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Agenda Item No. 8

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Democratic Services Committee: 9th October 2013

 

Report of the Director of Resources

 

Members’ ICT – Development and Training

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To inform Members of the proposals in respect of ICT for Members and the Members' ICT Strategy.

Recommendations

1.             That Members ICT requirements and training is a standing agenda item for this Committee.

2.             That Members note the content of the report.

Reason for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure Members are made aware of any developments to their ICT Service and of any training and development opportunities for Members use of ICT.

Background

2.             A Members’ ICT Group existed under the previous two administrations and was chaired by the Leader under the last administration. The Group met on a quarterly basis and each party had a nominated representative, but there was an open invitation to all Members to attend meetings of the Group.

3.             The Group discussed issues relating to the service and equipment provided to Members, had presentations from ICT staff on topics they were interested in and discussed ICT training needs and requirements for Members.

4.             Since the establishment of this Committee, it has been agreed that its terms of reference include responsibility for overseeing the Council's approach to Member Development, that the former Member ICT Working Group be not reappointed and that a further report be presented to this Committee on future proposals in respect of ICT for Members and Member’s ICT Strategy.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             The provision of ICT facilities for Members has traditionally been based on the provision of a standard laptop with facilities to connect to Council systems from their home or in the Council Offices.

6.             Technology has changed very quickly over the last three or four years and it is now felt that this standard approach does not meet the requirements of Members who may have different levels of ICT skills and access to different ICT equipment which they use in their private and business lives.

7.             The advent of the use of personal devices for business purposes, under the banner of Bring Your Own Device to work (BYOD) has raised a number security issues with regard to the data that Member have access to and also a frustration that Members often have better technology available to them at home than has been provided by the Council.

8.             A guest wireless network, the Cloud, has been installed to allow Members, staff and the public to access the internet from their own personal devices. This would help Members, for example, access Committee reports from the Council website on their own devices.

9.             Elected Members are data processors under the Data Protection Act and as such are responsible for the safekeeping of any data they may have access to as part of their role.

10.        The use of BYOD has been investigated by officers and a solution is currently being procured that would allow access to Corporate data from Council-owned devices. The security implications for the use of personal devices are becoming ever more stringent and it may not be possible to maintain the Council’s accreditation for connection to government services such as the Ministry of Justice and Department of Work and Pensions and introduce BYOD for elected members and staff.

11.        ICT officers are also considering the use of Windows tablet devices for staff and Members and one of these devices will be available at the Committee meeting for Members to view.

12.        ICT Training continues to be available to Members at no cost and at times that are convenient for Members. The latest example is a range of Windows 7 conversion courses that have been recently advertised to Members. However the number of Members attending these courses remains very low.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.        There are no legal implications that arise as a result of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

14.         There are no Crime and Disorder implications for this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.        There are no equal opportunity implications that arise as a result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.        To exercise robust financial management and explore all opportunities to improve efficiency and service quality including collaborative working.

17.        To deliver cost-effective support and service desk function to monitor performance, meet customer needs and communicate effectively.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.         This report is for information only.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.        No Member consultation has taken place.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.         Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

Minutes of the Members’ ICT Group Meetings

Contact Officer

David Vining - Head of Strategic ICT

Officers Consulted

Jeff Wyatt – Democratic Services

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies