To consider the performance in the third quarter of 2018/19 of the Council’s Service Indicators, Revenue Budget Monitoring, Capital Budget Monitoring, Risk Management and Internal Audit.
The Committee received a report that detailed the major variances on performance in relation to the Council’s Key Performance Indicators, Risk Management and Internal Audit, along with the revised Key Performance Indicators and identified Strategic Risks for 2019/20.
Councillor Schofield, Executive Member for Finance, provided some overview information on the report, including the projected underspend in the revenue budget due to better than expected income, the projected underspend in the capital budget due to minor delays on some projects, and identifying that the areas for attention identified in the internal audit section of the report had been responded to.
The Committee considered and discussed the report. There were a number of questions and comments on the report, relating to the following topics:
· Disabled Facilities Grant. It was confirmed that the new supplier for delivery of the disabled facilities grant was in place and that cases were being actioned. It was identified that most of the underspend was expected to be utilised by the end of the year, following work to allow specific exemptions to the Housing Assistance Policy., and that the remainder would be carried over. It was identified that more funds had become available than was initially projected due to additional funds being obtained from an allocation by central government. It was identified that consideration would be given to how to increase awareness of the availability of the grant amongst those in need.
· Legal Services. It was identified that the legal services overspend had been an ongoing issue, and it was queried when it would be resolved. It was identified that the legal services model was being updated, and that it was expected that the corresponding budget would then be better identified. It was noted that the budget for 2019/20 had already been agreed and that this therefore would not be reflected in reporting until the following financial year.
· Main Accounting internal audit review. It was confirmed that the sources of the general balance variation had been identified as authorised items which had not been recorded in the ledgers, and that they had been reconciled. It was identified that schedule identifying the accounting treatment could be made available. It was identified that the car parking income reporting would continue to be monitored.
· Staffing Updates. It was identified that updates to staffing were not considered to be a strategic risk, but that consideration was being given to ensuring that the Council had appropriate skills and resources in place to support its objectives.
· Reporting of Reserves. It was confirmed that general reserve balances were reported on an annual basis, and that the report contained information on the Corporate Plan Delivery Fund balance. A suggestion was offered that reserve balances could be reported more frequently.
· Community Infrastructure Ley & S106 internal audit review. It was confirmed that the issue identified related to the transfer of S106 data into a new system, and that this work was in progress,
· Operational Risks. It was confirmed that Operational Risks would be reported by exception where issues were identified, and that the full operational risk registers were available for Members to view on the e-Members room.
· KPIs and empty houses. It was queried if there were any options available to the Council in addition to current practices to encourage effective use of properties in the borough. It was identified that there was a Council Tax premium of 50% on empty properties, and that additional powers to increase this to 100& were expected to be forthcoming. It was identified that additional information on under-occupied properties would be provided as a written response.
· Corporate Plan and KPIs. It was confirmed that KPIs would be reviewed in line with the development of the Corporate Plan.
RESOLVED that the quarterly performance report, revised KPIs and Strategic Risks for 2019/20 be noted.