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					                                                                                                    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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