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Agenda Item No. 4

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Democratic Services Committee : 15th April 2015

 

Report of the Managing Director

 

ICT Update for Members

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform Members of any new developments or issues within the ICT service and how they relate to the services provided to them

Recommendations

That Members note the content of the report.

Reasons for the Recommendations

To ensure Members are made aware of any developments to their ICT Service to the wider Council

Background

2.         Minute No 559 of the Democratic Services Committee confirmed that this committee would widen its terms of reference to 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.

3.         It was also agreed that a Members’ ICT update would be a standing item for this committee.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         Following on from the upgrade of desktop PCS to Windows 7, a server replacement programme is underway to upgrade servers to the latest Microsoft operating system, Windows Server 2012 R2. The current version, Windows Server 2003, becomes unsupported in July this year.

5.         The replacement of the servers that run the Oracle E-Business Suite will be carried out this financial year as part of the Capital programme.

6.         The new computer room in the Civic Offices is now finished and the transfer of servers and systems from the old server rooms has begun. As explained at the last meeting, this will need to be done out of normal office hours to minimise disruption to the user community. There will, however, be some short periods of time when Members may not be able to access e-mails when that system is moved, but advance warning will be given of any possible disruption.  Where new servers are acquired, as in paragraph 4 and 5 above, these will be installed directly into the new server room, the software transferred across and the old servers removed. This will help to minimise any downtime.

7.         Members will be aware that there was a failure in the Council e-mail system that resulted in staff being unable to send or receive e-mails for two days. This was as the result of a faulty fibre optic cable and a network switch that have both now been replaced.  Members were not affected as they are held on a separate version of Microsoft Exchange. Work is progressing to ensure that this does not happen again, by procuring a business continuity solution for e-mail that will be hosted off-site. Generally, the top 20 systems in the Council, which includes e-mail, have a very high level of availability. This is one of the Key Performance Indicators that gets reported to Scrutiny Committee and is generally in excess of the target of 99.95%

8.         Web Casting of Planning Committee Meetings has continued successfully with one exception, when a meeting was not recorded due to technical difficulties. Consideration will now be given by Cabinet whether or not to expand the system to cover other Council meetings.

9.         ICT Services has been included in the first tranche of services to go through the Reshaping Services process.  As a result, an investigation into alternative solutions to deliver the service in the future has been started. This will include options to externalise all or part of the service, provide a shared service with one or more public sector bodies and identifying other ways of reducing costs or generating income.  The budget reductions for the next three financial years will be very challenging as they represent a cut in budget of around 41% from the last financial year. This may impact on the services provided to members.

 

2015/16

(£,000)

2016/17

(£,000)

2017/18

(£,000)

70

235

550

 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

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

Policy Framework and Budget

15.       This report is for information only.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.      No member consultation has taken place.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.       Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee.

Background Papers

Minutes of the Members ICT Group Meetings

Contact Officer

David Vining - Head of Strategic ICT

Officers Consulted

Jeff Wyatt – Operational Manager (Democratic Services)

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies

 

 

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