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					                                                              QUALITY, DEMOCRACY AND
                                                            MANAGEMENT OVERVIEW AND
                                                                  SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
                                                                        13 OCTOBER 2003



TITLE OF REPORT: Best Value Review of ICT Services
                 – Implementation Update

REPORT OF:           Leslie Elton, Chief Executive

                                  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report provides an update on the implementation of service improvements arising
from the Best Value Review of ICT Services since the last Implementation Report that
was agreed by Cabinet on 1 April 2003.


Purpose
1. To provide an update on the implementation of service improvements arising from
   the Best Value Review of ICT Services.
Progress on Implementation
2. The implementation of the ICT Services report is broadly on target. Most of the
   actions agreed for completion within the last six months of the Implementation Plan
   have been achieved. These actions are as detailed in the Implementation Plan at
   Appendix 1.

3. Key actions that have been completed include:
    The upgraded mainframe has been installed smoothly.
      An additional ICT trainer has been appointed and the ICT training employees have
       moved to the ICT establishment
      A proposed structure to provide ICT support to schools from one single dedicated
       team will be reported to Cabinet in October 2003
      Councillor ICT requirements briefing sessions have been completed and the rollout
       of chosen options has now started
      The replacement operating system, Windows 2000, has begun its implementation
      The third ECDL programme of 80 candidates has now commenced.
4. The milestones concerned with the development of a business continuity plan have
   not been achieved as it has been recognised that business continuity planning is an
   important part of the Council’s Corporate Risk Management Strategy and will
   therefore be addressed as part of the Corporate Risk Management Strategy.

5. Actions relating to issues about out of hours working are scheduled to be addressed
   by the Customer Service Strategy Group as part of the work to be carried out with
   the selected partner. Work with the selected partner is scheduled to commence in
   January 2004.

                                           1
Recommendation
6. It is recommended that the Quality, Democracy and Management Overview and
   Scrutiny Committee consider two fundamental questions when scrutinising this
   report:
    Is the review having the necessary impact upon users?
    Are services improving in the way the original review anticipated?




Contact: Shirley Erskine                                 Ext: 2023




                                          2
                                                                             APPENDIX 1
Implementation Background
1. Cabinet agreed the first implementation report for the Best Value Review of ICT
   Services on 1 April 2003. The implementation programme agreed for the review
   outlines service improvement for the next five years.

Progress on implementation
2. The implementation of the ICT services plan is broadly on target. Most of the actions
   agreed for completion in the first year of the implementation plan have been achieved.

What have we achieved so far?
3. The upgraded mainframe has been installed smoothly, and the managed service from
   Fujitsu for the Council Tax and Housing Benefit applications has begun. This has in
   turn ended the shift system and released operational employees to take up their new
   duties as defined in the best value action plan ahead of schedule.

4. A reorganisation of ICT staff has now been implemented and the ICT training
   employees have moved to the ICT establishment.

5. The main „Uninterruptible Power Supply‟ to the ICT computer room was replaced.

6. A number of replacement applications have been implemented including, SX3 Housing
   Management, OLM First Care Social Services system, Tranman fleet management,
   Housing Advances, Debt Recovery and Case Management, Land Charges, upgraded
   cash receipting and Income Management.

7. Occupational Health system procurement progressed to the receipt of the response to
   the Invitation to Tender.

8. In partnership with Development & Enterprise the operational and strategic
   management responsibility procedures relating to the corporate gazetteer have been
   developed.

9. E-Power in Gateshead third Sector Invitation to Tender process completed and
   contract awarded.

10. A proposed structure to provide ICT support to schools from one single dedicated team
    that will meet the needs and requirements of schools in both curriculum and
    administrative support will be reported to Cabinet in October 2003.

11. A number of ICT developments are being progressed to support the Customer Service
    Strategy e.g. Customer Enquiry Tracking, Frequently Asked Questions and the
    impending implementation of 6 on-street and 2 indoor information kiosks.

12. Other developments include:
     a.    A successful bid has been made for Local Government Online Funding by a
           consortium of Tyne and Wear ICT managers to begin the development of a
           Tyne and Wear Community Portal to be implemented on further kiosks across
           the region.
     b.    Interactive job shop and applying on line is ready to go live.
     c.    Continued rollout of Telewest „Centrex‟ telephone lines to Area Housing Offices.


                                             3
     d.    Councillor ICT requirements briefing sessions completed. Commenced rollout
           of chosen options.
     e.    A showcase of ICT equipment and applications has been held for Councillors
           and Senior Managers.
     f.    A pilot project within Leisure using „smartcards‟ has been successfully
           completed and is now being implemented on a permanent basis.
     g.    E-Commerce Phase I partnership “March 03” deliverables complete e.g.
           enhanced NEPO web site, “how to do business guide” etc
     h.    Success with Phase I E-Commerce Partnership project has been followed up
           with a successful bid to secure central government funding for phase II.
     i.    The replacement operating system, Windows 2000, has begun its
           implementation.
     j.    Inclusive of the pilot scheme, the third ECDL programme of 80 candidates has
           now commenced. The scheme is open to both employees and Councillors and
           will continue on a rolling programme.
     k.    An additional trainer has now been appointed and taken up their duties.

What impact has this had for users?
13. The redeployment of staff from production into the first line support area has increased
    the level of support available to answer queries and resolve problems at first call. This
    has in turn allowed other support staff to work full time on projects such as replacement
    of the operating system meaning that customers receive a better service all round.

14. Additional training has been given to helpdesk employees to enable them to deal with a
    wider range of calls. During the Best Value process an independent review of the
    helpdesk service measured the number of calls fixed first time by the helpdesk. This
    figure was 11%, the helpdesk currently fix an average of 19.4% of calls at first point of
    contact.

15. Implementation of the Telewest „Centrex‟ system has reduced telephone costs for the
    Council as a whole.

16. The showcase days have made access to ICT innovations more widely available to
    both Councillors and employees, ensuring that they can consider the possible uses and
    impact of their uses on their customers and services.

17. The ECDL programme has given employees an opportunity to experience flexible open
    learning to develop their ICT skills as well as gaining a recognised qualification.
    Evaluation of the ECDL programme revealed that 78% of participants said their
    approach to using the PC within their work had changed. 96% considered it to be a
    worthwhile qualification and everyone said that they would recommend the course to
    others.

18. The appointment of the additional ICT trainer will improve access to training and
    support for all Councillors and employees. It will also enable further courses to be
    developed.

19. In working towards the BVPI 157 target of 100% of appropriate services being
    electronically enabled by December 2005, the position as at the end of June 2003 is
    53%. To reach the target of 70% by March 2004 we will need to implement a number
    of online initiatives linked to the Customer Service Strategy.


                                              4
Is the implementation on target?
20. Most of the actions agreed have been achieved and the implementation plan is broadly
    on target.

21. The ICT BV implementation plan included milestones concerned with the development
    of a business continuity plan. It is recognised that business continuity planning is an
    important part of the Councils Corporate Risk Management Strategy. The milestones
    concerning business continuity planning will therefore be addressed as part of the
    Corporate Risk Management Strategy. A report on the Corporate Risk Management
    Strategy will be presented in September 2003.

22. The Councils e-government programme has been formally aligned under a single
    management structure with the Customer Services Strategy. Thereby removing the
    need to establish separate e-government implementation teams, This ensures that e-
    government activity is driven by the common goals of delivering services to customers
    at a time, place and method of their choosing.

What will we do next?
23. In the next six months:
    a. Work with Audit to establish and start the work of a corporate business continuity
        working group
   b. Develop extended hours ICT support specification in consultation with the Customer
      Service Strategy Project Team
   c. Establish a PC build team.
   d. Continue consultation with schools
   e. Identify and equip a new training room




                                             5
                          ICT Services Implementation Plan - Updated July 2003

Key to milestones
    Milestone completed         Milestone on target -             Milestone not completed,           Milestone not due for
                                due for completion                or not expected to be              completion
                                during the next six               completed, on time
                                months

Service Option 4   COMPLETE   To create a formal communications channel between central ICT and the service based ICT
                              administrators in order to develop the delivery of low level technical support to produce the
                              most effective first line support for Groups


Service Option 6   COMPLETE   To establish a project team to identify the Councils replacement for the Windows NT 4.0
                              computer operating system and to create an implementation plan in order to ensure that the
                              council retains the advantages of a standard platform




                                                              6
ICT Services Implementation Plan (Updated July 2003)


Service Option 1:              To develop the framework, processes and procedures required to progress the corporate
                               e-government strategy, monitor its implementation and carry out regular reviews in order
                               to meet the governments targets for e-government, improve service delivery and ensure
                               active involvement of customers and services in ICT strategic development – By April
                               2003

Impact on User                 This option would allow for a corporate approach to the delivery of e-government and
                               ensure commitment of all service groups to the process.

Ref.                  Milestones                   Target for          Lead                     Progress
                                                   Completion         Officer
 1.1   Submit updated Implementing Electronic      Sep 2002         Roy         Complete. IEG 2 Statement submitted
       Government 2 Statement – including                           Sheehan     October 2002. Published on the Council‟s
       revised e-government development plan                                    website.

 1.2   Finalise and agree terms of reference for   Oct 2002         Roy         Complete. The Proposed structure of the
       the Steering Group and e-Government                          Sheehan     E-government Steering Group and
       Implementation Teams                                                     Implementation Teams was agreed as part
                                                                                of the IEG2 consultation and decision
                                                                                making process.

 1.3   Conduct e-Government awareness              Nov 2002         Roy         Complete Consultation with and awareness
       sessions with senior managers and                            Sheehan     raising for Officers and Councillors
       Councillors                                                              regarding the e-Government agenda was
                                                                                done as part of the IEG2 approval and
                                                                                decision making process.


                                                                7
ICT Services Implementation Plan (Updated July 2003)

Ref.                  Milestones                 Target for           Lead                     Progress
                                                 Completion          Officer
 1.4   Commence first round of e-Government      Nov 2002          Roy         Complete. The work of the e-government
       Implementation Team meeting                                 Sheehan     groups has been incorporated into the
                                                                   /e-Gov.     Customer Service Strategy. A
                                                                   Team        comprehensive structure including the
                                                                   Leaders     Steering Group, Project team, Group and
                                                                               Frontline Reference Group have been
                                                                               established. Regular meetings of these
                                                                               various groups are taking place.
 1.5   Establish corporate business continuity   Apr 2003 to       TBA         The Corporate approach to Business
       working group and publish business        Dec 2003                      Continuity Planning is currently being
       continuity plan                                                         investigated with a report scheduled for
                                                                               September which will include
                                                                               recommendations on an approach to
                                                                               business continuity.




                                                               8
ICT Services Implementation Plan (Updated July 2003)


Service Option 2:             To enable the helpdesk to resolve more queries at first point of contact by developing a
                              knowledge base (database) and investing in the appropriate technical training for helpdesk
                              operators, resulting in faster call resolution and reducing the number of calls that are
                              passed to more specialist resources. – By April 2004



Impact on User                Faster call resolution will reduce the impact of computer faults in service groups which
                              will enable a better front line service to be delivered to local people.

Ref.                 Milestones                  Target for    Lead                            Progress
                                                 Completion   Officer
 2.1   Implement Call monitoring Software        Dec 2002   Joanne            Complete. Calls are now automatically
                                                            Morgan            distributed to operators.
 2.2   Complete development of Performance       Jan 2003   Joanne            Complete. Indicators developed. Included
       Indicators                                           Morgan            in monthly management report.
 2.3   Send out and evaluate Customer            Monthly    Joanne            Complete. Procedure in place to report
       Satisfaction Questionnaires               commencing Morgan            monthly.
                                                 Jan 2003
 2.4   Additional employees commence duty –      Jan 2003   Joanne            Complete. Ten employees now employed in
       dependant on demise of mainframe                     Morgan            Customer Support Section.
 2.5   Analyse Performance Indicators            Apr 2003   Joanne            Complete. PIs evaluated, changes made to
                                                            Morgan            working practices that should bring about
                                                                              further improvement.




                                                              9
ICT Services Implementation Plan (Updated July 2003)

Ref.                 Milestones               Target for       Lead                     Progress
                                              Completion      Officer
 2.6   Review Helpdesk Training Needs and     Jan 2003 -    Joanne      Complete. Training needs and procedures
       Procedures (to be reviewed every 6     ongoing       Morgan      have been assessed. Training plan
       months)                                                          complete to take us to April 2004. The
                                                                        process will be reviewed every 6 months.
 2.7   Develop Knowledge Base                 Oct 2003      Joanne      On target. Currently being developed and
                                                            Morgan      populated.
 2.8   Participate in SOCITM Customer         Apr 2004      Joanne
       Satisfaction Survey                                  Morgan




                                                           10
ICT Services Implementation Plan (Updated July 2003)


Service Option 3:               To prepare detailed specifications of support requirements for major projects, such as
                                Social Care, Customer Service Centres, Councillors ICT and e-government, in order to
                                enable the effective operation of extended hours services – By April 2003



Impact on User                  To extend the support service hours offered by ICT to reflect the changing requirements
                                of the services and their customers to ensure a more comprehensive ICT service provision.



Ref.                    Milestones                     Target for       Lead                      Progress
                                                       Completion     Officer
 3.1   Make recommendations regarding extended         Nov 2002     Julie Knox/   Complete. Pilot project complete and
       ICT Support to Councillors following analysis                Roy           findings reported to Cabinet.
       of results of Councillors ICT Pilot.                         Sheehan        One to one ICT needs assessment
                                                                                     completed.
                                                                                   Option one – Outlook Web Access –
                                                                                     rolled out. Further follow-up required.
                                                                                   Councillors Briefing note required to
                                                                                     inform Councillors of planned roll-out.
 3.2   Specify “Social Care” extended ICT support      Mar 2003     David         Complete. There is a requirement to have
       service requirements in consultation with                    Oates/        99.6% system availability by 2004.
       the Social Care Project Board.                               Steve Cook    Implementing a backup strategy that only
                                                                                  takes the system out 20 minutes per week
                                                                                  has provided this.




                                                               11
ICT Services Implementation Plan (Updated July 2003)

Ref.                   Milestones                    Target for         Lead                      Progress
                                                     Completion        Officer
 3.3   Develop extended hours ICT support            Mar 2003        Roy          The Customer Service Strategy Group is
       specification in consultation with Customer                   Sheehan      scheduled to address this issue as part of
       Service Project Team to meet the needs of                                  the work to be carried out with the
       the Customer Service and e-Government                                      selected partner. Work with the selected
       Strategies.                                                                partner is scheduled to commence in
                                                                                  January 2004
 3.5   Implement extended ICT support service in     Apr 2003        Steve Cook   Complete. Backup strategy in place for
       time for Social Care going live                                            the system to go live. Further discussions
                                                                                  taking place around providing an off-line
                                                                                  version of the system in case of system /
                                                                                  network / power failure.




                                                                12
ICT Services Implementation Plan (Updated July 2003)


Service Option 5               To integrate areas of ICT support to schools into a single dedicated team, delivering a
                               schedule of services that has been compiled to reflect the varying needs and requirements
                               of schools in both curriculum and administrative support – By September 2003

Impact on User                 This option will facilitate a more co-ordinated service approach to ICT support to schools,
                               improving the service experience for administrative and teaching staff.

Ref.                  Milestones                  Target for       Lead                        Progress
                                                  Completion      Officer
 5.1   Prepare structure which brings together    Jan 2003      Steve Leigh The proposed structure is currently the
       the current education management                         /Julie Knox subject of consultation with employees. It is
       /administration and curriculum ICT                                   anticipated that a final report will be
       support staff into one support team.                                 submitted to Council in October for approval
       Evaluate existing job profiles and                                   and implementation.
       numbers of staff required to deliver the
       improved service identified.
 5.2   Evaluate the most appropriate              Jan 2003      Steve Leigh Complete. It has now been agreed that the
       management arrangements for ICT                          /Julie Knox new arrangements reside under the
       support to schools, i.e.:                                            management of Learning and Culture, but
        Management of the team aligned to                                  arrangements will continue to be subject to
          Learning and Culture                                              evaluation to ensure that it continues to meet
        Management of the team aligned to                                  the principles of Best Value.
          Finance and ICT
        Partnership arrangement with an
          external provider.



                                                               13
ICT Services Implementation Plan (Updated July 2003)

Ref.                  Milestones                   Target for       Lead                        Progress
                                                   Completion      Officer
 5.3   Evaluate the arrangements for effective     Jan 2003      Steve Leigh Weekly meetings are now taking place which
       communication with a view to establishing                             involve the current ICT school support,
       a weekly meeting between the manager of                               Performance management (Learning and
       the technical support team, education                                 Culture) and the education inspector for ICT.
       advisers for ICT and Performance                                      Chaired by the Head of Planning and
       management (Chaired by Head of Planning                               Resources (Learning and Culture), the
       and Resources), for updates and sharing                               meetings provide a focus to the direction of
       of information. The manager of the                                    the Education ICT strategy and the
       technical support team would also be                                  development of the joint support team and its
       represented on the education ICT                                      service provision to schools. As important,
       Strategy Group.                                                       the meeting also provides a forum for update
                                                                             and sharing of information.
 5.4   Assuming that the service continues to be   Jan 2003      Steve Leigh Consultation with schools (possibly using
       delivered by the Council, consult new       to                        focus group sessions) will commence following
       arrangements with schools and implement.    Sept 2003                 implementation of new support arrangements.
       Change to :                                 Change to
       Consult with schools on the new structure   Commence
       and range of services to be offered         November
                                                   2003
 5.5   Should the process of procurement           Jan 2003     Steve Leigh As indicated in 5.2 above, alternative
       identify a partnership arrangement for      to                       arrangements to the delivery of service
       the delivery of support services, work      Sep 2003                 provision will continue to be evaluated during
       through the requirements with selected      Change to :              the process of consultation regarding
       partner, consult with schools and           Following 12             services to be provided to schools and the
       implement new arrangements.                 months of                structure to support that service provision.
       Change to:                                  operation
                                                                14
ICT Services Implementation Plan (Updated July 2003)

Ref.                 Milestones               Target for         Lead                        Progress
                                              Completion        Officer
       Implement and Evaluate new structure                               Evaluation of the structure and its activities
                                                                          will be tied into the appraisal process with
                                                                          any formal management review (as
                                                                          appropriate) taking place after the first 12
                                                                          months of operation.




                                                           15
ICT Services Implementation Plan (Updated July 2003)


Service Option 7:              To create a dedicated equipment procurement, build and installation team in order to deliver
                               a faster and more streamlines mechanism for ordering and installing hardware and software,
                               meeting customers‟ expectations without lowering standards – By June 2004

Impact on User                 Reduced time between order and delivery of equipment will enable benefits of ICT to flow
                               more quickly to group users and local people

Ref.                   Milestones                   Target for         Lead                       Progress
                                                    Completion        Officer
 7.1   Develop Performance Indicator to measure     Jan 2003        Joanne       Complete. Reported monthly as part of
       time taken from receipt of order to                          Morgan       management report.
       installation on desktop
 7.2   Establish PC Build Team                      Jan 2004        Steve Cook   On target

 7.3   Monitor effectiveness of team using PIs      June 2004       Joanne
                                                                    Morgan




                                                               16
ICT Services Implementation Plan (Updated July 2003)


Service Option 8             To develop more effective methods of communication with ICT in order to improve
                             communications with both employees and customers, raise awareness of services and provide
                             channels for two way communication and feedback to help planning and delivery of ICT
                             provision and support.
                             Restructure and enhance ICT training provision to make quality training available to more
                             service customers in line with changes in ICT service delivery and support – By December 2003

Impact on User               Local people will enjoy improvements in quality and timeliness of services from the council as a
                             result of raising awareness within council group of what ICT can deliver, making best use of
                             ICT training and providing channels to allow for feedback of suggestions for improvements to
                             the front line service provision.

Ref.                Milestones                 Target for         Lead                            Progress
                                               Completion       Officer
 8.1   Complete and evaluate success of        Sep 2002       Susan           Complete. To date 240 employees have been
       ECDL training pilot                                    Hanson          given the opportunity to train for the ECDL.
 8.2   Create a „Frequently Asked Questions‟   Jan 2003       Joanne          Complete. A-Z and Initial FAQ site included
       section on the intranet and a section                  Morgan          on the Intranet.
       about ICT in the A – Z of council                                      Developing the FAQ area further to include
       services on the website                                                system availability functionality, helpdesk
                                                                              information, and the ability to log a call via e-
                                                                              mail.
 8.3   Set up an ICT internal focus group      Dec 2002       Julie Knox      Complete. First meeting held in December.
                                                                              Monthly meetings planned for the rest of the
                                                                              year.
 8.4   Create an internal ICT newsletter       Jan 2003       Julie Knox      Complete. First newsletter distributed in
       distributed by e-mail.                                                 January. Produced quarterly.

                                                               17
ICT Services Implementation Plan (Updated July 2003)

Ref.                 Milestones               Target for        Lead                         Progress
                                              Completion      Officer
 8.5   Create an additional ICT newsletter in Feb 2003      Julie Knox    Complete. Councillors briefing first stage
       paper format for general distribution                              issued in December. Employee briefing issued
                                                                          March. Next briefing due September
 8.6   Set up a network of service group         Mar 2003   Roy Sheehan   Complete. The network of service contacts has
       contacts.                                                          been established as part of Option 4 ref. 4.1.
 8.7   Set up a project and investigate the      Apr 2003   Roy Sheehan   Following the presentation of a report to the
       introduction of „intranet café‟ centres                            Communications Network, Catering and
       with suitable equipment.                                           Cleaning Services have been identified as a
                                                                          potential pilot for this work. Follow-up report
                                                                          to be presented to the next Communications
                                                                          network meeting. The GMB have expressed an
                                                                          interest in supporting this project via the GMB
                                                                          “Learning for All” fund.
 8.8   Employ an additional trainer              Dec 2002   Julie Knox/   Not completed on schedule due to problems
                                                            Susan         with recruiting suitable person. Appointment
                                                            Hanson        made June 2003.
 8.9   Move ICT trainers to ICT                  Mar 2003   Julie Knox/   Complete, included as part of the ICT
       establishment                                        Susan         restructure. Implemented from 1/3/03
                                                            Hanson
8.10   Identify and equip a suitable location    Dec 2003   Julie Knox/   On target
       as an additional training room                       Susan
                                                            Hanson




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