Financial Services Business Plan by liaoqinmei


									               Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Financial Services
Business Plan 2010/11

                                       Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Statement of Purpose                                                        3
Vision                                                                      3
Summary of Review/Audit of 2009/10                                          3
Service Objectives, Targets and Strategies
- Objective 1                                                                5
- Objective 2                                                               11
- Objective 3                                                               14
- Objective 4                                                               18
Business as Usual                                                           19
Resources and Capacity
- Finance                                                                   21
- Human Resources (Workforce Planning)                                      22
- Information Systems                                                       27
- Efficiency                                                                28
- Value for Money                                                           30
- Assets                                                                    30
Contribution to Corporate Priorities                                        31
- Local Area Agreement and Vision for Portsmouth                            31
Other Key Corporate Issues
- Section 17 requirements to consider Community Safety                      32
- Equality and Diversity Strategy                                           32
- Data Quality                                                              33
- Sustainability and Climate Change                                         34
- Duty to Involve                                                           35
- Safeguarding                                                              35
Risk Management                                                             36
Counter Fraud                                                               36
Business Continuity                                                         36
Performance Monitoring and Review                                           38
Appendix A - Audit
- STEEP Analysis                                                            40
- SWOT Analysis                                                             44
- Competitor Analysis                                                       46
- Customer Needs Analysis                                                   47
- Performance Assessment Audit                                              48
- Equalities Impact Assessment                                              48
- Projects                                                                  49
Appendix B - Customer Satisfaction Survey                                   50
Appendix – Outturn Against Objectives 2009/10                               53

                                           Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Statement of Purpose

Financial Services exist to:-
 support the City Council in its strategic and operational planning;
 maximise the financial resources available to the City Council through the
    effective use and stewardship of those resources; and
 maintain the City Council's financial health.


Financial Services aims to:-
 ensure the City Council meets its statutory financial responsibilities and
 provide advice which is innovative and technically sound;
 continually develop and improve the services we provide;
 be customer focused and provide customer satisfaction through highly
    motivated staff;
 provide financial information in a format that is meaningful and timely;
 provide Value for Money;
 be of value to all services provided by the City Council and assist them to
    deliver real and continuous improvement.

Summary of Review / Audit of 2009-10

Financial Services has carried out a full STEEP and SWOT analysis. In
addition, the District Auditor is currently assessing the Use of Resources’ Key
Lines of Enquiry relating to finance work. Financial Services has a number of
key deliverables linked to the legislative and operational requirements of the
authority which it must achieve. The following aspirations for key areas of
service delivery and improvement have therefore been identified for 2010/11:-

   Significant improvements have been made to improve collection and
    reduce the level of debt which is past due. To continue this improvement,
    clear targets will continue to be set for all income collection and recovery
    of arrears and progress monitored during the year.

   Oracle systems need to be further developed. Oracle Premier Support for
    our existing system version will be withdrawn during 2010/11, and by
    November 2011 the level of support will drop to an unsustainable
    position, so there is a clear need to upgrade to Release 12 of the Oracle
    E-Business Suite. Release 12 will provide financial information systems
    that are flexible and can meet changing user requirements.

                                           Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Summary of Review / Audit of 2009-10 (Continued)

   Budget savings of £23m need to be achieved over the next four financial
    years. Financial Services has a dual role in this work in that it must meet
    its own share of the overall target and manage the corporate process and
    achieve the overall target. At the same time, capacity relating to
    resources and planned work continues to be an issue and further work is
    required to ensure that resources are available at the right time and in the
    right place to deliver corporate targets.

   Financial accounts to be closed on time and to quality and further
    improvements made to meet new statutory requirements such as
    International Financial Reporting Rules.

   The age profile of staff across the service shows that 28% of our staff are
    50 or over, and only 3% are under 25. The majority are in the age range
    25 – 50. There is a clear need to encourage young people to enter the
    service with a view to following a structured career path. (Reflected in
    Workforce Planning Action Plan)

A copy of the Review and Audit of 2009/10 is attached at Appendix A.

Performance against our targets for last year (2009/10)

Appendix C shows those targets from the 2009/10 Objectives that have been
met. The objective of maximising the level of income collected and reducing
the level of debt owed to the City Council has largely been achieved despite
the downturn in the economy and impact of the recession. Whilst some
targets have not been met, in the current economic climate these are too
ambitious, but performance is still significantly better than in 2008/09. Both
speed and direction of travel is encouraging.

                                            Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Service Objectives, Targets and Strategies

Objective 1

To maximise the level of income collected and reduce the level of debt owed
to the City Council.

Reason for objective:

In accordance with the MTRS Strategy, to maximise the financial resources
available to the Council in order to protect and provide a sustainable level of
funding for the highest priorities of the City Council.

As a secondary reason, to improve the reputation and standing of the Council
with its residents and Government by achieving a Level 3 in the Managing
Finances element of the Use of Resources.

This objective is also key to reducing the total amount of debt owed to the
council which is one of the Members' aims.

Target 1:

Improve the Council Tax in year collection rate from 95.0% in 2009/10 to
95.2% in 2010/11

Lead Officers: Chris Ward and Ed Woodhouse (Interim Head of
Revenues and Benefits)

Assessment of Target:

This target continues to build on the enhanced performance since 2007/08. It
takes the 2009/10 performance and sets a rate of performance improvement
i.e. 0.2 percentage points. This target is seen as challenging because of the
current economic climate and the fact that the closer the target is to 100%, the
harder it is to achieve.

Strategies for achieving objective:

The target improvement of 0.2 percentage points in 2010/11 is based on the
implementation of the following strategy in debt recovery:

       Consolidation of the 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10 improvements

       All defaulters on payment arrangements checked on a monthly basis
        and addressed immediately

                                            Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

       No cases left for more than 30 days on ‘pending’ without further action
        being taken

       To incorporate in our recovery process the cost effective use of a
        specialist credit referencing agency for cases moved to final
        enforcement stages, where bailiff activity is unsuccessful, in order to
        obtain debtor information that will maximise the use of attachment of
        earnings and payment arrangements and avoid the need for
        committal proceedings. Remaining cases will be summonsed for
        committal within 6 months.

       Improvement to process within the recovery team to trace newly
        absconded debtors to improve continuity in recovery activity and avoid
        ‘gone away’ cases accumulating. Development of the cost effective
        use of a specialist tracing agency where in house methods have
        failed, in order to provide debtor information that will enable us to
        maximise recovery options

       Funding for two additional posts to strengthen the bailiff team and the
        court referral function were approved as part of the 2010/11 budget
        and these will both be recruited during 2010/11.

       Continue to improve performance management arrangements for the
        whole debt recovery function and refine the target setting and
        monitoring to include measures for results from new third party
        agency processes (i.e. Tracing Agents and External Bailiffs)

      To continue to develop performance measures (particularly doorstep
       collections) and monitoring of internal bailiff team in order to build on
       improvements made to bailiff processes in 2009/10 towards maximising
       cash collection

      Address the challenge of reintegrating the internal bailiff team following
       disruption to team cohesion in 2009/10 by providing appropriate
       management support, staff training and development

      Employ a communications strategy aimed at delivering media
       messages at crucial times during the year (e.g. pre and post Christmas
       and other times of lesser direct presence, such as during the summer)
       and deliver a media message every quarter

Annual performance measure / target / milestone:

Increase in “In Year Council Tax Collection Rate” to 95.2%

                                           Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Target 2:

Improve the Business Rate in year collection rate from 98.3% in 2009/10 to
98.5% in 2010/11

Lead Officers: Chris Ward and Ed Woodhouse (Interim Head of
Revenues and Benefits)

Assessment of Target:

This target aims to improve the collection rate by 0.2 percentage points to
98.5% in 2010/11. This target is seen as challenging since the closer the
target is to 100%, the harder it is to achieve.

Strategies for achieving objective:

The target improvement of 0.2 percentage points in 2010/11 is based on the
implementation of the following strategy in Central Debt Recovery:

      Continue use of external bailiff companies when internal capacity is
       exhausted such that no debt remains waiting for a Bailiff action for
       longer than 21 days

      Implementation of a formal contract for external bailiff services, which
       will facilitate the improvement of performance monitoring of external

Annual performance measure / target / milestone:

Increase in “In Year Business Rate Collection Rate” to 98.5%

Target 3:

Increase ultimate Collection Rate for Council Tax Setting Purposes from
98.3% to 98.4% for the 2011/12 Financial Year.

Lead Officers: Chris Ward and Ed Woodhouse (Interim Head of
Revenues and Benefits)

                                            Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Assessment of Target:

The increase in the Ultimate Collection Rate should naturally follow from
improvements in the In Year collection Rate in Target 1. It tends to take 2 to 3
years for such improvements to demonstrate a reliable trend that can be used
as the basis for increasing the collection rate. This improvement translates
into an increase in Council Tax collected of £80,500 (£68,200 for Portsmouth).

Strategies for achieving objective:

       As for Target 1 above.

       Use of credit referencing agency for cases held in the system where
        bailiff and other enforcement activity has been unsuccessful, in order
        to obtain debtor information that will maximise the use of attachments
        of earnings and payment arrangements

       Use of a tracing agency to trace and provide debtor information that
        will enable us to maximise recovery options for cases held in system
        as ‘gone aways’, such that all cases that were placed on ‘Trace’ Code
        prior to 31.03.10 have been actioned by 31.03.11.

Annual performance measure / target / milestone:

Increase in Ultimate Council Tax Collection Rate from 98.3% to 98.4% used in
the preparation of the 2011/12 budget.

Target 4:

Improve the overall Sundry Debt In Year collection rate from 89.3% in 2009/10
to 91.0% in 2010/2011

Lead Officer: Chris Ward

Assessment of Target:
This target aims to build on the continuous improvement in the collection
performance for sundry debt. It is a challenging target as the successful
collection and recovery of sundry debt relies not only on the central collections
team in Financial Services, but also on staff providing and managing services
to customers and their finance teams processing transactions. 2010/2011
promises to present further challenges due to a review of staff resources
following departures of permanent staff and budget implications; meeting
recruitment needs due to this review; filling an existing vacant post and
providing maternity leave cover for key posts in the central income team.

                                           Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Strategies for achieving objective:

      Complete the review of the Credit Management Policy and re-publish
       on Intralink by August 2010.

      Strengthen the central income team by the recruitment of a suitably
       skilled permanent Credit Control Officer to the existing vacant post by
       July 2010.

      Implement a recruitment and training strategy to address staff
       changes in the central income team by June 2010.

      Ongoing review and implementation of process quality procedures
       within the Credit Management function including Risk Assessments
       for potential debtors, and quality of information, to reduce queries and
       improve cycle times and customer relations.

      To continue to improve quality monitoring across sundry debt
       processes by further developing regular monitoring routines and
       quality monitoring information and to target quality issues by further
       roll out of training activities to address training needs identified

      Continue to manage performance by monitoring performance
       measures relating to the number of disputes and queries in order to
       remove obstacles to collection.

      To continue with regular directorate credit control meetings and to
       promote ownership by services of debts raised and awareness of the
       importance of timely collection of cash

      For general invoicing (where specific business terms do not exist),
       continue to work towards implementation of reducing credit terms
       from 30 days from the date of invoice to 7 days from the date of
       invoice. The ability to manage this effectively relies on the
       appointment of suitably skilled staff to key posts.

      Further roll out of Direct Debits where applicable

      Continue the regular write off routine for uncollectable debts

      Commence the charging of contractual interest for late payment of
       selective debt types where it is economic to pursue.

      The selective application of late payment interest under the Late
       Payment of Commercial Debt (Interest) Act to encourage prompt

                                             Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

         Set up an in-house on–line small claims function centrally by
          December 2010. The ability to implement this function relies on the
          appointment of suitably skilled staff to key posts.

         As part of the Oracle Release 12 Project, to define system
          requirements for effective management of sundry debt collection and
          recovery activities, and define performance monitoring reporting

Annual performance measure / target / milestone:

Increase in the in year collection rate to 91.0%

Target 5:

Reduction in Sundry Debt levels for debt over 91 days past due to 29.0% and
debt over 361 days past due to 19.0%

Lead Officer: Chris Ward

Assessment of Target:

Each category of Sundry Debt has its own uniquely determined target.
Targets for each category are not set uniformly because the propensity for
each category to exhibit queries and disputes is different. For example, debts
in relation to property rents can be outstanding for long periods of time whilst
rent increases triggered by rent reviews are settled. At the other end of the
spectrum, an invoice for Port Dues would ordinarily be expected to be settled
quickly. The targets that have been set for each category, have been
determined by reference to current performance and the extent to which the
strategy employed was likely to improve collection rates. The strategy in itself
however was challenging and by definition therefore, so are the targets.

Strategies for achieving objective:

         As for Target 4 above

         To reduce the amount of uncollectable debt held in query by
          strengthening the escalation process for high value query accounts

         To implement an improved recovery strategy to ensure a more timely
          escalation of unpaid debts where in house collection activity has been
          unsuccessful, such that all undisputed debts are referred to debt
          collection agent or small claims action within 60 days of past due
          invoice date.

                                             Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Annual performance measure / target / milestone:

The following targets have been set for the collection of Sundry Debt

Service Area                       Debt over 91 Days            Debt over 361
                                        Past Due                Days Past Due
                                           (%)                        (%)
                                    Actual      Target         Actual     Target
                                   2009/10     2010/11        2009/10 2010/11
Children Families & Learning           1.77         2.0           0.94        1.0
Corporate Resources                   37.92        20.0          14.18       15.0
Economy Culture & Community
Safety                                    0.36         1.5        0.12          1.0
Environment & Transport                   4.39         4.0        4.32          3.5
Housing Health & Social Care             52.73        45.0       34.03         30.0
Port                                     20.64        15.0       10.23          8.5
Property Rents                           49.94        35.0       37.07         25.0
Schools                                  19.15       None        14.70        None

Total Sundry Debt                        35.53        29.0       21.79         19.0

Objective 2

Upgrade Oracle E-Business Suite to Release 12 version to ensure that
financial information systems are flexible and meet changing user

Reason for objective:

During 2010/11, Oracle Premier Support for Release will be
withdrawn and by November 2011 the level of support will drop to an
unsustainable position for PCC. Release 12 can provide a better platform on
which to develop the system and the information and service provided to
users. Adoption of new Release 12 functionality, further developments and
corresponding changes to business processes could result in significant
budget savings being achieved in future years and provide the City Council
with the ability to become a partner organisation and sell the service to other
potential users.

Target 1:

Review the options available for implementation, consult with users on the
option to be accepted and then draw up an implementation programme plan
to identify the scope, timetable and resource requirements for the project by
30 June 2010.

Lead Officer: Kieron Edmunds

                                             Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Assessment of Target:

There are three options for moving to Release 12 with differing impacts on
costs and implementation timetables. Consultation with users will be essential
to ensure that the upgrade delivers the benefits to users and offers
opportunities for future development and efficiencies. The programme plan
has to be deliverable by 30 June 2010 within the available resources of the
Oracle Support Team and other support areas such as IS and HR.

Strategies for achieving objective:

The strategy for achieving the target is as follows:

   Oracle Support Team and IS DBA’s to investigate and assess Release 12
    functionality and technical requirements.

   Oracle Support Team to document functionality and then meet with Oracle
    User Group to review the options for implementation and the
    improvements to the system.

   Corporate decision to be taken on option for implementation
    Note: This decision will review all options open to the City Council
    regarding provision of a financial system, and will reflect progress with the
    Oracle Licensing negotiations.

   Oracle Support Team to produce a Release 12 upgrade plan in
    conjunction with IS identifying agreed scope and required resources.

Annual performance measure / target / milestone:

Programme Plan for implementation of Release 12 to identify the scope,
timetable and resource requirements for the project to be published by 30
June 2010.

Target 2

Upgrade Oracle –E-Business Suite to Release 12.1.1

Note: This target will continue into the 2011/12 Business Plan.

Assessment of Target:

The Oracle E-Business Suite must be upgraded to Release 12 no later than
30 November 2011 to avoid moving to a Sustaining Support model which
does not accommodate legislative changes to the software.

                                             Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

The programme plan identified under Target 1 will recommend an upgrade

Strategies for achieving objective:

The strategy for achieving the target is as follows:

   Realistic upgrade date to be set when the option for upgrade and resource
    requirements are identified and agreed.

   Account to be taken of requirements for maintenance patching under
    Target 3 to be incorporated into the programme.

   Release 12 Project Team to be established to incorporate key
    stakeholders and progress against project plan to be reviewed regularly.

Annual performance measure / target / milestone:

Programme of work to remain on target throughout 2010/11 to give
confidence that upgrade will be completed on time.

Target 3

Plan for routine maintenance and upgrades to Oracle E-Business Suite

Lead Officer: Kieron Edmunds

Assessment of Target:

HRMS Family Pack and Budget Patches to be applied annually before the
April payroll run.

Oracle Critical Patch Updates to be applied quarterly.

Advanced Collections may be required prior to Release 12 upgrade. Product
to be evaluated in time to allow implementation before Release 12, if required.

Discoverer Upgrade will be required and assessment will be made for most
suitable date either prior to upgrade or as part of the programme of work.

                                             Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Strategies for achieving objective:
The strategy for achieving the target is as follows:

   Oracle Support Team to review and document functionality and issues with
    the relevant Oracle User Groups.

   Oracle Support Team to produce a high level work plan to include all major
    development and upgrade work.

   Critical Patch Updates to be programmed with IS DBA’s to be applied
    quarterly after release. Oracle Support Team resource to be planned for
    testing of CPU’s prior to application to production system.

   HRMS and Budget Patches to be applied after release before 31 March

   Evaluate Advanced Collection module to establish requirements for
    implementation before or with Release 12

   Evaluate requirements for Discoverer upgrade and other reporting options
    and establish timing best suited to Release12 programme.

Annual performance measure / target / milestone:

HRMS Family Pack RUP5 to be applied by 30 September 2010 in accordance
with Oracle Support Team high level work plan.

Budget Patch 2011 to be applied before 31 March 2011.

Complete evaluation of Advanced Collections module and make
recommendations to FSMT regarding implementation by 30 June 2010.

Evaluate Discoverer upgrade requirements and other reporting options and
make recommendations to FSMT regarding implementation by 30 June 2010.

Objective 3

Budget Savings to be achieved in line with the Medium Term Resource
Strategy. This is both a corporate and service objective.

Reason for objective:

If the City Council wishes to continue to deliver the same level of service each
year it will need to deliver minimum savings of £23m over the next four years.
Target savings of £6.5m in 2011/12, £5.5m in 2012/13, £5.0m in 2013/14, and
£6.0m in 2014/15 have already been agreed by City Council. These savings
will have to be found from within existing services or through new sources of

                                           Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Target 1 (Corporate Target)

Ongoing savings targets of £6.5m in 2011/12, £5.5m in 2012/13, £5.0m in
2013/14, and £6.0m in 2014/15.

Lead Officer: Valerie Lane

Assessment of Target:

The target will be achieved by following the Budget Process approved by City
Council in October 2007 and through working with the newly reconstituted
Efficiencies Board.

Strategies for achieving objective:

The strategy for achieving this target is set out below and reflects the
approved Budget Process:

   Savings apportioned across Portfolios pro rata to cash limits in 2010/11
    (approved by City Council 9 February 2010).

   Potential savings to be achieved through the Efficiencies Board to be
    identified although it is recognised that some of these may not be
    deliverable by 2011/12.

   In addition to the work being undertaken by the Efficiencies Board,
    Managers to identify savings proposals and provide details of the savings
    to be made, including when they will be realised, the impact on aims in the
    Corporate Plan, and the impact on performance indicators and service

   Existing base budgets reviewed and challenged to ensure value for money
    and compliance with performance targets.

   An Efficiency Strategy drawn up and agreed by the Efficiencies Board and
    presented to the Cabinet for approval and inclusion in the MTRS.

   Cabinet Members involved from the start of the budget process and
    playing a key role.

   Proposed budget savings presented for consultation

   Proposed budget savings presented for approval

                                           Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Annual performance measure / target / milestone:

Achieve £6.5m ongoing budget savings for 2011/12 by City Council in
February 2011 and a further £5.5m ongoing budget savings for 2012/13 by
City Council in February 2012.

Target 2 (Service Target)

Financial Services will be expected to meet its share of the overall target
savings over the next 4 years. Assuming that savings targets continue to be
apportioned pro rata to cash limits, the ongoing savings targets for Financial
Services will be £227,800 in 2011/12, £193,000 in 2012/13, £175,300 in
2013/14, and £210,400 in 2014/15, a total of £806,500. The aim will be to
reduce resources to meet the savings target whilst continuing to maintain
delivery of core financial services to a high standard.

Lead Officer: Valerie Lane

Assessment of Target:

The target will be achieved by reviewing all support provided by Financial
Services to clients, by achieving efficiencies by review of processes and
automation of these wherever possible, and by working closely with the
Organisational Design Working Group of the Efficiencies Board to restructure
parts or all of the service to meet revised client and corporate requirements.

Strategies for achieving objective:

The strategy for achieving this target is set out below and incorporates the
approved Budget Process:

   Review base budget and identify potential savings to meet service target
    savings in accordance with corporate budget timetable for consideration by
    the Members' Budget Group.

   Identify and review processes that could be automated to reduce the need
    for staff.

   Undertake an end to end review of P2P business processes and prepared
    an outline business case by 30 September 2010. (Note: Initial savings from
    this review have already been accepted as budget savings and have been
    taken out of the cash limit)

                                               Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

   Consider payment performance in the current economic climate,
    particularly for small and vulnerable businesses, as this needs to be
    sustained at existing levels.

   Prepare a Spend to Save bid, if required, to purchase aids to automation
    of the P2P process eg scanning equipment

   Work up detail of savings identified by Members as being acceptable

   Service restructuring to reflect changes to the organisational design of the
    City Council to be undertaken – this may affect all or only parts of the
    Note: This work may slip into 2011/12 because the format of the services
    to be supported needs to be defined before any restructuring work can

Annual performance measure / target / milestone:

Achieve ongoing budget savings of £227,800 in 2011/12, and a further
£193,000 of ongoing budget savings for 2012/13 for consideration by City
Council in February 2012.

Maintain or improve satisfaction of clients.

Target 3

Consider opportunities for shared service delivery with other bodies

Lead Officer: All Section Heads

Assessment of Target:

The government is encouraging local authorities to focus on service
transformation which goes hand in hand with efficiency and improvement.
Service transformation includes options for sharing services with other local
authorities, voluntary sector bodies and other organisations. Sharing services
could increase the capacity available to support internal clients as well as
providing a benefit to the other body.

Strategies for achieving objective:

The strategy for achieving this target is set out below:

   Review services provided and consider whether those services could be
    reduced or stopped, or delivered in a better more efficient way

                                             Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

   Consider opportunities for integrated service delivery and sharing of
    corporate functions

   Work and liaise with Jon Bell, Lead Officer for Shared Services work
    stream of Efficiencies Board to avoid duplication of effort

   Contact relevant other organisations who may be interested in sharing

   Follow up any opportunities for providing services to other local authorities

Annual performance measure / target / milestone:

Increase in capacity available for City Council work with no diminution of
service and achievement of efficiencies

Objective 4

Financial accounts to be closed on time and to quality and further
improvements made to meet new statutory requirements such as International
Financial Reporting Standards.

Reason for objective:

Over the past three years improvements have been made to closedown
procedures and Statutory Financial Statements and supporting
documentation. From 2010 Local Authorities are required to prepare accounts
in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards.

Target 1: Score of 3 for KLOE 1.3 (Financial Reporting) of the Managing
Finances element of the Use of Resources

Lead Officer: Chris Ward

Assessment of Target:

Target is achievable by implementing the strategies below and is the standard
set by the Audit Commission for attaining level 3 for KLOE 1.3 in the
Managing Finances element of the Use of Resources.

                                             Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Strategies for achieving objectives

The strategy for achieving this target is set out below:

      Agree expectations and standards to be achieved with the Audit
       Commission in advance

      Meet with Audit Commission throughout the closedown process to
       share intended reporting formats and ensure that they meet

      Adhere to an International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
       implementation plan

Annual performance measure / target / milestone:

Achieve level 3 for KLOE 1.3 of the Use of Resources assessment for 2011

Business as Usual

Changes to Performance Target:-

      Payment Performance Target – as part of the budget savings for
       2010/11 onwards, the City Council accepted a number of staffing
       savings within Accountancy to the value of £64,200 in 2010/11, rising
       to £86,900 in a full year, in the full knowledge that this would impact
       upon the Payment performance target and could also impact upon the
       commitment to pay Small and Medium Size Enterprises within 10 days.
       As a result of these savings the target for Payment Performance target
       for 2010/11 has been reduced from 91.5% to 90%.
       Lead Officer: Chris Ward

Routine work will include the following projects:-

      Concessionary Fares System – the system is due to be updated early
       in 2010. A project team including representatives from IS has been set
       up and is working to plan. Although outside the scope of the project at
       present, the possibility of using OCR scanning of data into the system
       is to be considered as this could lead to future efficiency savings.
       Lead Officer: Shaun Tetley

                                           Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

     Electronic data flow between PCC and HMRC – now that govconnect is
      progressing, data can be transmitted to and from HMRC in a more
      secure way. P45 and P46 information is currently sent using edi but in
      future there will be a need to transfer data more frequently rather than
      once a month and at year end.
      Lead Officer: Shaun Tetley

     Secure transmission of data from schools into Oracle eg overtime
      Lead Officer: Shaun Tetley

     Creation of an automatic interface between Oracle and the Heywoods
      Pension system at Hampshire County Council (Axise) to avoid double
      entry of data.
      Lead Officer: Shaun Tetley

     Bailiff and FAB Team mobile working - a system which provides
      electronic tracking of these lone worker staff is to be implemented with
      the help of IS to provide more effective safety and support. A project
      brief is being drafted with implementation in about 9 months time. The
      intention is to add additional software to the Orbis system which would
      link GPS to the system.
      Lead Officer: Chris Ward

     Radius and E-Payments contracts and merchant arrangements – a
      project to align all of these contracts is being implemented. The project
      will be overseen by the Radius and E-Payments Board.
      Lead Officer: Chris Ward

Other future developments

     Interface debt recovery system to link hand held machines which would
      update the system in real time (One Step system). An investigation into
      this option is planned for the end of 2010/11.

Note: A meeting has been held with the Head of Information Services
to ensure that input required from IS to achieve these objectives has
been built into the IS Business Plan.

                                             Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Resources and Capacity


The Financial Services Unit has a gross budget of £7.1m of which £6.5m, or
91.5%, relates to Employee costs (including training).

Over the last four years, the service has contributed £1.378m towards budget
savings. This figure includes £728,000 from rescheduling the City Council’s

As much of the work undertaken by the service is statutory or is necessary to
enable the Section 151 Officer to satisfy himself that there is proper
administration of the City Council's financial affairs, the service is focusing on
achieving efficiency savings to meet budget savings targets for future years.

Work to review end to end transactional processes is ongoing and links in with
the upgrade of the Oracle system to Release 12 and the implementation of
developments which will lead to greater automation of practices.

Every vacancy is carefully reviewed before any posts are filled and over
recent years, many vacant posts have been offered as a budget saving. As
most of the budget is staffing, the requirement to meet further saving targets
will result in reviews of work practices, business processes and the service’s
staffing structure, and could potentially lead to redundancies if staffing
reductions cannot be met through natural wastage.

The Financial Service Management Team is acutely aware that it will be
difficult to achieve a balance between meeting all of our clients’ needs, with a
minimum level of staffing, and our role of maintaining the integrity of the City
Council’s financial information and being able to provide the Strategic Director
and Section 151 Officer with the assurance he needs to meet his Section 151

Until the Business Plans for all Services are completed, we will not know the
full impact of additional demands on our service, or whether other services will
be able to provide funding for additional support they require. Opportunities for
shared services/partnering will also be followed up as these could lead to
service efficiencies.

The impact of work currently being undertaken by the Organisational Design
Working Group of the Efficiency Board will also impact on the future support
required from Financial Services and on the structure of the service in future

                                                   Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Human Resources (Workforce Planning)

The staffing structure is under constant review and over recent years a
number of posts have been offered up as budget savings. Achieving
maximum efficiency from staff is one of our Objectives and this encompasses
Workforce Planning where we are aiming to “grow our own” managers and
senior staff of the future. Flexible working is encouraged wherever possible
and we have staff working full time, part-time, term time only, and flexible
hours. In addition the Financial Benefits and Assessment Team and Bailiffs
Team operate hot-desking and spend much of their working time outside the
office. Terms and conditions of the Bailiff Team reflect weekend and evening
working as part of their normal hours of employment. Home working can also
be accommodated for some staff, depending on the nature of the work they
are employed to undertake. One of the service's budget savings for 2010/11 is
a saving to be achieved from offering staff reduced working hours so that they
can achieve a better worklife balance. All staff appointments are made on the
basis of ability and qualification ie the best person for the job regardless of
age, gender or ethnicity.

Current staffing
An analysis of staff (to section level) reflecting diversity, age and gender is
shown below:-

         Team        Head      FTE                Age Profile                       Gender





 Service Head              1     1.0        0      0               0     1                    1       0      1
  Manager                  3     3.0        0      0           3        0     2           1           0      3
  ECCS                    10     8.9        0      0           6        3     3           6           1      9
  CRS                     25    22.6        0      0          12        9     4          17           4     24
  HHSC                    62    53.1        0      1          44       14    11          48           3     61
  ECYP                    21    19.4        0      1          12        8     3          18           0     20
  E& T                    12    10.8        0      0           6        6     5           7           0     12
  Technical               11    10.0        0      0           6        4     6           4           1     11
  Port                     7     6.0        0      0           5        1     0           6           1      7
  Inc & Payments          35    32.2        0      3          23        3     7          22           6     35
 Payroll/Pensions         13    11.1        0      0           8        4     3           9           1     12
 Oracle Systems            9     7.8        0      0           7        1     4           4           1      8

 Total                  209    185.9        0      5       132         54    48      143          18       203

 %                                                 3          69       28    23          68           9     97

                                             Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Skills and Training

Skills required within the service vary from basic administrative financial work
through to qualified accountants. Each year a review of any changes in skills
required is undertaken and the training programme revised to reflect any
changing requirements. Changes will take account of new legislation, changes
to government requirements eg the implementation of International Financial
Reporting Standards and the Carbon Reduction Commitment. In some cases
it is necessary to put forward a budget pressure because the volume of new
work is too large to absorb within the existing structure, but if possible training
or retraining of existing staff is arranged to enable the work to be absorbed.

Over recent years it has become increasingly difficult to attract staff of a
suitable calibre into senior posts, particularly within Accountancy, and market
supplements have been applied to help ease the shortage of these qualified
staff. The new LPR Bandings, whilst still being challenged by postholders,
continue to exacerbate this situation as the new salary bandings are well
below those offered by other local authorities in the area. It is hoped that the
review of MSIs that is due to be undertaken during 2010/11 will help to iron
out some of these anomalies. Whilst endeavouring to "grow our own"
managers and senior staff for the future, our training budget is limited
(£16,200 for 200 staff - excluding a specific systems training budget for the
Oracle Support Team) and we therefore have to be innovative in applying the
available resource to the maximum benefit.
Professional training is important to and supported by the service; there are
currently three CIPFA , one IRRV trainee, plus three staff studying for the
Accounting Technicians qualification. Accounting Technician training that
provides the support and standards that we require is currently purchased
through Chichester College. ICM training is used to give credit control staff a
grounding in the basic skills they need. In previous years we have had one
member of staff training for the payroll qualification (Institute of Payroll
Professionals). Now that the employee has completed this training, we will
review any requests from other staff to undertake this qualification over the
next few years. Ideally we would like to be able to create CIPFA Trainee posts
which would be supernumary to our structure, but in the current economic
climate this is not an option and staff undertaking professional training are in
full time posts. Training may be undertaken through day release, block
release, evening courses or home study.
To help broaden the knowledge and experience of staff undertaking
professional training, they are offered:
      the opportunity of placements in different areas/teams within the
      first option on any secondments within the service
      encouragement to participate in student meetings of professional
      job swaps where appropriate – usually for a fixed period
      an office mentor

                                            Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Staff supported for professional training are selected by interview so that only
the best candidates are supported and best value for the service is therefore
achieved from the limited training budget. Resources are concentrated each
year on the areas where a future skills shortage is anticipated. Unsuccessful
applicants can either pay for their own training or wait and reapply the
following year. Regular meetings are held with the students to review their
college reports and exam results.

In addition to training for professional qualifications, professional development
is also needed to ensure that professionally qualified staff constantly update
their skills and comply with the continuing professional development (CPD)
requirements of their professional institute. The service subscribes to the
CIPFA Financial Advisory Network and the CIPFA Performance Improvement
Network. In addition to receiving regular updates on changes to legislative and
professional requirements and general advice, these two subscriptions give
free access to a specified number of places on specific training courses for
professional staff, most of which count towards CPD.

Two of our Treasury Management staff are undertaking training for the
Certificate in International Treasury Management – Public Finance which is a
new qualification introduced following the publication of the Government's
inquiry into the impacts of the global banking crisis. Other external training is
also offered to staff when relevant courses are advertised, particularly in the
more technical areas eg VAT, Oracle technical training. Management training
is also arranged for new and potential managers. Local Authority Networks
are used extensively for training and technical information and cover areas
such as VAT, Oracle systems, payroll, taxation, and sundry debts.

In the current year, all staff are being given refresher training on Financial
Rules to ensure that the teams can advise the services they support. All
relevant staff are undertaking Govconnect training to ensure they can safely
communicate with key government departments.

Performance Management

Regular monthly one to one meetings and the annual PDR meeting provide
an opportunity for managers to review the performance of their staff. All staff
should be set clear objectives in their PDR. Where staff fail to meet the
objectives or expected performance, this will initially be addressed through the
provision of additional training and support tailored to the specific
circumstances but may ultimately result in capability procedures being
followed if these measures are unsuccessful over a reasonable period of time.

The probationary period for new staff is particularly important in determining
whether an employee is coping with and has the ability to do the work they
were employed to do.

                                             Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Management of Sickness

To achieve our objective of maximum capacity from staff, it is important that
sickness absence is managed. Managers are expected to monitor sickness
within their teams and enforce sickness management procedures including
Stage 1, and 2 warnings where appropriate and ultimately Stage 3 dismissal
on grounds of ill health. Where necessary support is provided to encourage
staff back to work, eg phased return arrangements and referral to the
counselling service, and the skills of the Occupational Health Service are also
used when required.

Future of the Service

The age profile of the service is reviewed annually and identifies those areas
where we need to ensure that staff are being trained to replace postholders
who are due for retirement. Staff have an annual PDR review meeting with
their manager where training undertaken is reviewed and where training
requirements for the future are identified. Training needs, including
management training, may also be identified during regular one to one
meetings throughout the year. Managers are encouraged to discuss the
employee's plans for the future so that any indication of their potential
retirement or flexible retirement can be noted and taken into account in future
workforce planning (albeit it is only an indication not a firm commitment).

Temporary staff are used only where necessary, but have a role where
changes to the structure are likely or where specific skills are needed for a
short period only. To ensure that the service doesn’t suffer in the short term
while a review of staffing is untaken to identify how savings could be made,
vacant posts are often filled by temporary staff until changes to posts and
workload can be adjusted and posts released as budget savings.

The impact of the economic recession on the City Council will undoubtedly
affect the service in future years and reviews of the overall structure or parts
of the structure will be undertaken where necessary and at the appropriate
time. The demand for financial support is unlikely to reduce immediately as
other services will need our help to assess the impact on their cash limit of
making particular service cuts or efficiencies. However, Financial Services will
still be expected to meet its share of the savings target in the interim period.

Objectives for 2010/11 refer to the implementation of Release 12 of the Oracle
system and it is anticipated that this will provide the building blocks for future
efficiency savings for the authority and Financial Services. Work will also be
undertaken during 2010/11 to review and re-engineer the Accounts Payable
processes and this may have a direct impact on our staffing structure. Any
review of the structure will follow the HR Policies covering service reviews,
redundancy and redeployment and will be managed through consultation with
staff affected, the use of temporary staff to cover vacancies in the review
period, and redeployment of existing staff wherever possible.

                                                Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

In addition Financial Services will embrace corporate initiatives such as core
values and behaviours, people first, procurement etc to allow the continued
effective operation of the service and the delivery of the corporate initiative.

The above can be summarised into key issues and action points for 2010/11
as shown in the table below:-

Key issue                                   Planned Action 2010/11
Capacity to "grow our own" skills is         Encourage flexible working across
limited by the commitment and                  the service
aptitude of staff                            Cross service working and support
                                             Consider employing school
                                             When the structure of any team is
                                               reviewed, consider the creation of
                                               career posts (linked to
                                               professional training) with the aim
                                               of encouraging school
                                               leavers/graduates to join the

The ending of LPR protection will              Work with HR to implement MSIs
have an impact on the retention of              where LPR salaries fall short of
staff unless MSIs are in place                  market rates

The age profile has a potential impact         rebalance the age profile in teams
on individual teams                             by moving staff between teams as
                                                necessary where there is a
                                                generic job description (this also
                                                provides additional development
                                                opportunity for staff)

Fallout from the global banking crisis         Certificate in International
                                                Treasury Management – Public
                                                Finance training for Treasury
                                                Management staff

Changes to legislation                         IFRS training and additional staff
                                                approved as part of budget
                                               CRC Scheme additional
                                                accountant approved

Performance management and                     Performance management and
management training is needed                   management training to be
particularly for managers between               identified for managers between
Bands 9 and 12                                  bands 9 and 12 during PDRs

                                             Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Key issue                                Planned Action 2010/11
Continued professional training           Encourage all professional staff to
                                            undertake refresher and update

Keep up to date with Oracle                 Maintain training link with Oracle
developments to ensure we can                University
exploit future opportunities                Use Oracle LA Network to keep
                                             up to date with issues etc

Information Systems

Funding was transferred into the IS Reserve in previous years to fund the
Desktop and Server Software for when the existing Microsoft Windows
software becomes unsupported in 2010. The test server for the Oracle system
was replaced during 2009/10 but there is no replacement programme for other
hardware used to operate Oracle systems. The service has a very limited
budget for new PCs, so senior staff are provided with new PCs and their old
PCs are recycled to other staff within the service to replace machines which
are much older. Currently there is a proposal from IS to centralise all budgets
for hardware replacement and then to implement a 6 or 7 year replacement
programme for PCs and laptops etc. Financial Services support this proposal.
During 2009/10 was rolled out Windows XP to Financial Services users.

Some elements of the service are already operating under flexible working
arrangements and have the necessary IS equipment to support this eg the
Financial Benefits and Assessment Team within the Social Care Finance
Team. Some senior staff have laptops and links from home to enable
occasional homeworking to be undertaken. The use of 3G cards and VPN is
enabling a more flexible approach to home working. By using VPN to provide
the link into PCC systems, individuals can use their own computer and
broadband connection.

Central Government requires the use of GovConnect to protect the security of
data transfers and we are working with IS to ensure that we are able to meet
the timetable of government departments and agencies such as HMRC to
send statutory information through this route. In some areas we are currently
sending paper files eg for exchange of data between the Financial Benefits
and Assessment Team within the Social Care Finance Team and the
Department for Work and Pensions, so GovConnect will improve the speed
and frequency of updates etc.

                                            Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

The Oracle Support Team Manager meets regularly with both the IS Business
Development Manager (Paul Darlow) and Mark Valler (IS Systems Support).
The Business Development Manager is also invited to attend the Financial
Services Management Team meetings on a quarterly basis during the year so
that we can share potential development areas with him.

The support of IS is critical to the development of the Oracle systems as IS
provide the technical support eg DBAs, system analysts, report writing. IS also
provide support to smaller systems used by the service such as
concessionary fares. A meeting has been held with IS to ensure that Financial
Service's Business Plan objectives can be dovetailed with the IS Business
Plan objectives and work.


The service has a dual role in Efficiencies work. In addition to making
efficiency savings within Financial Services itself, the service provides support
to all managers and also captures and monitors details of savings made
through efficiencies across the City Council. Much of this information feeds
into the City Council’s Annual Efficiency Statement which compares savings
made to the 4% efficiency target set under the CSR07.

The Head of Service is a member of the reconstituted Efficiencies Board and
will be the Lead Officer for the Budget Management and VFM workstream.
Finance Managers and their Teams will continue to provide the financial
support needed for specific efficiency projects. Finance Managers are
updated on work being undertaken by the Efficiency Board through the
Financial Services Support Board.

Financial Services savings accepted by City Council on 9 February 2010
include the following efficiency savings:-

             Efficiency                    Saving          Saving          Saving
                                          2010/11         2011/12         2012/13
                                              £               £               £
Net savings arising from the               78,000          78,000          78,000
repayment of a high interest
bearing loan and replacing it with
a new loan at a lower interest
Improvement in Cash Flow                     7,100          17,700          28,400
arising from increased Sundry
Debt Collection

Improvement in Cash Flow                     2,300           5,800           9,300
arising from increased Council
Tax Collection

                                           Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

            Efficiency                    Saving          Saving          Saving
                                          2010/11        2011/12         2012/13
                                             £               £               £
Improved collection of Sundry              50,000         50,000          50,000
Debt resulting in less need to set
aside sums to provide for non

Review of Procure to Pay                        0          20,000          35,000
services, and expansion of use of
purchasing cards

Offer staff reduced working hours          11,200          15,000          15,000

Centralisation of all Adult Social          5,000          10,000          10,000
Care Payments Teams into a
single location.

Additional income arising from              3,800           5,000           5,000
providing services to Adult Social
Care clients.

Expansion of credit control                 7,500          10,000          10,000
capacity in Social Care

Introduction of ORBIS                       9,000           9,000           9,000

Appropriation of Roundabout at             49,800          47,800          45,900
Winston Churchill Ave. And
Wellington Street Car Park from
General Fund to HRA

                                          223,700        268,300         295,600

To enable these efficiencies to be delivered, the City Council also approved
budget pressures to fund the appointment of a Bailiff Team Leader and Senior
Court Officer. The approval of funds to appoint an Oracle Systems
Development Officer will also assist with the implementation of Release 12
which will help to deliver efficiencies in future years.

                                            Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Value for Money

Work has been undertaken within Financial Services to develop a VFM data
tool and this is now available corporately. Each service is able to select the
criteria that they wish to measure themselves against in other comparable
authorities. The VFM data tool also highlights trends in improvements and
performance in consecutive years and compares these to other near
neighbour local authorities. Finance Managers are working closely with
service Business Managers to get the most benefit from this data and to
ensure outcomes are fed into the business planning process.

From June 2010, comparative data will be incorporated within the quarterly
budget and performance monitoring reports to City Council, and budget
decisions taken by the City Council will recognise the current level of
performance and where this needs to be improved.

The Finance Manager within the Education Team is responsible for the
completion of the Section 52 data and the Accountancy Team consolidate the
returns to central government which capture the base data used for Value for
Money comparisons. It is therefore important that these as accurate as
possible. Any detailed investigation into variations in cost between authorities
is undertaken by the team.

Performance Indicators for Treasury Management are reported to Members
on a quarterly basis and provide a benchmark comparison with other Unitary
Authorities, some of whom use external consultants to guide their investment
strategy. Additional detailed performance indicators are monitored by the
officer Treasury Management Group on a monthly basis.

Financial Services does not specifically feature in the Value for Money tool
data but intends to continue the benchmarking work started with Southampton
City Council in a previous year. Other opportunities to benchmark against
similar authorities will also be followed up.

Financial Services does not own or directly manage any accommodation but
occupies space in several buildings owned by the City Council. Many of the
Directorate Finance Teams are co-located with the services they support.

The need to improve debt collection has resulted in additional staff being
employed to strengthen the team. This is placing pressure on the available
space and further space will be needed for this team.
Any accommodation requirements are considered by the Financial Services
Management Team.

                                            Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Contribution to Corporate Priorities

Financial Services contributes indirectly to all of the Key Delivery Targets by
providing financial support to all the other services within the City Council to
support their service delivery. Financial Services staff, particularly those in
Finance Teams devolved to specific service areas, work closely with
operational staff and support them in the delivery of the Vision for Portsmouth.

It will contribute specifically to the Corporate Priority of Improving Efficiency
and Encouraging Involvement through the delivery of Objectives 1,2, 3, and 5.

The service contributes to the council’s corporate priorities in the following

Local Area Agreement and the Vision for Portsmouth
The council and its partners on the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) have an
agreed ‘Local Area Agreement for 2008 to 2018, and Vision for Portsmouth.
The LAA is the vehicle through which the council agrees improvement
priorities with central government, and business plans should take account of
LAA priorities and targets. Below are links to the LAA and The Story of
Portsmouth, which provides background information:-

Financial Services contributes to the priority outcomes in the following ways:
   - by providing financial support and management information to all
      services within the City Council
   - by continuously changing to meet new legislative and accounting
   - by reporting on both Financial Performance and Service Performance
      quarterly, including recommendations for any remedial action
   - by producing the Medium Term Resource Strategy which links the

          The outcome objectives for all services, and the means by which
           achievement will be measured as set out in individual service
           business plans
         Key targets for the next year, consistent with longer term targets
         The outline strategies for the achievement of the outcomes
         Contributions to corporate objectives
         Resources and capacity
   -   by producing budget forecasts through the process of bidding for
       budget pressures and making savings reflect corporate priorities.

                                            Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Local Area Agreement and the Vision for Portsmouth (Continued)

The Medium Term Resource Strategy, prepared by Financial Services, takes
account of Local Area Agreements and the Comprehensive Area Assessment.
Local Area Agreements include targets on key improvement priorities for local
areas and are about working in partnership with other organisations and the
community to achieve these targets. The use of the Area Based Grant
provides resources to achieve the Local Area Agreements alongside other
local, regional or national priorities. The Local Strategic Partnership has made
recommendations to the City Council on the use of the Area Based Grant for
2010/11, and Financial Services plays a key role in managing these

Other Key Corporate Issues

Section 17 requirements to consider Community Safety

The service has considered how its objectives link with the corporate Priority
to “Reduce crime and the fear of crime”, and contributes to this corporate
priority and Section 17 of the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act indirectly by
providing financial support and expertise to the staff providing the service. In
addition the financial system captures costs of insurance premiums and
community safety activities, including specific projects.

The service has also considered whether there is more that it could do to
prevent crime and disorder in the following areas:
   - by ensuring lone working arrangements are in place for staff. A new
      system called ORBIS is being implemented. This provides a supported
      emergency alarm system operated by GPS enabled telephones where
      the alarm is raised at a dedicated emergency response centre..
   - by completing a Fraud Risk Questionnaire for each area of the Service
      and assessing the outcomes.

The Equality and Diversity Strategy

Financial Services pledges that equalities are an important part of the
Financial Services Business Plan and that Equalities Action Planning is
reviewed by the Financial Services Management Team on a regular basis.

Preliminary EIAs were undertaken for all areas of the service during 2008/09
and are available on IntraLink

                                              Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

The Equality and Diversity Strategy (Continued)

During 2010/11, full EIAs will be undertaken for four of our service areas (see
timetable below). In addition, work that was started in 2008/09 to collect and
analyse feedback form different equality strands will continue into 2010/11
and will feed into the full EIAs.

Table of Equality Impact Assessments:

               Policy/Function/Service:                         Full EIA to be
                                                                completed by:
  Civic Offices Cash Office (located on the ground               October 2011
  floor of the Civic Offices)
  Finance Team in HHSC – Adult Social Care                     September 2010
  Income and Recovery Team
  Sundry Debtor Billing, Collection and Recovery               September 2010
  Debt Recovery – Unpaid Council Tax and
  Business Rates                                               September 2010

During 2010/11 further work will be undertaken to identify and address
Equality and Diversity training needs. Although this work was started in
2008/09, information from staff training records was not forthcoming from
Learning and Development. Two special Equality and Diversity training
sessions for our staff (one for frontline staff and the other for support staff) are
being formulated with the Learning and Development Team . This will provide
refresher training for those staff who received their Equality and Diversity
training some time ago. Progress on all Equality and Diversity work will be
monitored during the year by the Management Team.

Data Quality

Data Quality is essential to the work of Financial Services. Financial and
management information provided to our clients must be accurate, timely and
understandable. Objective 2 in our Business Plan is to ensure that we
continue to provide a flexible service which is able to cope with changing
circumstances and requirements.

Regular budget monitoring reports to the Leader, the Cabinet and Members of
the City Council currently reflect both financial and non-financial information
so that Members have a better and rounded understanding of the issues
facing the City Council at that point in time. Value for Money information will
also be incorporated into the quarterly budget monitoring report to Cabinet
and City Council from June 2010.

                                             Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Statutory requirements have been and will continue to be met in line with
Government timescales and our own Performance Indicators. Objective 4 is to
ensure our Statutory Financial Statements are of the highest quality and
enable the City Council to achieve a score of 3 for Financial Reporting within
the Use of Resources assessment.

Sustainability and Climate Change

Although the service has little control over the accommodation it occupies,
Financial Services is committed to reducing carbon emissions and is
constantly reviewing the need for accommodation. Home working, hot desking
and other initiatives have been applied throughout the department where
circumstances allow in order to reduce the need for accommodation. Multi
function devices have been introduced to reduce the number of printers within
the service.

The service has a very limited budget for new IT equipment so new PCs are
provided to senior staff and their old PCs recycled to other staff within the
service to replace machines which are much older. This may change in
2010/11 if the IS proposal to centralise the budget is approved and a
corporate replacement programme for PCs, laptops etc, implemented. All staff
have flat screen monitors. Although there are still a few individual printers
within the service for specific reasons eg Oracle prints, the majority of printing
is undertaken on MFDs in duplex.

Staff are encouraged to walk, use pubic transport and cycle rather than use
cars when visiting outstations of the City Council or clients, but this has to be
balanced with the safety of staff concerned and any equipment they may be
carrying. The service is also investigating the possibility of a corporate salary
sacrifice scheme for Bus Travel which would encourage greater use of buses.
At the present time there are national difficulties with HMRC regarding bus
travel schemes but work will continue. During 2009/10 the service has been
instrumental in introducing the 100 mile maximum for car mileage claims for a
single journey. This will force all staff to use more cost effective and carbon
friendly means of travel for longer journeys.

Since April 2009, finance staff have been including details of the impact on
carbon emissions for all financial appraisals for new schemes and projects.

The Head of Financial Services is a member of the Carbon Management
Board and is closely involved in securing funding for and monitoring projects
that will enable the City Council to meets its 30% reduction in carbon
emissions by 2014. Finance staff are supporting the project by monitoring the
financial impact of carbon savings and projecting the number and cost of
carbon allowances that will need to be purchased under the CRC Scheme.

                                            Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

It is not yet possible to accurately calculate the carbon footprint of Financial
Services within the Civic Offices, but it is estimated to 305,924 CO2 (kg) for
our share of the Civic Offices and 29,447 CO2 (kg) for transport.

Duty to Involve
Whilst services provided by Financial Services are not specifically appear on
the Place Survey, the service plays an indirect role in supporting Front Line
Services and helping them to meet residents' expectations.

The service plays a key role in the budget consultation process. When the
budget for 2008/09 was being prepared, the City Council employed
consultants, Research for Today, to undertake a consultation exercise using
SIMALTO software. Although it wasn't considered necessary to repeat the
process for the 2010/11 Budget as many of the areas covered in the
consultation exercise had not changed substantially, it is anticipated that a
SIMALTO exercise will be undertaken during 2010/11 in respect of the
2011/12 Budget.

Budget consultation meetings with a wide range of representatives from the
Business Community, Voluntary Sector, Local Strategic Partnership,
Portsmouth Pensioners, Police and the Trades Unions are usually arranged
twice a year. The first meeting, which takes place between October and
November, gives the groups an opportunity to meet with political Group
Leaders and feed their views, comments and ideas into the budget process
before any decisions are taken. The later meeting, which takes place once the
Budget Report has been published in early February, provides an opportunity
for the groups to review and discuss the proposals contained within this

Presentations to other groups such as Neighbourhood Forums are put on as
requested and cover financial items such items as the Budget.

Consultation with interested and affected groups of residents/clients is
undertaken before any changes are made to policies and strategies.

The service also plays a leading role in consultation with Housing Revenue
Account tenants about rent increases and the proposed housing budget .

Financial Services provide support to the Adult Social Care service, Children's
Safeguarding Service and those other services who have a responsibility to
ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe from
harm. Staff from Financial Services who come into contact with any children,
young adults or vulnerable people are all CRB checked. Within the Adult
Social Care Finance Team there are staff who provide a Client Affairs Service
which looks after the financial affairs of vulnerable adults.

                                          Financial Services Business Plan 2010/11

Risk Management

Each service area within Financial Services has undertaken a risk review. The
principle risks are shown in the attached table (page 34) together with the
control measures to mitigate those risks.

Counter Fraud

Counter Fraud risks are kept under review, Where necessary, action will be
taken to address risks, and any risks that cannot be reduced or removed will
be reflected in the service’s detailed risk register which is reviewed on a
regular basis.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Controlled Score

                                                                                                                                                                                                               Effectiveness of
                                                                                                                             Control Measures

                                                                                                            Net Risk Score

                                                                                                                                                     Control Owner
Risk Number
                                                                                                                             (Red =

                                                                        Risk Owner
                                                       Linked to


                                  Outcome(s) of                                                                              Uncontrolled,
              Risk Description                         Objective                                                                                                                                                                  Action

                                  the Risk                                                                                   Amber = Partially


                                                                                                                             Controlled, Green
                                                                                                                             = Controlled)
                                  Failure to deliver                                                                                                                                                                              Monitoring of service
1             Lack of resources                            5          HFS            4             3        12                     Amber            HFS              3             2         6                    -6
                                  services in line                                                                                                                                                                                provided and
              leading to
                                  with service                                                                                                                                                                                    continual review of
              overstretched staff
                                  specification                                                                                                                                                                                   resources available
                                  Unable to deliver                   Kieron
2             Failure of computer                          2                         2             4         8                     Amber           Kieron            1             2         2                    -6              Members agreed to
                                  work resulting in                 Edmunds
              systems                                                                                                                            Edmunds                                                                          fund a Disaster
                                  customer needs                     (OSTM)
                                                                                                                                                  (OSTM)                                                                          Recovery Plan for
                                  not being met
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oracle systems

                                   Other demands
              Benefits realisation                                    Kieron                                                                       Kieron                                                                         Close monitoring of
                                   prevent benefits
3             of the Oracle e-                             2        Edmunds          4             3        12                      Red          Edmunds             3             3         9                    -3              the programme and
                                   realisation eg
              business suite                                         (OSTM)                                                                       (OSTM)                                                                          remedial action taken
                                   demands of LPR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  where needed
                                   and Release 12
              Failure to progress Income from debt                                                                                                                                                                                Additional resources
4             debt recovery as not maximised and           1        Chris Ward       2             4         8                     Amber         Chris Ward          1             2         2                    -6              approved for debt
              planned             impact on council                                                                                                                                                                               recovery

                                 Balanced budget                                                                                                                                                                                  Budget process in
              Budget savings not
                                 not achieved, risk        3          HFS            3             4        12                     Amber           HFS               2             3         6                    -6              place. Efficiency
5             achieved
                                 of Capping                                                                                                                                                                                       Board restructured

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Regular monitoring of
                                  Immediate                                                                                                                                                                                       position, review of
                                  repayment of 5%                                                                                                                                                                                 new capital schemes,
              5% Partial          limit which is                                                                                                                                                                                  training for senior
                                                          2,3,4       HFS            2             4         8                     Amber           HFS               1             4         4                    -4
6             Exemption Limit for approximately                                                                                                                                                                                   managers. New
              VAT exceeded        £1.3m plus excess                                                                                                                                                                               HMRC guidance
                                  amount                                                                                                                                                                                          issued April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  accepts average %
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  over a period of years

Performance Monitoring and Review

As in previous years, the Financial Services Business Plan will be monitored on a quarterly
basis by the Financial Services Management Team (FSMT). In addition, Performance
Indictors as laid down in the Service Level Agreement and agreed with clients are also
monitored quarterly by the Finance Support Services Board (FSSB), together with
Customer Satisfaction. The planned timetable for monitoring is as shown below:-

Performance Monitoring and Review - Timetable

Month 2010                  Topic                       FSMT                 FSSB

April          Review of Business Plan
               Objectives                        21 April 2010         10 May 2010

May            Review Performance
               Indicators                                              10 May 2010

June           Equalities Action Plan            16 June 2010
               Health and Safety Update          16 June 2010

July           Review of Business Plan
               Objective                         28 July 2010
               Review Business Continuity
               Plan                                                    5 July 2010

August         Review Performance
               Indicators                                              2 August 2010

September      Equalities Action Plan            22 September 2010
               Health and Safety Update          22 September 2010
               Review of Risk Register           22 September 2010

October        Review Business Continuity
               Plan                              6 October 2010
               Review of Business Plan
               Objectives                        20 October 2010

November       Review Performance
               Indicators                                              1 November 2010

December       Equalities Action Plan            15 December 2010
               Health and Safety Update          15 December 2010

January        Review Business Continuity
               Plan                              12 January 2011
               Review of Business Plan
               Objectives                        26 January 2011

Month 2011              Topic                       FSMT          FSSB
February     Review Performance
             Indicators                                      7 February 2011

March        Equalities Action Plan          9 March 2011
             Health and Safety Update        9 March 2011
             Review of Risk Register         23 March 2011

April        Review Business Continuity
             Plan                            6 April 2011
             Review of Business Plan
             Objectives                      20 April 2011

May          Review Performance
             Indicators                                      9 May 2011

                                                        Appendix A: Review and Audit
The Environmental Audit

(a)   STEEP Analysis
      Social Trends
       Many of the employees attracted to work for the service are women with school
        aged children. There is therefore a strong demand for posts to be job share,
        term time or part-time to fit with home requirements. Relaxation of Inland
        Revenue Childcare rules and the potential introduction of more flexible working
        arrangements is expected to encourage more women with children back into the
       Family commitments are important to staff and there is an increasing trend of
        staff to examining their work/life balance and seeking more flexible working.
        Corporate Flexible Working/Special Leave policies are consistently applied to
        allow staff to balance their home and work commitments without affecting the
        service to our clients.
       The availability of Flexible Retirement and Home Working offers improved
        flexibility for employment and working life balance. (The Financial Assessments
        and Benefits Team was part of the Home Working Pilot and continues to operate
        flexible working arrangements).
       Terms and Conditions of Bailiffs have been amended to include evening and
        weekend working as part of their core hours. This allows visits to be made to
        debtors when they are most likely to be at home.
       Succession planning is an important element of the Business Plan, as is staff
        training, because a large proportion of the employees within the service are
        within a similar age range.
       More customers now have bank accounts and are being encouraged to pay
        invoices by direct debit and other electronic means.
       Increasing demands on the unit coupled with reduced resources and pressures
        on staff at home add to the overall pressures/stress felt by staff.
       The majority of payments, including payments to employees, Council Tax and
        NDR refunds, made through Oracle financial systems are being made direct into
        bank accounts.
       Although there has been a groundswell of public opinion against the current
        system of local taxation, the Lyons Report did not propose any radical changes
        and it is anticipated that the system will remain in place after the general
       The credit crunch is affecting everyone including staff and customers, leading to
        increased demands for support from both clients and staff.
       Public antipathy to local government pensions and the level of local government
        salaries continues to grow, fuelled by the media.

   Financial systems eg Oracle and Phoenix will enable self-service in the future ie.
    customers will be able to look at their own records on the systems.
   Oracle HR systems will support the development of e-workforce initiatives
    including self-service.
   Financial Services information and guidance eg financial rules, travel and
    benefits rules are available on IntraLink. Financial Rules training is also
    accessible on IntraLink.
   E-government initiatives and increasing expectations of being e-enabled:-
    - purchasing cards – implemented across all services.
    - e-recruitment for job applications.
    - more web-based and paperless transactions.
    - extended use of e-mails increasing the volume of queries and other
    - e-purchasing and e-procurement.
    - schools workforce census is being introduced as an electronic return
    - smart cards are now used for the new national concessionary fares scheme.
    - the pace of technological change plays a significant part in the need to
        improve services to clients – the service upgraded to Windows XP during
    - HMRC and other government departments have required electronic transfer
        of data since April 2009.
   Social networking and e-abuse is an issue.
   Financial systems are being upgraded regularly as part of “business as usual”
    but also as a move towards providing a platform for shared services.
   The issue of ageing hardware needs to be addressed but also as a move
    towards providing a platform for shares services.
   Section 75 agreements, which are currently nearing completion with the PCT,
    will demand new system links.
   There will be another National Fraud initiative – exchange of data.
   There is a move towards paperless Direct Debit instructions ie. the Direct Debit
    is arranged and authorised over the phone.
   There is more pressure to become a paperless office. This could be achieved by
    the extension of EDMS across the whole of the unit.
   Archiving of data on CD instead of storing paper copies of the information.
    (Ideally more information would be archived onto a shared drive).
   Recruitment of staff is more web-based than in the past and encourages on-line
    applications for jobs.
   The new link to Hampshire County Council’s Axise database for pension
    calculations has brought additional benefits.
   It is hoped that the implementation of GovConnect will enable the secure
    transfer of data between the authority and government departments.
   Losses of data by government departments has raised the profile of the need to
    ensure the security of data
   Greater use of automated solutions for processing of electronic transactions.
   ORBIS system for lone workers implemented for Bailiff and FAB Teams


   Difficulty in recruiting staff of the right calibre is continuing due to the level of pay
    offered even though it had been anticipated that this would be mitigated by the
    impact of the recession.
   Outcome of the Local Pay Review ie many staff are currently starting the second
    year of pay protection following a reduction in their basic pay level and the loss
    of good calibre staff as they move to jobs outside the City Council is beginning
    to happen. Managers will be working with HR staff during 2010/11 to implement
    or review MSIs to help mitigate the problem of some salaries being below local
    market rates.
   Opportunities to tender for the provision of services to other Local Authorities.
   Review of travel and subsistence policy.
   External income is sought wherever possible. The Local Government Act 2003
    has lifted restrictions on the trading of services outside of local government and
    offers more opportunity to trade in the future.
   Loss of interest on early payment of invoices for small businesses.
   Potential loss of UK's triple A credit rating.
   Budget on 25 March 2010 prior to a General Election, and potential budget
    immediately following the outcome of the General Election.
   European, regional and other grant funding is subject to competition so
    departments submitting bids require financial support.
   The Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 required all Local Authorities to
    achieve efficiency savings of 3% per annum over the three years 2008/09 to
    2010/11 and the target was then increased to 4% for 2010/11. Targets for
    2011/12 onwards have not yet been announced but are unlikely to reduce.
   Three year Local Government Finance Settlement announcements enable
    better forward planning. The current 3 year settlement ends with the 2010/11
    settlement and there are concerns that the settlement for future years may
    reduce significantly due to the recession and economic pressures.
   Loss of income to the Port
   Pension payment increases – the trend is still showing an increase and
    employers pension contributions will increase by 0.5% to 19.1% from April 2010.
    This is approximately three times the level of contribution made by employees.
   Costs affected by pay and pension increases and increases in the consumer
    price index.
   Loss of interest on early payments to small businesses
   Potential loss of the United Kingdom's triple A credit rating
   Budget announced on 24 March priori to a general election

 Volatility in the price of fuel (petrol and diesel)
 Regeneration of the City – agreed and potential schemes eg City Centre North
  (currently on hold), Southsea, Somerstown Redevelopment, Seafront.
 There is a general need within the City Council to reduce the amount of office
  space currently being used.
 Recycling of waste paper.
 Carbon Management Project schemes to reduce carbon emissions

Environmental (Continued)

   Introduction of new copying/printing arrangements
   Increased requirements for traffic management within the City.
   Implementation of 20 mph across the City.
   Public transport timetables don’t always link with working hours of staff.
   The Green Travel Plan encourages loans for bicycles, concessionary travel,
    interest free loans on season tickets for buses, hovercraft etc.
   Introduction of Common Wheels hire cars
   Negotiations for discounts on rail fares for staff are taking place (could be 25%)
   Increase in parking meters affects staff who need to park close to the Civic
   Potential introduction of parking charges for staff parking.
   Salary sacrifice scheme for commuting costs is on hold until HMRS decide the
    parameters they will accept.
   A Transport Review has been undertaken to centralise the management of PCC
    vehicles and make both cashable and carbon emission savings.


   The Administration has an overall majority within the City Council but elections
    will take place in May and the Conservative Group hope that they will take
    overall control.
   The approved Budget Process was used for the preparation of the budget
   A separate Medium Term Resource Strategy was introduced from 2008/09 and
    is reviewed each year.
   Corporate Priorities have been reviewed and agreed with Members.
   The Government is strongly promoting Partnerships and Partnership funding so
    skills within the service will need to be developed to enable the service to
    provide support in these areas.
   Government initiatives often stretch resources but include targets which have to
    be met.
   Government targets set for many of our clients mean that clients expect the best
    service at the lowest cost so there is a constant need to improve performance.
   The growth of Local Area Agreements and Area Based Grants impacts on
   Impact of increasing numbers of FOI requests.
   Financial Management Standards for Schools have been implemented.
   CPA/JAR inspection took place in 2008/09 and the resulting Action Plan was
    implemented during 2009/10.
   Use of Resources requirements and Key Lines of Enquiry were revised and
    extended for 2009, raising “the bar” still further.
   Increased government emphasis on Education and Social Services and
    increased need for management and administration work in respect of funding
    and grants. Demands for Social Care are increasing year on year and this is
    impacting on other service provision as funding is re-allocated.
   Impact of Disability Discrimination Act, Data Protection Act, Human Rights Act,
    and Freedom of Information Act legislation.
   The potential impact of legislation on more flexible working.

      Political (Continued)

         Changes introduced by the Local Government Act 2003 include Business
          Improvement Districts, Local Authority Business Growth Improvement, and
          Small Business Reductions.
         Changes to Pension Regulations.
         Children’s Act has introduced ringfencing to areas of Education.
         Highways Management Contract implemented (PFI scheme)
         Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 expected savings of 3% per annum
          from all Local Authorities between 2008/09 and 2010/11, but the 2010/11 target
          was increased during 2009/10 to 4%.
         Valuation of Council Tax Bands and NDR valuations
         Housing Options Appraisal
         Municipal Ports Review
         Accounts and Audit Regulations require closure of accounts by the end of June.
         Changes to Professional Codes of Practice eg Group Accounts, implementation
          of IFRS
         Government Accounts
         Shared services
         Audit and Governance Committee established.
         Review of Directorates.
         Centralisation of Student Support delivery to be completed by 2011 (Currently
          delivered through a partnering arrangement with West Sussex County Council).
         Changes to legislation affecting operation of HRA will impact on level of rents
         Member involvement in filling of vacancies.
         Members to be more involved in the Efficiency Board during 2010 with the aim
          of the Board producing all the savings needed to fund the underlying budget
         Total Place concept for public authorities
         Members stance towards use of Consultants has changed – see report from
          Finance and Resources Scrutiny Panel

(b)   SWOT Analysis


         Good knowledge of the work and customers’ requirements
         Well trained, technically excellent professional staff
         The structure of the service is flexible, aligned to mirror the Services it supports,
          and provides an equality of service to all clients
         Highly thought of by customers
         Customer focused staff
         Competitively priced
         Feedback on performance through Personal Development Review (PDRs) and
         Direct access to Chief Executive and Members
         Innovative ways used or sought to maximise limited resources
         Pro-active induction process and probation period for new staff
         Very lean structure
         Consistent record of delivery of service to statutory requirements and deadlines

   Complacency over the quality of the service provided
   Amount of change and number of initiatives being assimilated stretches
    resources to the limit
   Marketing of our services could be improved – we don’t sell ourselves well
   The unit doesn’t promote its own successes
   Lot of knowledge invested in a few key staff
   Mechanisms for sharing best practice could be improved
   Tendency for staff in some sections of the service to be spoon fed and therefore
    some staff are not innovative or pro-active
   Lack of Member involvement
   Lack of funds for re-investment in the service eg. IT equipment.
   Communications with staff were seen as poor in the MORI Survey.
   Balance between statutory and clients requirements
   Some managers are not trained to recognise the early signs of stress
   Insufficient resources for staff training and development
   Too many priorities for resources
   Income generation as a result of the opportunities provided by the Local
    Government Act 2003 on who we can provide services to
   Continuous further implementation of Oracle system and user functionality
   Oracle knowledge could be sold to other external users of Oracle software
   Training and development of staff is key to our success
   E-government initiatives will enable further improvements to the service
   More Member engagement through the Governance and Audit Committee.
   Partnering arrangements eg partnering of student support service
   Recruiting staff with the right attitude to meet our aims and objectives
   Shared services

   Perception of clients that a better service can be purchased more cheaply from
    external providers.
   Systems Thinking interventions which focus on buying in management systems
    instead of assessing whether Oracle can provide what is required
   Budget pressures on the City Council and requirement for service to provide
    substantial savings
   Schools can already purchase financial services from elsewhere
   Fewer resources are available to undertake the same work therefore there is an
    increase in risk
   Constant need to update and change skills to comply with changes in legislation
    and technology
   Change overload
   Loss of key staff coupled with limited and reducing resources
   Outcome from Local Pay Review following period of pay protection
   Flexible working, and people’s perception of this, could take valuable resources
   Recruitment of right calibre of staff/staff retention
   Cost of ownership of systems is increasing eg Oracle license costs

Competitor Analysis

As part of the Moving Towards Excellence Review, it was agreed that all Services
would receive a minimum core service of common key financial activities. Each
Service is therefore supported by a Finance Team led by a Finance Manager co-
located near to or with their own staff. This arrangement has:-

      significantly strengthened corporate governance through the alignment of
       accountability and responsibility for finance
      improved responsiveness to Service requirements
      provided a “One-Stop Shop” for financial activities
      enhanced professional skills to improve corporate capacity
      achieved optimum efficiencies through teams that share Corporate and
       Service responsibilities
      achieved savings through merging teams and through centralisation of some
       routine activities
      eliminated inequities in current service delivery

There are still some central finance teams dealing with specialised finance areas
such as Payroll and Pensions, Oracle System Development and Support, and
Centralised Payment and Income functions.

With a very few exceptions, all finance staff, whether previously employed direct by
Front Line Directorates or Financial Services, are now part of Financial Services.

Our competitors are:-

   -   Other Local Authorities
   -   Private Sector Companies eg companies providing accountancy and
       accounts payable and receivable services, companies specifically providing
       outsourcing services eg. Capita

External competitors such as Capita have been successful in winning contracts to
provide financial services to several Local Authorities including Southampton City
Council and Havant Borough Council. Whilst no specific benchmarking work has yet
been carried out, the service provided by similar external firms has not always
proved to be adequate and some Local Authorities have already brought services
previously externalised back in-house.

The service is aware of potential opportunities for shared service or partnering
arrangements with other local District Councils and intends to follow up on these
whenever opportunities arise. This may also link win with the Shared Services work
strand of the Efficiencies Board. However, the service is also aware that other
larger authorities in the area such as Hampshire County Council have been
developing themselves as service hubs with the intention of providing services to
surrounding district councils. This will provide a direct competitor to any services
that the City Council would wish to offer.

      Competitor Analysis (Continued)

      When the outcomes of the Financial Services Review was considered, Members
      wanted to ensure that the cost of delivering financial services by an in-house team
      was the most cost effective method of delivery and delivered value for money.
      Meeting were held with Southampton City Council during 2008/09 to compare the
      structure of Financial Services within each authority. Benchmarking of a range of
      financial services activities was planned for 2009/10 but did not take place because
      of other pressures on both authorities. It is hoped that some benchmarking work
      can be undertaken during 2010/11. If Southampton City Council is unable to work
      with us on this, we will liaise with other Unitary Authorities.

      Whether the service is provided internally or externally, it is important that a
      corporate standard of financial services is maintained so that the Strategic Director
      and Section 151 Officer can meet his Section 151 responsibilities.

(c)   Customer Needs Analysis

      During 2009/10, Finance Managers have continued to feedback from customers to
      the Financial Services Support Board in respect of performance and service.
      Finance Managers regularly meet with Operational Managers and are therefore
      immediately aware of changing needs of each Service. Performance Indicators
      have also been captured during the year.

      Because Eddie Stray has been on secondment to the Systems Thinking Team,
      during 2009/10 we have had no access to the resource of an independent person to
      attend Directorate Management Teams and undertake specific surveys on our
      behalf. However, regular interlock meetings with clients have continued to take
      place during the year to discuss the service being provided, proposals for ways of
      improving the service etc. The most powerful method of consultation has been the
      day to day contact of the Finance Managers with Operational Managers within each

      The MORI residents survey 2009 and the Place Survey 2008 do not refer
      specifically to services delivered by Financial Services. However, the service has a
      role in supporting front line services and will work with those services to meet any
      changing needs, particularly those arising from the outcomes of these two surveys.

      Customer focus is an important element of those services we provide that are
      delivered direct to residents eg the issue of concessionary fares passes and tokens,
      collection of debt, visits by Financial Assessments and Benefits Officers, cashiers
      service in the Civic Offices. Alternative ways of making payments have been
      introduced over recent years and will continue to be kept under constant review to
      reflect changing demands.

(d)   Performance Assessment Audit

      Performance of the unit is closely monitored by both the Financial Services
      Management Team and the Financial Services Support Board. A Service
      Specification which included a number of Performance Indicators for each
      specialism within Financial Services is available on the IntraLink and these
      performance indicators have been reviewed by the Board on a quarterly basis
      throughout the year.

      In addition, reports on progress against the Corporate Improvement Plan have been
      made to Members of the Governance and Audit Committee and Chief Officers
      during the year.

      The only BVPI target relating to Financial Services is that for undisputed invoices
      paid within 30 days. The target of 91.5% for 2009/10 was achieved. However, this
      target has been reduced to 90% for 2010/11 to reflect the anticipated impact of the
      budget savings implemented for 2010/11.

      Appendix C shows performance against the objectives and targets included in the
      Financial Services Business Plan for 2009/10.

(e)   Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA)

      Financial Services pledges that equalities are an important part of the Financial
      Services Business Plan. Equalities Action Planning is reviewed by the Financial
      Services Management Team on a regular basis.

      The following Preliminary EIAs have been undertaken and are available on

         Civic Offices Cash Office (located on the ground floor of the Civic Offices)
         Payroll, Pension and Travel and Benefits Team within Financial Services
         Accountancy Service
         Treasury Management Policy
         Oracle E-Business Suite
         Credit Management Strategy
         Finance Team in HHSC – Adult Social Care Income and Recovery Team
         Sundry Debtor Billing, Collection and Recovery
         Debt Recovery – Unpaid Council Tax and Business Rates
         Council Housing Budget 2010/11
         Charging for Non-Residential Care provided by Adult Social Care

      (e)     Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) (Continued)

        During 2010/11, full EIAs will be undertaken for four of our service areas (see
        timetable below). In addition, work that was started in 2008/09 to collect and
        analyse feedback from different equality strands will continue into 2010/11 and will
        feed into the full EIAs.

        Table of Equality Impact Assessments:

                           Policy/Function/Service:                         Full EIA to be
                                                                            completed by:
            Civic Offices Cash Office (located on the ground floor of
            the Civic Offices)                                               October 2011
            Finance Team in HHSC – Adult Social Care Income and
            Recovery Team                                                  September 2010
            Sundry Debtor Billing, Collection and Recovery                 September 2010
            Debt Recovery – Unpaid Council Tax and Business
            Rates                                                          September 2010

        Many of our staff received Equality and Diversity training some time ago and
        requirements for refresher training are being identified as part of the annul PDR
        process. It is anticipated that we will be able to work with Learning and
        Development to formulate two special Equality and Diversity training sessions for
        our staff (one will be specifically for frontline staff and the other for support staff).
        Although this work was planned in 2009/10, it has not yet been put in place
        because of other work pressures.

        Progress on all Equality and Diversity work will be monitored during the year by the
        Management Team.

(f)     Projects

        Financial Services staff have an input into most if not all corporate projects. Each
        project is supported by a Finance Manager or more senior Manager, and regular
        meetings are arranged with the S151 Officer to review progress on each project and
        any potential financial issues.

                                                     Appendix B: Customer Satisfaction Survey

                                 Financial Services (FS)
                            CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY


      Print name……………………………………                               Tel no:…………………………

Thinking about the last 3 months, how satisfied have you been with the services provided
by FS? Please tick one box (X)

        Very dissatisfied     Dissatisfied   Neither          Satisfied     Very satisfied

If you were not ‘Very satisfied’ , what could we have done differently to have made you
‘Very satisfied’.

Thinking about the last 3 months how satisfied have you been that we have worked
collaboratively with you to make best use of FS staff to meet your FS needs? Please tick
one box (x)

        Very dissatisfied   Dissatisfied   Neither       Satisfied       Very satisfied

If you were not ‘Very satisfied’ please tell us in what area’s we could have worked more
collaboratively and/or improve the use of FS staff to meet your FS needs

Thinking about the next 3 months what are the priorities for FS for your Directorate /



All due milestones achieved, objective on track to be achieved
Some progress made but slippage occurred/expected
Objective will not be achieved or at serious risk

 Service objective                  Target                        2009/10 milestone         Status             Comments

                       1. Improve the Council Tax in year   Increase in "in year" Council            Target of 95% achieved in spite
                       collection rate form 94.6% in        Tax Collection Rate to 95.0%    Green    of the impact of the recession.
                       2008/09 to 95.0% in 2009/10          - March 2010
                       2. Improve the Business Rate in      Increase in "in year"                    Collection rate of 98.3%
                       year collection rate from 98.2% in   Business Rate Collection                 achieved in 2009/10. This is an
                       2008/09 to 99.0% in 2009/10          Rate to 99.0% - March 2010               improvement of 0.2% over
                                                                                                     2008/09. Although the target
                                                                                                     was not achieved, this is an
                                                                                                     excellent result taking into
                                                                                            Amber    account the impact that the
To maximise the                                                                                      economic climate has had on
level of income                                                                                      local businesses. The target
collected and reduce                                                                                 was always seen as a
the level of debt                                                                                    challenging one, since the
owed to the City                                                                                     closer it is to 100%, the harder
Council                                                                                              it is to achieve.
                       3. Increase ultimate Collection      Increase in Collection Rate              The ultimate collection rate was
                       Rate for Council Tax Setting         used in preparation of                   held at 98.3% for 2010/11
                       Purposes from 98.3% to 98.4%         2010/11 Budget - January                 mainly because of the impact of
                       for 2010/11                          2010                                     the recession.
                       4. Improve Sundry Debt Collection    Performance targets set for              Although past due days targets
                       Rates for debt over 91 days past     each service area (as set out            were not achieved (31.5% and
                       due to 12.0% and debt over 361       in Business Plan) - March                22.5% respectively), the level of
                       days past due to 18.0%               2010                            Amber    debt recovered, which is a
                                                                                                     more important indicator, has

 Service objective                  Target                      2009/10 milestone          Status             Comments

                      1. An Oracle development plan for Initial development plan to be              Development targets have been
                      the next 2 - 3 years to be        drafted - 30 June 2009                      identified but not scheduled due
                      published by 30 June 2009                                                     to the potential impact of the
                                                                                                    Release 12 upgrade. They will
                                                                                           Amber    be included in the Release 12
                                                                                                    Project Plan as some are
                                                                                                    needed before the upgrade and
                                                                                                    others will follow it.

Oracle E-Business    2. Plan for maintenance and           Release 12 project plan with             Maintenance activity is planned
Suite to be further  upgrades to Oracle E-Business         identification of scope and              through to October 2011.
developed to ensure Suite                                  resources required for the               Additional work will be added
that financial                                             commencement of the                      once the impact of the Release
systems are flexible                                       upgrade programme -                      12 upgrade is known. Planned
and meet changing                                          January 2010                             work has been completed on
user requirements                                          HMRS Family Pack L to be                 time. The Release 12 Project
                                                           applied - October 2009                   Plan has slipped to July 2010
                                                           Budget Patch 2010 to be                  (report to SDB). Review of
                                                           applied - 15 March 2010                  Advanced Collections is still
                                                           Complete evaluation of                   ongoing - it slipped as it relies
                                                           Advanced Collections module              on the avialability of a Release
                                                           and make recommendations                 12 environment.
                                                           to FSMT regarding
                                                           implementation - September
                     1. To implement the Local Pay         To implement LPR on Oracle               Completed and implemented in
                     Review on Oracle                      in the month following the               accordance with project plan
                                                           end of the 3 month notice
                                                           period in accordance with the
Implement the
                                                           project plan - November
outcomes from the
Local Pay Review in
                     2. To identify staff who are eligible To identify staff who suffer             Preliminary presentations have
conjunction with the
                     for pension protection and issue pension detriment one month                   been made to staff affected and
HR Service
                     appropriate advice                    in advance of the material               plans are in place to follow this
                                                           date and issue appropriate               up at the approporiate time
                                                           guidance at that time - March            (when pay protection ends)

 Service objective                Target                    2009/10 milestone        Status             Comments

Budget Savings to     1. Ongoing savings of £5m in    Achieve £5m ongoing budget              Budget savings achieved in line
be achieved in line   2010/11, £4m in 2011/12, £3m in savings for 2010/11 by City             with targets
with the Medium       2012/13, and £2.3m in 2013/14   Council - February 2010 and
Term Resource                                         a further £4m ongoing budget   Green
Strategy                                              savings for 2011/12 by City
                                                      Council - February 2011.

                     1. Score of 3 for KLOE 1.3       Achieve level 3 for KLOE 1.3            Final outcomes from the
Financial Accounts
                     (Financial Reporting) of the     of the Use of Resources                 2009/10 assessment will not be
to be closed on time
                     Managing Finances element of     assessment for 2010 - June              released until
and to quality and
                     the Use of Resources             2010                                    October/November 2010 but
further improvements
                                                                                              early indications are that we are
made to meet
                                                                                     Amber    close to achieving a score of 3.
revised and more
                                                                                              The only area of work
testing Key Lines of
                                                                                              outstanding is the assessment
Enquiry for the Use
                                                                                              of the final accounts - this work
of Resources
                                                                                              will not take place until July

 Service objective                   Target                       2009/10 milestone           Status             Comments

                      1. As part of the work to identify  Maintain or improve                          Initial work has started but the
                      budget and efficiency savings       satisfaction from clients -                  main work will take place during
                      within the service for 2010/11,     Ongoing                                      2010/11
                      review P2P business processes
                      and identify areas where changes
                      could be made to release
Increase the capacity
                      resources for other work
of the service within
the resources
                      2. Look at opportunities for shared Increase in capacity available               No opportunities to follow up in
                      service delivery with other bodies for City Council work with no                 2009/10
                                                          diminution of service -
                      3. Staff developed to meet the      Internal staff with the right                Training resources are directed
                      needs of succession planning.       skills are available at the right   Green    towards the relevant areas of
                                                          time - Ongoing                               work.


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