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Agenda Item No. 7

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Democratic Services Committee: 26th July 2017

 

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.

Recommendation

That Members note the content of the report.

Reason for the Recommendation

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

Background

  1. The Committee's terms of reference include responsibility for overseeing the Council's approach to Member Development. As part of its role, the Committee has agreed that a Members' ICT update be a standing item on the agenda for each meeting.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. A report entitled "Review of ICT Systems for Elected Members" was considered and approved by Cabinet on 9th January 2017. The report set out the approach to be taken in terms of Member ICT for new and returning Members following the Council election in May 2017.
  2. Following Cabinet approval, a project team resourced by ICT and Democratic Services officers was assembled to plan and deliver all of the required themes associated with the Members' hardware refresh programme. These themes were:
  • ICT Hardware and Software (specification and procurement)
  • Training (content, materials and delivery)
  • Terms of Use (ICT Computer Code of Conduct and Data Protection)
  • Future Support (ongoing bespoke training and business as usual)
  1. The hardware and software was specified based on requirements gathered by the project team. This equipment was trialled by two elected Members and a number of officers. Based on the success of the trials and the feedback received the equipment was procured and built by ICT.
  2. All standard hardware items were purchased following a mini-competition using procurement framework reference NPS-ICT-0019-15, Lot 12 Software and Hardware Solutions. The mobile phones and SIM cards were all purchased though the existing corporate mobile phone contract with O2.
  3. The equipment was delivered and training was provided to Members during the 'Market Stall' sessions held in the Civic Offices in May 2017. This training covered the operation of the equipment and also the terms of its use in the context of Information Security, Data Protection and usage i.e. to only be used for activities relating to Elected Member's functions.
  4. All ICT kit that had been used by elected Members before the elections in May 2017 has been collected. Any out-dated / redundant kit has been securely wiped to ensure that no data remained and then scrapped as part of ICT's scrapping / recycling procedure. Any serviceable kit has been recycled for re-use within the organisation. The ICT inventory database was updated to reflect the above.
  5. To facilitate a reduction in the volume and cost of printing hard-copy Committee agendas, minutes, reports, etc., going forward, ICT and Democratic Services officers jointly developed the Members' 'Committee Hub'. This is essentially a secure electronic repository where Members can find agendas, minutes, reports, etc., specifically related to the Committee's within their respective portfolios.
  6. Members can access the 'Committee Hub' securely from any location that has a Wi-Fi or mobile phone signal on their tablet PC's, mitigating the need for hard-copy documents in the future. Members can also annotate electronic documents by writing on the tablet's touch screen using a stylus or equivalent and save these back to the 'Committee Hub' for future reference.
  7. Further support and training has been provided to Members since the original 'Market Stall' sessions and ICT support going forward is being provided as part of ICT service business as usual.
  8. The ICT service restructure was completed on 1st June 2017. There were no staff redundancies. Following this process, ten posts on the new structure remained vacant. The recruitment campaign for these posts is ongoing with a view to fully populating the new structure by the autumn of 2017.
  9. The new structure was designed to provide resilience to core ICT services and add more capacity to the ICT Security and Information Management functions whilst also delivering savings in terms of staff salary costs.
  10. The ICT service continues to provide opportunities for young workers. There are two trainee posts on the new structure. The trainees are employed on three year fixed-term contracts, during which they gain valuable work experience and have the opportunity to gain a formal ICT-related qualification. There are also two ICT apprentices currently working in the service.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The ICT service fell into tranche 1 of the Council's 'Reshaping Services' programme. The savings target for 2015/16 was £70,000, 2016/17 was £205,000, 2017/18 is £400,000, and 2018/19 is £150,000. The total savings target for the ICT service over this 4 year period is £825,000.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The new ICT hardware requires less power to operate than larger laptops and desktop PC's.
  2. It is intended that the new ICT hardware will instigate a reduction in the volumes of printed meeting agendas, minutes, and reports associated with Members' meetings; reducing the quantity of paper being purchased, reducing the power required to operate printers, and reducing the frequency that printer toner is required to be recycled.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. To exercise robust financial management and explore all opportunities to improve efficiency and service quality including collaborative working.
  2. To deliver cost-effective support and service desk function to monitor performance, meet customer needs and communicate effectively.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1.   The terms of reference of the Committee include responsibility for overseeing the Council's approach to Member Development, including Member ICT.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. No Member consultation has taken place.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1.   Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee.

Background Papers

Previous reports to Democratic Services Committee on Members' ICT

Contact Officer

Nick Wheeler - Operational Manager (ICT)

Officers Consulted

Head of Finance

Head of Democratic Services

Principal Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Managing Director

 

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