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Agenda Item No. 8(b)










During the consideration of the item the following officers left the room and took no part in any discussions that took place on this matter; Head of Legal Services, Director of Environment & Housing Services, Director of Social Services, Director of Learning and Skills, Head of Finance / Section 151 Officer.


The updating of the Chief Officer Appraisal Scheme and a minor change to the mechanism for processing salary increments was proposed.


Service Directors, Heads of Service and Operational Managers were all employed on five point incremental grades as part of their Chief Officer terms and conditions as set out in the Council's 2016/17 Pay Policy. Pay progression within the respective salary grades was linked to (and regulated by) the Chief Officer Appraisal Scheme as introduced in 2004 and updated in 2010. Guidance notes in relation to the Scheme were attached at Appendix A and B to the report.


The proposals in the report sought to maintain the essential performance related pay elements of the Appraisal Scheme for Directors and Heads of Service but change the payment process to a more customary monthly payment arrangement.         The proposals also served to update the Scheme since its last review in 2010 and particularly in terms of the participants in the Scheme and Appeals arrangements.


The existing Scheme was based on the premise that increments 4 and 5 for Directors and Heads of Service were paid in recognition of performance in the previous year, but as a 'lump' and 'advance' payment for the whole year ahead. This was increasingly seen as confusing and problematic, particularly where employees left the Council and were then required to repay an element of the lump sum payment that they had received.


The Wales Audit Office (WAO) had recently raised a number of issues about how payments under the Scheme were accounted for and published, particularly if there was an inference (albeit incorrect) that the Scheme was a bonus arrangement. The above issue had been discussed with the WAO and for this current year had been resolved to their satisfaction. The proposals set out in the report would help to provide additional clarification. A copy of the report had also been shared with colleagues from the WAO.


The main proposed change within the revised Scheme related to the payment method for increments 4 and 5 within the Director and Head of Service incremental grades. The report proposed that, from 1 April, 2018 the payment of the above increments should be paid on a monthly basis as was the case for increments 1 to 3. The Scheme would also provide for the possibility of movement down the incremental grade (i.e. from increment 5 down to increment 3) subject to the relevant performance criteria not being met.


The proposals would help retain the important link to the Council's Performance Management Framework whilst reinforcing the incremental nature of the grade.


A copy of the revised Scheme was attached at Appendix C to the report. The detail within the Scheme had been updated to reflect those who were now party to the arrangements and revisions to the appeals process.


This was a matter for Executive and Council decision


Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein




(1)       T H A T the proposal for the general updating of the Chief Officer Appraisal Scheme and the change to the payment arrangement as set out in paragraphs 15 to 20 of the report be approved.


(2)       T H A T the proposal be referred to the Council meeting on 13 December, 2017 for final determination.


Reasons for decisions


(1)       To update the Scheme and clarify the operational arrangements following recent discussions with the Wales Audit Office.


(2)       To comply with the requirements of the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2014 in relation to Chief Officer remuneration.