Agenda Item No. 5
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
DEMOCRATIC SERVICES COMMITTEE: 13 APRIL 2016
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 22 FEBRUARY 2016
C3085 Performance Management Framework (L) (Scrutiny Committee - Corporate Resources) –
Approval was sought for changes to the Council’s Performance Management Framework and to establish a mechanism for reviewing the Council's Scrutiny Committee names and terms of reference in light of changes to the Performance Management Framework.
The Council had a strong performance management track record as evidenced in previous Annual Improvement Reports (AIR) by the Wales Audit Office. The recent AIR for 2014/15, nevertheless identified two proposals for improvement to:
P1 Refine performance reporting arrangements to ensure data was presented in a way that provided a balanced picture of performance and of the outcomes being achieved.
P2 Improved reporting so that cross-directorate/cross-service activity was considered in the context of delivery of priorities rather than completion of service-based actions.
The Council’s Performance Management Framework (PMF) set out the way in which performance management and measurement was undertaken across the Council. The framework enabled the Council to regularly assess, report and scrutinise performance in order to support the continuous improvement of its activities.
The proposals approved by Cabinet in December 2015, as the basis for consultation with Scrutiny Committees, considered changes to the PMF in terms of the way in which the Corporate Plan's well-being outcomes would be reported and to the Council's Scrutiny Committee structure. The comments made by Scrutiny Committees on the PMF proposals were attached at Appendix A to thereport. Whilst broadly supportive of the proposed changes, a series of queries were raised relating to the proposed reporting arrangements and names of Scrutiny Committees, including how the new arrangements could work in practice.
To address the issues raised concerning Reporting Arrangements, the report recommended that the Corporate Plan would be monitored on a quarterly basis by an overall Corporate Health Report and this would be supplemented by specific quarterly reports for each of the four well-being outcomes. These four Quarterly Well-being Outcome & Objectives Reports would demonstrate progress against each of the individual well-being outcomes and associated objectives. A brief position statement from the sponsoring Director would be provided for the quarter alongside a summary of achievements by objective with areas of underperformance/ key challenges highlighted, including a description of any remedial actions required to address them.
The report proposed that the Council would continue to produce Service Plans. However, rather than being at Directorate level, these plans would be developed at Head of Service level and would focus on the contribution made to the Council’s well-being outcomes & objectives, in addition to the way in which the service would manage its resources.
The existing approach to the monitoring of Service Plans would be replaced with quarterly reports against each well-being objective linked to a well-being outcome. This would enable Members to focus on scrutinising progress towards achieving the Council’s well-being outcomes. Services would continue to report performance data quarterly to the Council's Performance Team. The Performance Team would then use this information to produce the more focused Well-being Outcome Reports.
The consultation with Scrutiny Committees identified support for aligning the well-being outcomes of the Corporate Plan to Scrutiny Committees on a "one outcome to one Committee" basis. However, a number of queries were raised relating to the titles of the Committees, their proposed remits and the way in which duplication of reporting could be avoided. The report considered that if the Committees were to be aligned to the new Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes, the following would reflect the titles of these Committees. This would reflect the move away from the current "service-focused" scrutiny arrangements to ones focusing on the cross-cutting Well-Being outcomes contained in the Corporate Plan:
Scrutiny Committee Title
An Inclusive & Safe Vale
Inclusion & Safety Scrutiny Committee
An Active & Healthy Vale
Activity & Health Scrutiny Committee
An Environmentally Responsible & Prosperous Vale
Environment & Prosperity Scrutiny Committee
An Aspirational & Culturally Vibrant Vale
Aspiration & Culture Scrutiny Committee
In addition to the four well-being outcome-based Scrutiny Committees, the existing Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee would be replaced with a Committee called Corporate Resources & Performance Scrutiny Committee.
These proposals did not consider any changes to the composition of the Committees. However, the proposals would not merely be a change in name of the Committee but rather they would represent a refocusing of scrutiny activity on the way in which the Council’s actions were delivered against its intended outcomes. The report appreciated that this was a matter of significant interest to Members and attention was drawn to paragraph 15 of the report which suggested that this was an area that required further work through a proposed working group. Such an approach was feasible because this was a matter that required the attention of Full Council in due course. As a consequence, there was time to further develop this work and engage Members in that work.
At the meeting, the Managing Director noted that the report sought to involve Members through the proposed working group as referenced in recommendations 2, 4 and 5 of the report, to ensure they were engaged with the process before the report went back to Cabinet and sent to Council for final approval.
This was a matter for Executive decision
Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein
(1) T H A T the proposals for changes to the Council’s Performance Management Framework as described in the report be approved.
(2) T H A T the proposed review of the Council's Scrutiny Committees' names and terms of reference be agreed and the matter be referred for further consideration by the proposed working group as set out in resolution 5 below.
(3) T H A T the report be referred to the Democratic Services Committee for consideration.
(4) T H A T subject to resolutions 1-3 above, the proposal to establish a working group of Elected Members and Officers to develop further the arrangements that would support the revised Performance Management Framework, including consideration of the review of the Council's Scrutiny Committees, be approved.
(5) T H A T a further report be brought to Cabinet following conclusion of the review by the working group on matters relating to the naming and terms of reference of the Council's Scrutiny Committees.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To authorise changes to the Council’s Performance Management Framework.
(2) To ensure the proposed changes to Scrutiny Committee names and terms of reference had the support of all Members.
(3) To provide the Democratic Services Committee with an opportunity to consider the proposals and refer any comments to Full Council.
(4) To enable Elected Members and Officers to develop the arrangements that would support the revised Performance Management Framework.
(5) To allow Cabinet the opportunity to further consider the arrangements to support the revised Performance Management Framework prior to referring the matters relating to Scrutiny Committee arrangements to Council in due course.
Appendix A– Report to Cabinet – 22 FEBRUARY 2016
Appendix B - Summary of Working Group Discussion