7 ESTABLISHMENT WORKFORCE PLANNING COMMITTEE Title of Report: Sundry Debt – Progress Report Report Ref: CG549/V2 Portfolio CG CG C&O C&O R&E R&E Corp.Gov Fin./eGov. Ops./Facs Hsg./SocInc Econ.Regen Built Env Meeting Date 24 August 2005 Identify which Strategic Direction Area(s) relate: Report Author and Tel No Seb Duncan 1.1 Ensure capacity to deliver outcomes. 01502 523678 MATTER FOR DECISION Debt Management is one of the outcomes in the High Level Improvement Plan. The specific outcome is “Debt Management is improved and more services are paid for in advance”. This report updates Members on progress to date, and future plans for Debt Management in order to achieve this outcome. EXTERNAL CONSULTATIONS HELD None OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED None ORGANISATIONAL IMPLICATIONS Financial Implications Yes Legal Implications Yes Human Resources Implications Yes Best Value Implications No Human Rights Implications No Community Safety Implications No Confidentiality Implications No Asset Management Implications No Key Decision No Financial Implications – Improved debt management will impact on the overall level of income to the Council. Legal Implications – Improved debt management is likely to have the short-term effect of more debt being referred to the courts for action. Human Resources Implications – Current resources are not sufficient to manage the volume of outstanding debt on the books of the Council. The report outlines the additional resources required to achieve the Council’s stated outcome. REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION RECOMMENDATION That a fixed term appointment (1 Year at grade SO1/2) is made to manage the processes outlined in the report. BACKGROUND PAPERS Monthly Debt reports ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Comprehensive Performance Assessment dated December 2004 identified that the Council’s overall financial position is weak. One of the measures being taken to address this weakness is to improve debt management and to ensure that more services are paid for in advance. As has been previously reported to the panel, a number of measures are being taken to improve debt management. The table below lists the improvements being made, and the progress to date. Action Progress Due date 1. New Cash receipting Completed system 2. Debit and Credit Cards Completed accepted 3. Telephone payments In progress End October 2005 accepted 4. Internet payments In progress End November 2005 accepted 5. Intranet payments In progress End December 2005 accepted 6. Direct Debit payments Not started End December 2005 accepted 7. Bank credit slips printed Completed on all invoices 8. Bank credit slips printed In progress End August 2005 on all reminder letters 9. Identification of all Completed payments receivable in advance 10. Review of old debt for In progress End September 2005 recovery options 11. Review and update debt In progress End September 2005 processes 12. Improved internal In progress End October 2005 reporting processes 13. Monthly reporting of Completed. Included as part outstanding debt to the of the monthly reports Executive 14. Corporate Debt recovery Not started. Awaiting outcome Sept 2006 function of housing stock transfer ballot. Good progress has been made to date, with the positive effect of an improvement in the levels of outstanding debt, as can be seen from the table below. The important fact to note is that debt over 180 days is not increasing, which show that the new emphasis on debt recovery is starting to have a positive impact. OUTSTANDING DEBT VALUES 4-Apr-05 3-May-05 1-Jun-05 1-Jul-05 21-Jul-05 Under 180 Days 747,500 812,131 795,436 787,289 613,671 Over 180 Days 1,281,487 1,001,042 966,869 956,699 957,903 Total 2,028,987 1,813,173 1,762,304 1,743,989 1,571,574 NUMBERS 4-Apr-05 3-May-05 1-Jun-05 1-Jul-05 21-Jul-05 Under 180 Days 1,685 2,654 1,543 2,944 2,394 Over 180 Days 1,499 1,453 1,706 1,597 1,568 Total 3,184 4,107 3,249 4,541 3,962 This has been largely due to an increase in the resources that have been allocated to Debt Recovery in 2005. A new temporary post was established to manage the process, and while significant progress has been made to date, there is still much work to be done. A target has been set of reducing sundry debt to £500k by the end of March 2006, which is a reduction of £1.5m from the end of March 2005. The temporary post finishes at the end of September 2005, when the current funding ends. In order to achieve the targets above, an extension of this post will be required to the end of September 2006, by which stage the sundry debt will have reduced, and a corporate debt recovery team would have been established if this is the route that is chosen. The cost of the post would be £30k for a fixed term period of one year. External funding opportunities are being sought for this post (IDEA and e-government). The post would need to be referred o the Establishment and Workforce Planning committee for final approval. Notes: 1. Non confidential reports to Executive must be available to the public for five days before the meeting. 2. Confidential and non-confidential reports dealing with key decisions can be taken by a single Executive Member provided the matter has been included on the forward plan and a copy must be given as soon as practical to the relevant Scrutiny Chairman otherwise the constitution procedure rules must be adhered to. Please contact the Committee team if not on the forward plan.
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