BUSINESS PLAN 2006 - 2007
FOREWORD BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE INTRODUCTION Our Business Functions of the Agency The Organisation Our Purpose, Aim and Values
4 4 5 7
AGENCY CORPORATE PLAN PUBLIC SERVICE AGREEMENT TARGETS AND OBJECTIVES FOR 2006/07 Customers Processes Organisational Learning and Growth Results PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS CORPORATE GOVERNANCE and RISK MANAGEMENT Annex 1 Resources
9 10 11 12 14 14
FOREWORD BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE
As I look back over our achievements in 2005/2006 it is clear that it has been another difficult and extremely challenging year.
What is encouraging to note, however, is the significant progress that we have made in coming to terms with each of the challenges as the year progressed. We have begun to get new scheme backlogs under control, we have reversed the decline in old scheme compliance, we have got to grips with the complexities of transitional and clerical cases and we have been able to deal with customer complaints earlier in the cycle.
Our performance has been achieved in the context of an imminent major change programme. On 9 February 2006 the Great Britain Agency’s Operational Improvement Plan was announced in Parliament. The plan was constructed around four themes: Getting it Right, Keeping it Right, Putting it Right and Getting the Best from the Organisation. We are now considering our ways of working in light of these operational proposals. This will raise many questions, questions about our organisation and structure, working methods, computer system, resources, clerical cases and debt. These new changes will bring a new set of challenges for the next few years. However, I know we are up to these challenges and the continued dedication and commitment of our staff will ensure that we continue to make a difference for children whose parents live apart.
BARNEY McGAHAN Chief Executive April 2006
The Northern Ireland Child Support Agency’s main business is to arrange or collect child support maintenance on behalf of children whose parents live apart. The Agency shares that objective with the Child Support Agency in Great Britain. The Northern Ireland Agency delivers services to: the people of Northern Ireland, with a population of some 1.7 million; and the people of Eastern England, with a population of some 8 – 10 million, under a contract with the Great Britain Agency.
FUNCTIONS OF THE AGENCY
The Northern Ireland Child Support Agency is an Executive Agency of the Department for Social Development. We are responsible for implementing the Child Support (Northern Ireland) Orders 1991 and 1995 and the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 within Northern Ireland and the 1991 and 1995 Child Support Acts and the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 for our business in Eastern England. The Government’s aim is for all parents to contribute to the financial support of their children, thereby contributing to the reduction of child poverty. To achieve this aim, the Government expects the child support service to provide prompt, accurate calculation of maintenance, and regular, reliable collection and payment. New arrangements were introduced for new cases from March 2003 and have enabled the Agency to focus on getting money flowing to more children more quickly, with less time spent gathering information, carrying out reassessments and correcting errors. However, a number of difficulties with our new computer and telephony system still exist, and whilst progress is being made to resolve these, the Agency currently operates 2 child support schemes in parallel, the ‘new’ scheme, relating to cases received on or after 3 March 2003, and the ‘old’ scheme, relating to cases received prior to 3 March 2003
The Northern Ireland Child Support Agency Headquarters is located in the Great Northern Tower in Belfast. In delivering its services to the people of Northern Ireland the Agency has around 490 staff; the majority of them working in Millennium House in Belfast with a small number of staff working in four area offices located in Social Security Offices located in Foyle, Antrim, Newry and Omagh. The Agency also delivers child support services to Great Britain through a Service Level Agreement. There are 1299 Northern Ireland Civil Servants based in Great Northern Tower and Royston House providing services to an area of Eastern England from Scarborough to Ipswich and from Barnsley through to St Albans.
The Agency Management Board comprises Chief Executive Resources Director Operations Director Operations Manager Acting Operations Manager Operations Manager Business Development Manager Financial Controller Personnel Officer Barney McGahan Andrea Orr Mary Quinn Eilish O’Neill John Millar Lynda Hurley Chris Matthews Jeff Glass Sharon Toner
The Chief Executive and Directors meet monthly to consider the Operational Performance of the Agency. All Board members meet fortnightly to identify and plan for the strategic issues affecting the Agency.
Our main customers are parents-with-care, non-resident parents and children. Arranging the financial support of children is our primary concern. Our stakeholders are all other people with an interest in the Agency, including our Minister, the Great Britain Child Support Agency, customer representative groups and taxpayers. The current opening hours of our Customer Help Line are 8.00 am to 8.00 pm Monday to Friday and 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on Saturday. We can be contacted as follows: Northern Ireland – Tel: Old scheme: 0845 713 9896 New scheme: 0845 6080022 Minicom Tel: 0845 713 9704 Old scheme: 0845 713 2000 New scheme: 0845 6090092 Minicom Tel: 0845 713 2243
Eastern Business Unit – Tel:
Audio tape, Braille and large print versions of Agency leaflets are available on request for visually impaired people by contacting 0845 7132628. The Agency also has a contract with a translation service, Language Line, to provide a facility for those of our customers who do not have English as their first language. Further details about the Agency and its service can be found on our Internet web site at http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/csa.htm The Agency can also be contacted through the following E-mail addresses: Customer Help Line: Customer Service Manager: Belfastfirstname.lastname@example.org Belfastemail@example.com
Purpose, Aim and Values
Our Purpose To make a difference for children whose parents live apart by arranging or collecting appropriate child support maintenance.
To do this we: establish child support - by contacting non-resident parents, arranging the resolution of paternity disputes and calculating child maintenance. establish regular payment patterns - by notifying parents of the amount of maintenance to be paid and arranging a suitable payment method, monitoring payments to ensure that a pattern of regular payment is established and collecting and relaying payments at the request of either party. maintain child support - by keeping assessments up to date, pursuing missing or late payments promptly and liasing with other Government Departments, Agencies and public bodies.
Our Aim To be recognised as an Agency which delivers a high quality service to customers and staff.
Our Values We care about our customers; We value and develop our staff; We are open, honest, fair and impartial; We accept responsibility for our actions; We work as one team; and We strive to improve everything we do.
AGENCY CORPORATE PLAN
The Agency’s Corporate Plan reflects several key influences: the Public Service Agreement which sets out the Department’s contribution to the key targets and milestones in the Government’s Priorities and Budget for 2006 2008 document; the modernising public services agenda and the programme of Welfare Reform, with specific emphasis on the child support reforms and, in particular, the stated aim of halving child poverty in 10 years and eliminating it within 20 years; the Department for Social Development’s Business Plan 2006/07 which sets out the key aims and objectives across the coming year; the operational priorities of the Great Britain Agency for 2006/07; and the Department for Work and Pensions’ Five Year Strategy
PUBLIC SERVICE AGREEMENT
As part of the Department’s Public Service Agreement, the Child Support Agency is committed to helping to reduce poverty and disadvantage among vulnerable people by ensuring that parents who live apart maintain their children. The Agency’s Public Service Agreement target is to: By March 2008, increase the number of children receiving child maintenance by 150 per cent compared to March 2003. By achieving this key target the Agency will be making a difference to children’s lives by getting more money flowing to them more quickly. This aim will also be contributing to the Government’s priority of eliminating child poverty. A key element to the achievement of the Public Service Agreement and the milestone targets will be the decision to move all the old scheme cases onto the new computer system and new scheme.
We will provide the level of service our customers have the right to expect from us by processing more maintenance assessments, getting more money flowing more quickly and making it easier for our customers to contact us when issues arise. Our specific targets and objectives for 2006/07 are as follows.
To meet customer needs
Level of customer satisfaction
Service Standards* - Telephony performance (abandoned calls to the Customer Helpline) - Payment to the Parent with Care · New scheme · Old Scheme Resolve customer complaints or agree a resolution plan
90% within 10 days 98% within 10 days 90% of complaints resolved within 20 working days
To reduce child poverty
Number of children receiving child maintenance
65% increase from 2003
We will ensure that our processes are developed, reviewed and revised to deliver equitable and fair outcomes for customers and staff. Our specific objectives for 2006/07 are as follows.
To deliver strategic programme objectives in order to improve processes
Progress against Strategic Project Plan Service Standards* - increase the proportion of applications reaching maintenance calculations
Meet project milestones
ORGANISATIONAL LEARNING AND GROWTH
The Agency recognises that its people make things happen and that the staff are the most important factor when it comes to delivering a quality service to customers. We will properly equip staff to deliver child support services in a professional, sensitive and effective manner by training, coaching, supporting and developing people to enable them to realise their full potential. Our specific objectives for 2006/07 are as follows.
To have the right people in the right place at the right time To ensure that staff develop and maintain the right skills, values and behaviours to achieve business results
Staff numbers Levels of absenteeism
No less than 95% of complement 10% reduction on 2005/06 levels
Personal Development plans completed (excluding those on long term sick and career break) Personal development Plan needs met Investors in People
100% by 31/05/06
100% by 31/03/07
retention of Investors in People recognition 50% increase on 2004/05 levels
To ensure staff feel valued, motivated and involved
Levels of staff satisfaction
Through the achievement of challenging results we will deliver an improved service to our customers, getting more money flowing more quickly. Our specific targets for 2006/07 are as follows.
To collect the right money from right people at right time
Cash Value Accuracy (to the nearest penny on the last decision made) - New Scheme - Old Scheme Case Compliance (excluding maintenance direct) - New Scheme - Old Scheme (including maintenance direct) - New scheme Cash Compliance - New Scheme - Old Scheme
62% 75% 65% 60% 72%
To promote Maintenance Direct arrangements To provide value for money to the taxpayer
Level of Maintenance Direct
Increase by 10% for old and new scheme
Cost of collections
Establish baseline by September 2006
* The Agency’s Service Standards are currently under review.
The Agency will also seek to respond to changing customer needs and, therefore, improve how we deliver our services. In addition to the business performance targets above, we will also live within our funding allocation for the year.
The cash value accuracy, case compliance and cash compliance targets associated with the strategic objective to collect the right money from right people at right time are Ministerial targets for 2006/07. The target associated with the strategic objective to reduce child poverty is our Public Service Agreement target for 2006/07. Business for Great Britain Agency is managed under a Service Level Agreement, which specifies the required level of performance.
The foregoing targets and objectives have been developed against the following planning assumptions. Any significant changes with some or all of these assumptions will require the Agency to revisit its plans for 2006/07. There will be no in year reduction to the Agency’s financial allocation. New Scheme intakes will be between 9,000 and 10,000. There will be no bulk migration / conversion in year. EDS will deliver system improvements on schedule. The assumptions underpinning the Agency’s Capacity Planning Model are accurate. There will be no change to our partnership arrangement with the Social Security Agency. There will be no major disruption to services.
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND RISK MANAGEMENT
Successful delivery of our business and the achievement of the targets and objectives set out in the previous sections are not without risks. These range from shortfalls in resources to unexpected peaks of work. The Agency introduced a corporate governance framework and risk management system in 2000/2001. These have now been successfully embedded throughout the organisation at all levels. The implementation of these systems allows the Chief Executive, as Accounting Officer, to sign the full Statement of Internal Control in the Annual Report and Accounts. The Agency’s Corporate Governance Framework specifies the decision making process in the Agency and the roles and responsibilities of the various committees and Agency Board Members. An important aspect of corporate governance is the need for a risk management system. The system: identifies and manages the significant risks of the Agency in relation to it delivering its objectives; and provides an assurance chain that the proper controls are in operation to enable the Agency to identify the risks to delivering its business objectives. We will continue to identify all significant risks and will develop and implement plans to counteract and manage them.
The financial resources available to the Agency are: NI (£k) 13,293 94 13,387 EBU (£k) 28,850 1 2041 29,054 1
Running Costs Capital TOTAL
Modernisation Funding Budget NI (£k) 5,967 300 6,267 EBU (£k) Nil Nil Nil
Running Costs Capital TOTAL
Resource Budgeting Resource budgeting is in place.
Conserving Resources Private sector expertise is assisting the Agency with environmental issues and in the conservation of energy.
2006/07 funding not yet agreed 2005/06 figure used