doing so, ensure services are strategically commissioned and targeted at identified needs within the community to maximise returns on investment.

 

Complete

4.       Procurement

·         To take forward the findings from the systems thinking review and to utilise key data to support a more effective approach to procurement and commissioning that will reduce waste and deliver financial savings.

On-going

5.       Income and Charging

·          The main aim of this review has been to examine the potential for increasing income from fees and charges, and to review the robustness of current income collection methods.

On-going

6.       Fleet Management

·          To deliver a £1m reduction in expenditure over the 3 year period from October 2013 to 2016 from the use of transport in the authority.

 

On-going

7.       Mobile Working

·         To roll out mobile working initiatives across the authority to improve effectiveness of front line working and support the rationalisation of back office processes.

 

On-going

8.       Housing Repairs

·         To undertake a Vanguard review of the Housing Repairs Service.

 

On-going

9.       Back Office Review

·         To review the nature and level of resources currently deployed in delivering corporate, departmental and service support functions across the authority, with a view to identifying opportunities for efficiency savings, to be achieved through the rationalisation of the existing level of resource.

On-going

10.   Channel Shift/Agile Working

·         To deliver a large strategic project which will look to coordinate and align key areas of work being undertaken in respect of the agile working and channel shift agendas, with a view to helping the Council realise financial savings through the rationalisation of buildings and to help support the  delivery of  wider organisational benefits

·         These areas of work are now being taken forward as separate strategic projects.

 On-going

11.   Enforcement

·         to undertake a review of the arrangements for the management and delivery of enforcement activity across the organisation

 

Complete

12.   Health and Safety

·         TIC was asked to review the arrangements for the delivery of health and safety functions across the organisation, including the identification of the nature/costs of work being undertaken by external consultants/contractors.

 

Complete

13.  Special Guardianship Orders (SGO)

·         The aim of the project is to understand and reduce the significant variation in the way we currently award Special Guardianship Order grants.

 

Complete

14.  Subscriptions

·         To review the authority’s expenditure on subscriptions and to look at opportunities for significantly reducing this level of spend.

Complete

 

  TIC monitoring role

·         As stated earlier, one of the key features of the TIC approach is that as well as helping supporting services to identify the potential for change, it will actually provide capacity and support to make change happen, and also aim to ensure that change and improvement is sustainable. Once a review or project has been completed, progress reports will continue to be reported to the TIC Programme Board who will continue to monitor the impact and outcomes being achieved from the project, until such a time as they are satisfied that the project can be ‘signed off’.

 

·         The following provides a list of projects and reviews which have been completed in previous years, but where TIC Board has continued to monitor progress and outcomes; the majority of which have now been ‘signed off’ by the TIC Programme Board during the year.

 

1.       Development Management (Planning Services)

2.       Housing Voids

3.       Non-housing Property Maintenance

4.       Housing Rent Arrears

5.       Housing Options

 

 


 

Efficiencies and cost savings

·         One of the key objectives of the TIC team is to help the Council deliver cashable efficiency savings as part of its response to the financial challenges that it faces in the short, medium and long term.

·         A key focus of the TIC support provided to service based projects over the last year has been to help those services to deliver efficiencies already identified within the 3 year budget programme. 

·         The TIC Programme also aims to support the identification and delivery of new savings, especially in relation to corporate or cross-cutting projects, as this may help to reduce the level of savings required from front-line service budgets in future years. 

·         Most authorities who have implemented similar initiatives to TIC have traditionally found it very difficult to fully quantify the impact of these initiatives.

 

Type

Description

 

Cashable Savings

 

 

Many of the projects being undertaken by TIC are generating real cashable efficiency savings - this could mean helping to deliver existing PBB’s or identify new savings. Many of the projects are helping to re-model and re-design services, and these changes are being used to support a business case for staff to be released under the severance scheme. This will then realise cashable savings in those areas.

 

 

Productivity Savings

 

 

Some of the projects are delivering productivity savings which means that services may be able to deliver more for the same level of resource. There is evidence to suggest that many of the TIC reviews are helping services to become more productive by stripping out waste or making better use of IT, but this is an area that is difficult to fully quantify.

 

 

Costs Avoided

 

 

 

TIC projects are helping to services to redesign services so that additional costs or additional budget pressures that would have otherwise been borne by the service can be mitigated.

Income

 

 

 

Other TIC projects are supporting services to identify the potential for generating additional income from increasing fees and charges or by introducing new charges.

 

 


 

Efficiency Savings

·         An exercise to identify the financial benefits arising from the work of the TIC Programme to date indicates that the team has helped to identify, or is helping to deliver, approximately £6.434m of savings.

    Current projects

Project

£

Fleet Management

2.0m

3rd Sector Spend

1.2m

Careline

700k

External Correspondence & Printing

492k

Income and Charging

194k

Agile Working

130k

Back Office/Mobile

24k

Subscriptions

12k

Total

£4.77m

 

        Projects completed in previous years

Project

£

Adult Social Care

666k

Housing Voids

440k

Photocopying

300k

Housing Options

145k

Planning Services

90k

Property Maintenance

23k

Total

£ 1.66m

 


 

Case Study – School Meals Returns

Background

A number of TIC projects are also demonstrating that it is possible to deliver improvements to the quality and effectiveness of services, while also making those services more efficient. This in turn allows services to maintain or even improve service delivery standards, but still release cashable savings or manage the impact of additional demands being placed on those services. 

Following an initial presentation made to the TIC Programme Board which highlighted the benefits being achieved from implementing mobile working within the Council’s Property Maintenance function via the handyvan service, all departments were asked to identify where mobile working could have a similar impact within their service areas.   

A proposal for the submission of weekly school meals data from school kitchens to the Catering Management team was evaluated to have clear efficiency benefits, and proposed an alternative agile working approach using Wi-Fi hotspots recently installed into all Carmarthenshire schools.

Over a 2 week problem scoping period:

·         198 forms were received

·         54 forms referred to catering manager

·         8 late forms

·         Administrative assistants spent 16 hours checking forms

·         Catering managers spent 7 hours resolving more difficult queries

Solution

A web-form was created to replace the paper form, performing all calculations and verification before submission. In June 2015 tablet devices were provided for two schools to trial until the end of term. Immediate efficiencies were realised:

·         Returns were received promptly at the end of the week

·         Returns were accurate and complete – no checking necessary

·         Failed verification addressed at source

·         Managers could retrieve summary reports

A further six kitchens were added to test error frequency, IT literacy, late returns and resistance to change. The feedback from staff was extremely positive, so based on this success, the scope of the project expanded to include:

1.      Timesheets

2.      e-banking

3.      Kitchen supplier invoices

4.      Food ordering

5.      Electronic staff newsletters

6.      E-learning courses

7.      Online payments for school meals

In February 2016 laptops were ordered for each primary school kitchen in the county. An initial training programme for meal returns and timesheets will be delivered between April and July 2016.

Outcome

Electronic submissions make the process easy and accurate for kitchen staff, with significant time saving for the central team. The removal of back office processes and reallocation of duties have already supported the voluntary release of 2 central Business Support staff, delivering an annual saving of £24,000.

Upon completion of this project, the decision to invest in laptops for each kitchen will remove far more manual intervention through direct input and the assured accuracy of electronic system checking, allowing further release of staff or better utilisation of resources for value added work.

The savings being realised from this project have created a confidence to start challenging other processes, and contributing to other reviews to enable efficiency savings whilst modernising back office support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Communications

·         Another key TIC objective that we set out to achieve during the last year was to ‘further raise awareness and understanding and engagement with the TIC programme across all levels of the organisation’,

 

·         The team has sought to raise awareness of its work through a range of methods, including using Y Gair to highlight good news stories or to seek feedback from staff in relation to on-going TIC projects and reviews.

 

·         During the course of the year, we published an official guide to highlight the work of the programme and this was launched at the Managers Conference held in October 2015.

 

·         We also provide regular progress updates to elected members and various internal groups such as the Heads of Service forum and the Organisational Support Team.

 

·         Over the course of the next year, we will look to further develop the TIC intranet site with the aim of raising further awareness of the programme and individual projects and to seek ideas from staff in relation to new opportunities for efficiencies and or service improvement.

 

 Learning and Development

·         The TIC team has also worked closely with the Council’s learning and development unit, to ensure that future learning and development activity is aligned with TIC Programme objectives.

 

·         It is recognised that TIC do not have the capacity  to support all potential change projects, and we are therefore looking at other learning and development solutions to build the capacity across the organisation to deliver smaller projects without the need for direct TIC intervention.

 

·         As part of the further roll out of the TIC/continuous improvement agenda  across the organisation, colleagues in Leaning and Development  were able to arrange for the highly regarded ‘Continuous Improvement –Practitioner’ course  to be delivered here in the Council. This opportunity was offered to members of the wider TIC team, and to colleagues in departments who have participated in TIC projects over the last few years. In total, 16 members of staff are participating in this pilot course, which we are then hoping to roll out across the organisation.

 

·         As part of the course, participants are able to develop a range of skills and knowledge in relation to continuous improvement, and are then offered the opportunity to apply these skills in the workplace through completion of a specific project. Therefore the further roll out of this course across the organisation has the potential to significantly increase the level of service improvement activity being undertaken across services, over and above those being undertaken as part of the TIC work programme.

National and Regional Working

·         Carmarthenshire is also a member of the all Wales Continuous Community, a group supported by Academi Wales. This provides an opportunity for public sector partners across Wales to meet and share learning and good practice.

 

·         Over the course of the last year, we have also met with our public sector partners within the region including Dyfed Powys Police and Hywel Dda Health Board, to share ideas and good practice in support of both the service improvement and efficiency agendas.  Over the course of the next year, we aim to further explore the possibility of establishing a group on a regional basis to encourage a further dialogue between public sector partners.

 

External Validation

·         Early in 2015, the TIC Programme was subject to a review undertaken by the Wales Audit Office.  The review concluded that the TIC Programme has ‘robust governance, clear objectives and is contributing to better outcomes and financial savings’. However, the review also identified where some aspects of the programme could be further strengthened and improved including the further development of business cases for projects and the identification and management of risks.

 

·         The report was considered by TIC Programme Board, Corporate Management Team and elected members and the recommendations of the review have been acted upon.


 

Section 3 - Individual Project Case Studies

 

Project:

Fleet Management

 

Project Objectives

·         To deliver a £1m reduction in expenditure over the 3 year period from October 2013 to 2016 from the use of transport in the authority.

Project Overview/Approach

 

 

·          Developing a reporting and monitoring framework to support an on-going review and challenge of the size and utilisation of the Council’s fleet.

·         Challenging the need for vehicles and whether they could be used in a more efficient way.

·         Ensuring implementation of the Council’s fleet replacement programme.

·         Initiatives to reduce staff travel expenditure through greater awareness and use of more cost effective travel options.

 

Outcomes :

 

On-going reduction in vehicles

·         The review has sought to accelerate the reduction in vehicle numbers that has already been achieved in previous years. Since the commencement of the review in 2013, a total 65  of vehicles have been removed from the fleet resulting in a saving of £405k, and with changes to the type of vehicles operated and work   during 2015/16,  a further saving of £322k has been made

 

Fleet Procurement

·         A Fleet Management Strategy has been approved by CMT and is being implemented. The replacement of refuse and waste vehicles will result in a saving of £404k when new vehicles come into use in September 2016. Social care vehicles have also been replaced generating 30k p.a.

·         The replacement programme for highway vehicles is currently out to tender, but is also likely to achieve a further £270k savings pa with a change to dual purpose in lieu of dedicated vehicles The number of highways tipper/gritting vehicles will reduce from 35 to 22.  A change of procurement methodology for light commercial vehicles has  delivered £180k savings per annum

 

Under-utilised vehicles

·         An exercise has been undertaken to identify those vehicles that undertake relatively low levels of mileage each year. Circa 126 vehicles have been identified as undertaking mileages that are less than 7,500 miles per annum.  The TIC Board asked each service to complete a business case for retaining this vehicle or for not making it available for use by other users during periods of down time. This exercise has led to vehicles being shared with other users. It is also evident that users are releasing vehicles since the exercise was undertaken.

 

Service Reviews – Social Care

·         Workshops with managers identified a number of opportunities to reduce costs through increased use of pool cars and maximising capacity of social care minibuses which could reduce reliance on more costly forms of transport e.g. taxis. A number of pool cars have already been introduced to the service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staff Travel

 

·         A number of initiatives are being implemented with the aim of reducing expenditure on staff travel  :

 

·         Travel survey - an on-line staff travel survey was undertaken over the summer 2015 and this identified a number of barriers to the use of more efficient travel options including challenging the need to travel to meetings through use of online technology such as video-conferencing and making pool cars more accessible. This work has also helped raise awareness of the costs of staff travel which is helping enhance the management of travel options via managers and teams.  Analysis of staff doing over 8,000 miles – analysis has been undertaken and options are being considered on a individual/team basis. The authority has reduced expenditure on staff travel by 212k in the current year.

 

 

·         Roll-out of managed pool car system - following the positive outcomes achieved from the introduction of a managed pool car system at Parc Myrddin, It has been agreed that a managed pool car arrangement is now established at Parc Dewi Sant and a project group has been set-up to take this forward, which will include the introduction of an on-line booking system. Proposals being drawn up using this evidence for managed pool car hubs in Parc Dewi Sant, County Hall & Spilman St, Llanelli centre and Ammanford. 9 additional pool cars also to be provided for CRT teams with a confirmed saving of  14k  identified.

 

Financial Savings

·         It is estimated that the project has helped identify/deliver over £2m of savings since it commenced in 2013.

 

 


 

Project:

Third Sector Spend                                                                                                                         

 

Project Objectives

·         To reduce spend on 3rd sector services, but in doing so, ensure services are strategically commissioned and targeted at identified needs within the community to maximise returns on investment.

Project Overview:

 

 

·         Information suggested that the authority facilitated funding in the region of £16.7 million to the sector during 14/15.  There were in excess of 1,000 organisations and individuals registered as being in receipt of some form of funding.  This ranged in size from payments of less than £100 to over £1million.

·         In July 2014 a full time TIC officer was asked to work alongside the Head of Economic Development to review spend and identify savings in the region of £1m.  Subsequently a formal governance structure was set up to drive the project forwards which included an officer working group, Challenge group made up of elected members and 3rd sector reps with the TIC  programme board being the ultimate decision making body.

·         The focus of the review to date has been to identify key areas of spend, duplication of services, efficiencies & maximising the value of every £ spent in the sector; and ensuring consultation and engagement with key stakeholders throughout the process.

·         During this time the review has;

o   Worked with group accountants and budget managers to agree a financial baseline for the project

o   Undertaken a significant consultation and communication exercise with budget managers, organisations and selected stakeholders.

o   Undertaken an assessment of organisations within the top 50 spend using an impact assessment framework agreed by key stakeholders.

o   Identified areas of duplication both in funding and services for further investigation

·         The review has now concluded and a report has been provided to CMT highlighting the key findings along with recommendations on how to progress funding within the sector in the future.

 

Outcomes :

 

·         Agreement has been received from CMT to develop a centralised resource for 3rd sector funding to improve co-ordination of activities and maximise value for money

·         Feedback on this approach was provided to the CLP group on 20th January.  Further communication to the sector will be provided once progress on the centralisation of the team has been made.

·         The WAO have recently undertaken a study of funding activities and participation with the 3rd sector.  Carmarthenshire were one of 6 authorities to be considered in more depth.  The findings from this study will be reported in September / October 2016.

 

Efficiencies :

 

·         To date savings have been identified of (as of Jan 2016);

·         £742,075  for 15/16

·         £285k  for 16/17

·         £164k for 17/18

 

·         The department  will now continue to review contracts to ensure that funding to the 3rd sector is awarded in a strategic manner ensuring the best value for money for the authority and the residents of Carmarthenshire.

 

 

 


 

Project:

Procurement

 

Project Objectives

 “To ensure that the authority obtains best value for money on all procurement activities, in doing so identifying any off contract spend and achieving financial savings.

Project Overview:

 

 

Following agreement of the Project’s governance structure at CMT in early December 2015 the CPU in conjunction with the TIC team and lead officers from each Dept. have undertaken a significant amount of work, this has included;

·         A detailed analysis of spend across the authority using a spend analysis toolkit.

·         Holding challenge sessions with all depts. on spend over £25k per annum to 3rd party suppliers

·         Significant updating of the corporate contracts register using feedback from budget managers during the challenge sessions

·         Regular meetings of the Governance Board with members flagging individual Departmental issues and priorities following Departmental discussions.

·         This has led to a better understanding of what contract activities could be re-tendered or potentially procured in a different way to drive down costs.

As a result of the findings to date it was agreed at CMT that the project would now start to develop new work streams based on the following themes;

Ø  Taxi Procurement (Environment, Education & Communities Dept)

Ø  Computers & IT consumables (All Depts. but specifically schools)

Ø  Supply of staff cover (Education Dept./Schools)

Ø  Welfare Benefits Advice (Chief Execs / Communities Dept )

Ø  Disabled Facilities Grants - (Communities Dept)

Ø  Mental Health and Learning Disabilities placements (Communities Dept.)

Ø  Electrical contracts (Environment Dept)

Ø  Highways Supplies & Services (Environment Dept.)

Ø  Waste Services (Environment Dept.)

These work streams are now being formally scoped in order to better understand what savings targets should be placed on each area of work and what the capacity requirements are to progress the work streams.

Outcomes :

 

·         The project has developed  a suite of tools including an accurate spend analysis, contracts register and appropriate training to services across the authority in order to better support commissioning and procurement activities across the authority.

·         The result of this work will be broad compliance with the recommendations made within the KPMG report on Procurement services in CCC. The project will strengthen the authority’s compliance with EU procurement regulations.

Financial Outcomes:

 

·         An efficiency target for this project will be set once the scoping of the work streams is complete

 

 


 

Project:

External Correspondence and Printing

 

Project Objectives

·         To review existing external correspondence practices and to identify how the organisation can communicate more effectively and efficiently with its customers.

 

Project Overview:

 

 

·         This project initially looked to challenge the type of correspondence being sent to customers, with a view to determining whether there was a need to send this information at all, or to see whether there was a more cost effective way of corresponding with our customers.  Small project teams were established tasked with reviewing legislative and discretionary mailings which have a high associated cost.

·         This project has also taken the opportunity to re-enforce the previous corporate decision that all external mail be sent 2nd class, unless a specific business case determined otherwise.

·         A review of franking machine contracts identified a large proportion of machines that were not cost-effective to run, mainly from ongoing contract renewals. The capabilities and locations of the machines have been assessed and rationalised for the savings achievable from higher volumes through fewer machines.

·         The project has also assisted in overseeing the implementation of the Secure Printing Project.

Outcomes

Outgoing mail

·         16 franking machines operated by CCC reduced to 8 at 01/04/16 saving:

Leases

£18,470.08

Royal Mail collection fees

£ 3,935.00

Projected postage rate savings

£15,000.00

Total

£37,405.08

·         Higher volumes through fewer machines should enable additional bulk discount savings for the Carmarthen and Llanelli mail, saving an estimated additional £10,000 on postage costs.

·         Further phased reductions planned over the next 3 years (aligned to lease end dates) should see this reduced to 4 machines (one in each town) providing an additional £10,000 saving from leases and collection fees.

 

Outsourced mail

·         Using the contract taken out by Revenues & Benefits with DSI Billing for council tax billing and benefit statements, the transfer of bulk mail for Housing rent statements to this contract is expected to save £4,500 in production and postage cost, plus significant non-cashable staff time savings.

·         Other bulk mail sources are being investigated.

·         DSI’s GovMail service for ad hoc mail sending being implemented. This will provide another option for offices outside the mail sending hubs or to support agile working.

 

Centralised secure printing

·         Central printing project completed.

·         £100k saving was built into budget for 2015/16 and a further saving of £118k has been targeted for 2017/18.

·         A £25,000 reduction in consumables was seen in the first 3 months, a 90% saving over the previous year.

·         A similar arrangement will now be introduced for schools.

 

Incoming mail

·         Centralisation to a single point of receipt is no longer feasible due to declining mail volumes factored to the equipment investment needed to process all the mail and time to implement.

·         The time will be better utilised in promoting Channel Shift /”Do it online” to reduce hardcopy mail further. A link with the channel shift project is expected to focus on a case study to actively promote communication by electronic methods, or complex enquiries by telephone.

Financial

 Impact :

 

·         A £164,029 reduction in overall annual spending on postage has been achieved from the baseline figures taken in 12/13, through challenging existing methods of communicating with customers and through a reduction in the use of first class postage. During this time postage costs have increased by 25%, so in real terms the total volume sent in 12/13 would now cost £909,175, giving a comparative reduction of £345,864.

·         Rationalising and centralising franking machines has already delivered £37,000 per annum, increasing to £47,000 per annum by 18/19, and providing an opportunity for a single competitive contract tender in 2021.

·         Compatible hardware is now in place to achieve an estimated £10,000 of bulk discount savings from 16/17.

·         Savings to be realised through implementing the secure printing project will achieve savings of approximately £200k pa.


 

Project:

Careline 

 

Project Objectives :

·         To undertake a ‘systems thinking’ review of the Careline service and then to support the service in addressing key risks identified during the review process.

 

Project Overview:

 

 

·         The “check” and redesign incorporated the Careline service, its referral receiving (single point of access) arm, the Out of Hours service for the council, the Telecare service, as well as the equipment part of the service.

·         The review has identified a vision for the service which is to ‘facilitate Careline’s development so that it becomes a safe, effective and self-sufficient’.

·         The re-design element of the review then focussed its work on addressing some of the key risks identified during the review process. 

·         One of the priority areas emerging from the review was to address risks relating to the financial sustainability of the service and this has involved reviewing existing contracts and SLA’s with external clients and the development of a charging policy.

 

Outcomes :

 

·         A new Charging Policy has been agreed and developed, which reflects the true costs of providing the service.

·         Meetings have been held with all internal and external clients to discuss service standards and expectations, and the charging framework that will underpin future contracts and Service Level Agreements.

·         Revised contracts and Service Level Agreements have been issued to external clients.

·         The majority of clients have indicated that they will be signing the SLA for 2016/17.

 

Financial

impact :

 

·         The additional income associated with the revised charging framework will enhance the financial sustainability of the service and will also allow the service to increase the level of staffing resource with the aim of providing a more safe, resilient and effective service.

 

 

 


 

Project:

Income and Charging

 

Project Objectives

·         The main aim of this review has been to examine the potential for increasing income from fees and charges, and to review the robustness of current income collection methods.

 

 

Project Overview:

 

 

·         The basis for the review was the findings of an all Wales comparative report which indicated that there may be potential to raise additional income via increasing charges as a minimum to the Wales average, and potentially further.  This also highlighted certain areas where there may be potential to introduce new charges for services where we don’t currently charge.

 

·         This information was subsequently was sent to departments to support the process of reviewing charges as part of the annual budget setting process.  A further series of challenge sessions are also being held with heads of service and budget managers to further challenge the potential for increasing income via charges. These sessions will also explore the opportunity to review the robustness and efficiency of income collection methods, including a review of payment channels and the structuring of payments.

 

·         One of the key outcomes from workshops to date is the suggestion that there is a need to review and re-launch the Council’s Income and Charging Policy which could provide a further impetus to the on-going review and challenge of the Council’s fees and charges.

 

·         The review has also looked at the current debt recovery process and the potential to increase the level of debt recovered.  

 

Outcomes :

 

 

Income and Charging Policy

·         A set of new principles has been agreed to underpin the new policy – these are to be subject of wider discussion/ consultation prior to inclusion in a new policy.

 

Charge comparison

·         Charge comparison work used to inform departmental challenge of current /new charges for 2016/17.

 

Commercial Awareness

·         Commercial awareness course to be arranged for heads of /3rd tiers in June 2016.

 

Debt recovery process

·         The review has identified the potential to increase the level and pace of debt recovery through increasing resources within both the debtors and legal sections.

·         An Invest to Save proposal to increase the number of staff within debtors/legal section has now been approved.

·         Further workshops will be held with services/representatives from debtors’ services to review the current debtor’s process.

 

Financial Impact :

·         Increase in recovery of total outstanding debt by 10% pa (£2477951 14/15) would return a £247,795 pa. Recovering 10% more debt per annum £247k, which over the lifespan of the project delivers a net saving of 194k (total savings £494k minus the £300k costs for the additional staff).

 


 

Project:

Back Office Review

Project Objectives

·         The main aim of the project is to review the nature and level of resources currently deployed in delivering corporate, departmental and service support functions across the authority, with a view to identifying opportunities for efficiency savings, to be achieved through the rationalisation of the existing level of resource.

·         The initial stages of the project will look at provision at Parc Dewi Sant, but will seek to develop an approach which can be then quickly rolled out across the organisation.

 

Project Overview:

 

 

·         The project will look to carry out a resource identification and categorisation exercise,  with the aim of identifying and quantifying the level of staffing resources involved in delivering corporate, departmental and service ‘back office’ support  functions at Parc Dewi Sant.

·         This will also seek to identify and quantify the level of staffing resource deployed in administrative/support functions directly linked to the delivery of front-line services located at Parc Dewi Sant.

·         The review provides an opportunity to support the implementation of other TIC projects on site – in relation to mail and travel arrangements.

·         A coordinating group was also established to undertake a detailed review of key transactional processes undertaken on site including :

 

o   Creditor payments process

o   Incoming and external mail arrangements

o   Pool Car booking

o   Petty cash

 

Outcomes :

 

·         The resource identification exercise is complete and analysis undertaken and a presentation on the outcomes will be made to TIC Programme Board in June 2016 to determine whether a similar exercise should now be extended across the authority.

·         Multiple process reviews being carried out to improve efficiency of financial transactions and identification of alternative methods.

 

·         Creditors

o   Working with Castell Howell to allow online ordering of food from school kitchens using the devices supplied for the catering returns (see mobile working project). Electronic orders can be converted into consolidated invoices for payment. This will remove back office processing of 4000 invoices

o   Further enquiries being made with other suppliers for issuing consolidated invoices.

·         School kitchen timesheets

o   Again using the laptops provided to school kitchens, electronic timesheets are being introduced as direct input into Resource Link. This will cut out the checking of timesheets by Catering Management and Payroll, data entry into Payroll system, and eliminate the postal and courier delays from the processing of 4000 timesheets per year.

·         Pool car booking

o   A supplier has been chosen for an online booking system

o   The first “hub” will be introduced in Parc Dewi Sant with the setup replicated at other locations across the county

·         Petty cash

o   Expenditure being analysed to identify alternative methods of procurement or claiming

o   Fostering & Adoption teams require birth certificates which were being ordered through Registrars through public means, and paid for with postal orders, which were claimed back through the petty cash float. Over 10 months £556.32 was paid for 32 certificates ranging from £13-26 (depending on urgency), processed as 32 petty cash claims. From 01/04/16 Registrars will be issuing a single consolidated internal transfer request on a quarterly basis, and the fees have all been agreed at a flat rate of £13 per certificate. There will be some financial gain, but the main process efficiency will remove days of staff time in processing the claim and purchasing postal orders.

o   Similar arrangements are being worked on with Leisure and Transport to use direct transfers and preferential rates between council departments.

o   A series of workshops are planned to tackle other areas of petty cash expenditure, linking with Procurement to assist with alternative methods.

·         Mail

o   The group have encouraged the adoption of some key messages emerging from the correspondence & printing project to reduce the volume of mail sent and received.

Financial Impact

 

·         A position statement/post evaluation of the pilot at Parc Dewi Sant is currently being undertaken. This will also determine whether there is value in rolling out this approach further across the organisation.

·         The review of processes outlined above could result in savings, although these have yet to be fully quantified.


 

Project:

Mobile Working

Project Objectives

·         The main aim of the project is to review potential areas for the development of mobile working, through the use of technology, for front line staff across the Authority, with a view to identifying opportunities for efficiency savings, to be achieved through improved effectiveness of front line working and the rationalisation of back office processes.

Project Overview:

 

 

·         Following a presentation made to the TIC Programme Board in relation to the impact of mobile working in property services, it was suggested that the project be brought under the TIC umbrella with a view to identifying opportunities to roll out this approach across the rest of the organisation.

·         A cross departmental project board was established to oversee the review. The role of the group was initially to select the pilot projects, and then evaluate the impact of these projects to establish whether there was a sufficient business case for the approach to be rolled out across the rest of the organisation.

·         The following projects are currently within the scope of the projects :

 

·         Education and Children/Communities - Social Workers (Children’s and Adult services)

·         Environment - Planning – (Development and Building Control)

·         Communities - Housing (Tenancy Support)

·         Chief Executive’s – Health and Safety (Audit and Inspections)

·         Education  and  Children – Catering ( School Meals)

 

Outcomes :

1. Education and Children/Communities - Social Workers (Children’s and Adult services)

        E-forms have been developed for Children’s Services Statutory visits in relation to “Looked after Children” and Child Protection.

        Mobile devices have been set up and piloted “in the field” by social workers in this area for several months.

        The pilot will be concluded shortly, with the Team evaluating the pilot and determining how to move forward with mobile working.

        Discussions on-going with Adult Services to develop a mobile solution for Telecare services.

2. Environment - Planning (Development and Building Control)

·         E-forms have been developed by the in-house team for Building and Development Control site visits to capture data on site.

·         Integration with the Information@Work System has been developed, to enable on-site use of application documentation (Building Control and Planning application files and documentation).

·         Mobile devices have been set up and are being piloted “in the field” by Building Control and Development staff to test the Information @ Work integration and on-site date capture.

·         The pilot will be concluded shortly, with the Team evaluating the pilot and determining how to move forward with mobile working.

·         E-forms are also being developed for Minerals and Planning Enforcement site visits to capture data on site. Mobile devices will be roll out in this area in the coming months.

3. Communities - Housing (Tenancy Support)

        E-forms have been developed by the in-house team for Housing tenancy support site visits to capture data on site.

        Work have been undertaken to develop an “extract form” from OHMS Housing management system to work with the tenancy support e-forms.

        Mobile devices will be roll out in this area in the soon.

        Integration with the Information @ Work System will also be rolled out in this area.

        Discussions have commenced with public protection in relation to further roll out in those areas

4. Chief Executives - Health and Safety (Audits and Inspections)

·         E-forms have been developed by the in-house team for audits of Schools and Care Homes to capture data on site

·         Mobile devices have been set up and piloted “in the field” by Health and Safety staff.

·         Audit reports are created on site as part of the data capture process. This will increase efficiency and speed up reporting times.

·         E-forms have also been developed by the in-house team for Fire Risk Assessments to capture data on site. These are currently being tested on site by Health and Safety staff.

·         The pilot will be concluded shortly, with the Team evaluating the pilot and determining how to move forward with mobile working.

Discussions are on-going to develop further site inspection forms for other work.

5. Education - School Meals Catering

        The web form pilot was very successful in 8 pilot schools, with the catering staff adapting to the new method very quickly and seeing it as a positive way forward. This simplifies the process for them, ensures accuracy and provides prompt returns to the Catering Management team.

        The department has purchased 100 laptops to roll out the new electronic process to all primary schools.

        Catering Management staff in Parc Dewi Sant are able to accept the data returned without needing to spend time performing arithmetic and validation checks and retrieve consolidated reports for their specific need.

        The provision of laptops has extended the scope of use to cover timesheets, ordering and invoices, providing significant back office process efficiency gains.

        The School Catering work is covered in more detail in the case study on page 13.

Financial Impact

 

·         The removal of back office processes and reallocation of duties have already supported the voluntary release of 2 central Business Support staff, delivering an annual saving of £24,000.

·         The evaluation of mobile working pilots will seek to identify the productivity/cashable savings to be achieved from further roll out of mobile working across the relevant service areas.


 

Project:

Agile Working/Channel Shift

Project Objectives

·         To deliver a large strategic project which will look to coordinate and align key areas of work being undertaken in respect of the agile working and channel shift agendas, with a view to helping the Council realise financial savings through the rationalisation of buildings and to help support the  delivery of  wider organisational benefits.

Project Overview:

 

 

Agile Working

·         The essential feature of agile working is the use of information and communications technologies to enable new ways of working and moving away from the traditional office environment: hot-desking; mobile working; tele/homeworking; working from home; non-territorial working; virtual team-working.

·         Progressing both the agile and mobile working agendas will be key to further implementation of the authority’s office accommodation and asset disposal strategies.

·         A Steering Group has been established, chaired by the Director of Education and Children’s, which will provide strategic direction for the project. A working group has also been established to progress the operational delivery of the project.

·         The work of the group has initially focussed on the updating of the agile working policy and the development of a delivery plan/business case linked to the delivery of the Council’s accommodation strategy.

·         In March 2016, Corporate Management team also agreed that the mobile working project should now also be brought under the umbrella of the agile project, due to the natural linkages between the two projects.

Channel Shift

·         Put simply, channel shift is moving from more expensive methods of dealing with customer contacts to less expensive ones, particularly self-service channels.

·         The project will look to support the delivery of identified savings  linked to the  rationalisation  of staffing resources within the  Contact Centre and Customer Service Centres

·         The project will also seek to identify the potential to deliver additional savings both within the Contact Centre/CSC’s and within service departments.

·         An initial business case has identified priority areas for development, although this may require investment in IT resources.

·         In March 2016, the Corporate Management team agree that the channel shift should now be progressed as a separate project, and that this group would be chaired by the Director of Environment.

 

Outcomes :

 

Agile Working

·         Governance arrangements have been established and a Project Initiation Document has been agreed by Corporate Management Team.

·         An Agile Working Policy has been updated and is being used to underpin the roll out of agile working arrangements across the authority.

·         A business/delivery plan has been developed which supports the delivery of savings identified within the Council’s accommodation strategy.

·         Video conferencing via Skype for business is being rolled out to staff across the organisation.

·         Hot-Desking facilities are being made available at key locations across the county.

 

Channel Shift

·         A Project initiation document has been approved and a mapping exercise has been undertaken to identify key priorities, some of which will have IT development implications.

 

Financial Impact :

 

·         Agile working – minimum of £130k (linked to delivery of accommodation strategy)

·         Channel Shift - has the potential to support the delivery of savings already identified as part of the authority’s PBB exercise and deliver additional savings (yet to be identified).

 

Project:

Enforcement

Project Objectives

·         The TIC Team have been asked to undertake a review of the arrangements for the management and delivery of enforcement activity across the organisation.

·         There are a number of services across the authorities who are involved in the delivery of enforcement activity and there may be opportunities to consider more efficient and effective methods for managing and delivering these services.

Project Overview:

 

 

·         The following activities have been included within the scope of the exercise because they form part of the portfolio held by the Executive Board Member for Environmental & Public Protection : Animal Health; Environmental Health; Food Safety; Housing; Licensing; Planning and Building Control; Public Health and Trading Standards.

·         Interviews were held with key stakeholders including the Executive Board Member for Environmental Health and Public Protection and officers from the relevant services/functional areas.

·         The review also considered the findings from a previous Task and Finish Review undertaken in this area in 2013.

Outcomes :

 

·         The review was completed in February 2016 and  proposes 3 key recommendations :

 

1.       Establish a multi-disciplinary enforcement forum with appropriate governance arrangements that meets twice yearly.

2.       The Executive Board Member for Environmental & Public Protection acts as Chair of the Forum.

3.       Housing team to undertake a piece of work with the Executive Board member for Environmental & Public Protection to clarify and define when action taken by the Housing division becomes an enforcement activity.

 

Financial Impact

N/A


 

Project:

Special Guardianship Orders (SGO)

 

Project Objectives

·         The aim of the project is to understand and reduce the significant variation in the way we currently award Special Guardianship Order grants.

Project Overview:

 

 

·         The Service views a special guardianship order is viewed as the best long term outcome for the child / young adult (there is also independent research available to support this view). To support this objective the service provides financial support to the families in question.

 

·         Initial discussions suggest that there is significant variation in the financial awards being provided and possible inconsistencies in the methods/process used to arrive at the financial sum awarded. The objective of this review is to better understand the reasons for the variation, define the causes and introduce a process that is fair to the families in question.

 

·         Workshops to be held with the relevant members of staff from the service area to map and challenge existing work flow/practices, reduce waste and introduce a consistent approach

 

Outcomes :

 

·         A Problem statement was initially  defined and a project brief developed and agreed

·         Stakeholder analysis completed

·         Workshops arranged for February 2016 to begin challenging current working practices.

·         The first workshop was held in March 2016.

·         Target date for completion April 2016.

Financial Impact

TBC


 

Project:

Health and Safety

Project Objectives

·         TIC was asked to review the arrangements for the delivery of health and safety functions across the organisation, including the identification of the nature/costs of work being undertaken by external consultants/contractors.

Project Overview:

 

 

·         Interviews have been held with relevant stakeholders both at a corporate level and within the Environment Department.

·         Relevant internal/external costs have also been collated to establish the cost of delivering health and safety/compliance related activity.

·         Information/feedback gathered from a previous Vanguard style ‘check’ of the service undertaken in 2014.

·         The production of a position statement to outline current activity/costs and future opportunities.

·         This was used as the basis of a workshop with representatives from the various units involved to see if we could reach a consensus on a way forward.

 

Outcomes :

 

The review recommended the following recommendations :

 

Health and Safety Advisors – Environment Department – secondments arrangements

·         The 2 Health and Safety Advisors currently on secondment to the Environment Dept to transfer back to the Corporate Health and Safety Unit in PMP. This will ensure that there is sufficient capacity to address organisational risks and priorities, whilst continuing to fulfil responsibilities to the Environment Department.

Smarter ways of working – Health and Safety Audits and Fire Risk Assessments

·         The use of a ‘single visit’ approach to be piloted in relation to the undertaking of Health & Safety Audits/Fire Risk Assessments to reduce potential for duplication and to make better use of resources.

External spend

·         The potential to generate additional capacity internally to reduce reliance on external providers (over £500k of work commissioned in 14/15 in respect of legionella, asbestos, radon), to be achieved via re-profiling caretaker role and other roles within Property Services.  This is subject of a separate, more detailed review being undertaken by the Environment Department, looking at in-sourcing opportunities and reducing external spend in respect  of servicing and compliance work.

L&D – health and safety

·         A previous review of the Council’s wider arrangements for the management and delivery of Learning and Development functions, undertaken in 2010, saw the social care learning and development function being centralised with the Corporate Learning and Development Unit located within PMP.  This review also recommended that the arrangements within the Environment Department should be reviewed as part of phase 2 of the review and it is suggested that this phase of the review now proceed as soon as possible. 

Financial Impact

 

·         The recommendations and outcomes are currently being implemented and this will assist in quantifying the benefits to emerge from the project.


 

Project:

Subscriptions

Project Objectives

·         To review the authority’s expenditure on subscriptions and to look at opportunities for significantly reducing this level of spend.

 

Project Overview:

 

 

·         The scope of the project covers payments for newspapers, magazines and journals and subscriptions to various external organisations and bodies.

·         For any journal subscriptions, we are also assessing whether these could be accessed on-line, as this would also support our objective of reducing the amount of hard copy mail coming into the authority which is also the subject of a TIC review.

·         Majority of spend linked to subscriptions to national organisations/bodies. e.g. WLGA

 

Financial Impact

 

·         £12k savings identified on a spend of £196k


 

Project:

Housing Repairs

Project Objectives

·         To undertake a Vanguard review of the Housing Repairs Service

Project Overview:

 

 

·         The project started with a week-long “check” of the repairs service in September with a group of managers and staff from across the service including trades people and housing staff.  The “check” helped to identify what was working and what wasn’t.  Following on from this it was agreed that a small project group should be brought together to “re-design” the service

·         During November 2015 the “re-design” began, focusing on one ward within the county which was Glanymor in Llanelli.  This ward was chosen as information suggested it was the 2nd busiest ward in terms of housing repairs across the county.

·         Since then the re-design team have been working with the tenants of the area to provide a re-designed responsive repairs service.

Outcomes :

 

·         The team are testing the extent at which multi-skilling is possible using a patch approach and more use of internal resources

·         Staff are working on the basis of See it, Sort it, Note it – this is allowing staff to be more empowered

·         All operatives have been given hand held devices to cut down paperwork and are testing a new way of recording work using a cost plus model.  This has resulted in a reduction of SOR codes from several hundred to just 7.

·         In excess of 90% of inspections are now being undertaken by operatives

·         The team are doing “Home checks” whilst undertaking repairs to identify any additional preventative works needed and also to update the contact details of the tenants.

·         Operatives are identifying tenancy management issues and testing what role they could play in resolving the issues.

·         With the exception of emergency repairs the team are no longer working within the job priority framework of 1-10.  Tenants are having their repairs undertaken at a time that suits them.

 

Financial Impact

 

·         The project is still in its early stages.  The financial effective of offering a proactive repairs service will not be felt until the project has been in operation for 12-18 months.

 


 

Projects completed – TIC monitoring of progress and outcomes

Project:

Planning Services – Development Management Review

 

Project Objectives

·         To undertake a Vanguard/Systems Thinking Review of the Development Control service and implement a follow-up re-design of the service. One of the key drivers for the review was the need to reduce the number of complaints being received by the service in relation to customer care and/or the application of process.

 

Project Overview:

 

 

·         The check of the service was undertaken in February 2014, and the re-design stage commenced in April 2014.

·         The phased roll in commenced with the Llandeilo office in November in November 2014, and the project has now been rolled into all the area offices.

·         A Programme Board meets on a bi-monthly basis to continue to oversee the outcomes from the project.

 

Outcomes :

 

·         The percentage of applications in receipt of pre-application advice is 48%, which reflects the additional emphasis being placed on this part of the process.

·         The average customer end to end times for applications in December 2015 was 76 days which represents a downward trend in performance compared to the 54.1 days achieved in the immediate post review period, but still a considerable improvement on the 120 days identified during the check stage in February 2014.

·         Complaints, refusals and appeals all continue to be significantly below pre-review levels.

 

Financial Impact

 

·         The new way of working has resulted in opportunities to rationalise administrative processes and this evidence had been used to inform a business case that supported the release of 3 members of staff during 2015/16, resulting in a £65k saving.

·         The move to paperless working is also presenting opportunities to reduce costs in relation to stationary and printing and it is estimated that these costs are already showing a significant downward trend.


 

Project:

Housing Rent Arrears

 

Project

Objectives

·         To review the way that we currently collect current and former debt and to interact with tenants to prevent them from getting into debt.

 

Project

Overview:

 

 

·         This project reviewed our existing processes for housing rent collection and debt prevention.  This approach is providing an opportunity to develop a new way of working that will remove the parts of the process that do not add value and waste staff time, whilst allowing us to focus on what is important to our tenants which will in turn result in our income being maximised.

·         In January 2014 a team of 16 got together to review our rent collection process and how we help tenants in rent arrears. We used systems thinking principles via the Vanguard methodology and discovered that we were being driven by figures and performance that did not take into account what actually mattered to our tenants. The new way of thinking was rolled –in during the month of May.

·         The project has pinpointed that, moving forward, early intervention to build the relationship with the tenant will be fundamental to the success of the rent collection process and the prevention of debt.  We will continue to build effective relationships to understand what a good tenancy looks like from the tenant’s perspective.

·         Following completion of the project, TIC Board continued to monitor the outcomes from the project until it was formally signed off in January 2016.

 

Outcomes :

 

·         Our current tenant rent arrears are around £ 1,174,381 at the end of December 2015. This is approximately £337k less than this time last year. 

·         Average drop from end of December over last three years to year end has been 9%.

 


 

Project:

Property Maintenance

 

Project

Objectives

·         To undertake a review of the non-housing property maintenance service with a specific emphasis being placed upon ensuring clarification of roles and responsibilities, and  identifying  ways of  making the current level of budgetary resources go further.

Project

Overview:

 

 

·         An initial strategic review was undertaken in May 2013 when 12 Heads of Service/3rd tier managers participated in a 6 day senior leadership/scoping review using the ‘systems thinking approach’.  The outcomes included a clear way forward on roles, responsibilities and budgets and the agreement to pilot a new handyvan service.

 

·         A project team was then established to implement a whole new way of working, with the aim of providing a quicker, more cost effective responsive repairs service, combined with a more informed approach to planned maintenance prioritisation processes. 

 

·         A re-design of the service was undertaken on a phased basis, and the new way of working is fully rolled in across the county.

 

Outcomes :

 

·         Quality, value for money and customer satisfaction measures have been good but these measures need to be undertaken for the last quarter.

·          By March 2016, the property handyvan service had received approximately 8361 service requests. 86% of these have been completed, and on average 65% were completed when the customer wanted it done. 96% of the jobs were solved ‘Right first time’. 45% of jobs have been completed by in-house handypersons, and 20% of jobs normally outsourced to contractors, have been completed by the handypersons.

 

“Service has improved tremendously,  pity we haven’t had this sooner”  Myrddin Day Centre

 

“Probably the best change the Council has made ‘’ Ammanford Town Hall.

 

Staff are also very positive about the new way of working

 

“We can see what needs to be done and get on and do it”  Handyvan Carpenter & Plumber

 

“The new way of working is quicker and allows us to be more efficient at our Jobs” Handyvan Electrician.

Financial Outcomes :

·         Financial indicators also suggest that the new way of working is having a positive impact on service budgets. 

·         The PHS average job cost was £156 and the average job cost for “old world” jobs was £185

·         Analysis also indicates that a significantly higher number of jobs are being undertaken for the same level of budget.


 

Project:

Housing Options

 

Project Objectives

·         To review the way that we currently provide the housing options advice service, with a view to providing a more efficient, effective and customer focussed service.

 

Project Overview:

 

 

·         In June of 2014, a Vanguard/Systems thinking approach was undertaken within the Housing Options service.

·         This involved an initial check of the Housing Options system to understand tenant demand and identify what is currently happening.  The Check project team was represented by Housing Options Officers from the various disciplines and teams as well as colleagues from other service areas (Area Housing, Supporting People, Customer Services Centre, New Homes Team and Building Services). 

·         Some of the headline findings from this initial check stage included: duty Officers not having enough time to deal customers in a holistic way or take ownership of cases, sometimes resulting in customers being forgotten about; inconsistencies in working practices, only 50% of calls made to Housing Options Advisors being answered.

·         The outcome of Check was that team agreed that from the customer’s perspective, the ‘system’ needed to be re-designed and streamlined to achieve the new purpose:  Help and empower me to resolve my housing issue.

 

Outcomes :

 

·         The immediate impact of the new way of working is the service is more effective at dealing with telephone enquiries and is quicker at dealing with its case work. 

·         The “check” phase of the Housing Options Review revealed customers wanted to get through to the right person to help them with the housing issues they had. In addition they wanted matters resolved in a timely manner.

·         We continue to reduce the number of homeless cases where we have a statutory duty to re-house. Over the first six months there have been 108 homeless cases compared to 452 for the whole of 2014/15.

·         We have improved the time taken to deliver Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) from 309 days in 2013/14 to 252 days in 2014/15 to 241 days currently

·         Our customer satisfaction levels remain high. 94 % of customers reflecting we supported them to resolve their housing issue.

·         Following completion of the project, TIC Board continued to monitor the outcomes from the project until it was formally signed off in January 2016.

Financial Impact :

 

·         The review has informed a re-alignment of the Housing Options Team linked to changes we have made. The re-alignment has involved pooling of our advisors and a rationalisation of management. This has allowed a reduction in staffing levels through corporate efficiency initiatives. We have identified savings of £145,024 mainly from salaries (£68,466 Council Fund, £64,190 Housing Revenue Account and £12,418 Capital)

 


 

List of TIC Projects completed in previous years

·         In total, the TIC team has helped support over 25 projects since it was first established in 2012.

·         A list of the projects completed in previous years is included below :

 

Housing Voids

·         This project reviewed the process for dealing with dealing with empty council homes, with a view to producing a more efficient and effective way of working. This involved a review of the process ‘from having one set of keys returned from a tenant to them being handed over to the next tenant’.

·         A project team was then established to test new ways of working and from June 2013, a New Homes team has been established which is working to the new process on a county wide basis.

·         Outcomes have included a significant reduction in re-let times with the average void time for a standard void reduced from 45 days pre review to 25 days by the end of December 14 and customer satisfaction levels with the new way of working is very high.

·         The new team proves helped deliver a reduction of £190k on annual rent loss during the last financial year during 2013/14 and a rent loss saving £250k was achieved for 2014/15.

Adult Social Care

·         In November 2012 the TIC team was asked to support in a review of the referral process for the Adult Social Care team.  The aim of the review was to improve the flow of enquiries from the first point of contact, to assessment, to the implementation and review of service.

·         This led to a significant re-design of its service which has led to a changes in a number of areas of work including: continuity of care; use of Multi-disciplinary teams (MDT’S) which are aligned to GP practises and rationalisation of paperwork to remove as much bureaucracy from the process as possible.

·         This led to a much improved service for the users and staff and has resulted in a reduction in assessment waiting times and a reduction in commissioned services.

·         An exercise to identify the budgetary costs avoided as a result of these changes estimated these to be in the region of £600k.

Free School meals application process

 

 

 

 

·         To review and improve the Free Schools Meals process with the aim of : encouraging the uptake of free school meals, streamlining the application process and ensuring that free schools meals data is accurate.

Key outcomes from the review include :

·         Removing the need to renew applications every 12 months, subject to review of audit and monitoring checks.

·         By removing the need to renew annually, customers should only ever have to apply once for Free Schools Meals. This has led to a drop in applications overall (as a significant number were renewals), meaning new applications get dealt with much quicker

·         When applying online, the customer receives a very quick response to their application (most decisions and replies made within minutes of receipt if an email address has been provided);

Fly-Tipping

·         The review identified opportunities to streamline and rationalise the fly-tipping process in respect of incidents on Council land. The review has reduced internal bureaucracy, speeded up response and clearance times.

Photocopying Project

·         The aim of the project was to reduce the volume of photocopying in the Legal Services Child Care Team and modernise the way documents are transferred and distributed in care cases.

·         The new way of working has now been applied to every new care case.

·         There are a range of benefits emerging from the new way of working that include: cost savings (£300k), environmental benefits and reduced storage space requirements

Income Collection at Leisure Centres

·         This project looked at the effectiveness of income collection methods at leisure centres.

·         An agreed action plan was drawn up to implement improvements in relation to signage, ticket bins for collection of payment slips, training/re-training of staff, ticket checking process.

HR Demand analysis

·         This project reviewed the nature of customer demand entering the HR service with a view to reducing the number of avoidable contacts or failure demands being received by the service.

 

 


 

TIC Business Plan 2016/17

Introduction

·         The development of the Business Plan provides an opportunity to consider where the focus of the programme will need to be over the coming 12 months.

 

Objectives 2015/16

 

Objective 1

 Continue to implement a balanced work programme to ensure that TIC can support and promote longer term, sustainable change and improvement, whilst also recognising the need to focus on meeting the financial challenges in the short term/medium term.

 

 

To be achieved by:

·         Over the course of the next year, the TIC work programme will continue to be re-focussed on larger scale projects where there is potential to deliver significant savings. These include procurement, channel shift and agile working projects, whether there is potential to generate significant savings to be achieved via cultural and behavioural change.

·         We will also aim to align the work of the Council’s Corporate Strategy and 3 year financial strategy/improvement plan and strengthen the links between the TIC programme and the Priority Based Budgeting Process.

·         The team will continue to provide support to teams in undertaking reviews of their services using a range of methodologies in support of service improvement and sustainable change.

·         The team will seek to complete projects which have been on-going for a period of time, whilst  ensuring that change and improvement is sustainable following the withdrawal of TIC support

·         The programme will continue to monitor the outcomes from completed projects, with the aim of supporting sustainable change across the organisation.

Current Projects

Project

Nature of TIC support 2016/17

1.       Third Party Spend

·         TIC work complete.

·         Outcomes and impact of new arrangements to be monitored by TIC Programme Board with a view to project being ‘signed off’ during the year.

2.       Procurement

·         TIC to help co-ordinate the priority work streams that have emerged from the initial stages of the review.

3.       External Correspondence

/printing

·         Finalise plan for further rationalisation of franking machines during 2016/17.

·         Secure Printing – consider further roll-out to schools.

·         Consider merging  remaining elements of project with channel shift project

4.       Fleet Management

·         Work to focus on the implementation of an on-line booking system and roll out of pool car hubs during to support a further reduction in staff mileage expenditure.

5.       Income and Charging

·         Mini service reviews to look at efficiency of debtors process and support the development of appropriate measures to monitor impact of additional resources within debtors/legal services following the successful ‘invest to save’ bid.

6.       Careline Service

·         TIC role to continue to end of April 16 to support contract set-up work.

·         TIC Programme Board to then monitor impact of new arrangements prior to formal ‘sign off’ of the project.

7.       Planning Services

·         To undertake a re-check of the development control process and to review whether the new ways of working and associated improvements have been sustained.

8.       Mobile Working

 

·         To complete the evaluation of the current mobile working pilots and to assess the benefits of further roll out of mobile working across the relevant services.

·         To identify further service areas where mobile working could result in productivity/financial savings.

·         Project to be now merged with agile working project.

9.       Back Office review

 

·         Presentation/Report on approach and outcomes from the pilot at Parc Dewi Sant to be presented to TIC Programme Board to agree a way forward for the project.

10.   Agile Working

·         To support the roll out of agile working in 2 pilot areas and to support further developments in respect of initiatives such as video-conferencing and hot-desking.

·         Mobile working to be formally brought under the umbrella of the agile working project in respect of both delivery and project governance.

11.   Channel Shift

·         To develop and implement a programme of transformational change across the organisation, using technology to expand the range of methods  in which customers can access council services, and to support  the delivery of  those services in a more cost effective way.

·         This is now to be taken forward as a stand-alone TIC project during 2016/17.

12.   Housing Repairs

·         To support the re-design of the housing repairs service.

 

13.   Special Guardianship Orders (SGO)

·         To complete the review of the SGO Financial award process that commenced in February 2016.

14.   SEN School Transport Review

·         To complete the review of the school transport process in respect of SEN provision that commenced in March 2016.


 

Objective 2

 Ensure that there is sufficient capacity to deliver the TIC Programme

 

 

To be achieved by:

·         Ensure that core TIC Resources are focussed on areas where these is the potential to deliver greater efficiencies.

·         Create additional capacity within the team by providing opportunities for staff to undertake TIC projects on a task and finish basis.

 

Objective 3

 Further raise awareness and understanding and engagement with the TIC programme across all levels of the organisation

 

 

To be achieved by:

·         Complete a specific communications plan for the TIC Programme.

·         Further develop the TIC website to allow staff to contribute suggestions for potential efficiencies/projects.

·         Further raise awareness of the TIC Programme with elected members.

 

Objective 4

 Further strengthen reporting and accountability mechanisms within the TIC Programme

 

 

To be achieved by:

·         Developing an Annual Report 2015/16 to highlight outcomes and impact of work undertaken to date, especially focussing on where cashable/productivity savings have been achieved.

·         Providing regular progress updates to the TIC Programme Board, Executive Board, Executive Board Member, heads of service forum.

Objective

5

 Further develop mechanisms to share good practice and learning with other public sector partners.

 

 

 

To be achieved by:

·         Continue to attend the All Wales Continuous Improvement Network.

·         Develop mechanisms to share good practice and learning with other public sector partners at a local level.

Objective

6

Build capacity across the organisation to lead, support and engage people to deliver transformation and change’

 

 

To be achieved by:

·         Identify key TIC priorities in respect of  learning and development

·         Develop learning mechanisms to share good practice and learning.

·         Roll out the Continuous Improvement Practitioner course across the organisation.