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Agenda item

Corporate Performance Framework

Report of the Director of Policy, Performance and Communications



The Committee received a report of the Director of Policy, Performance and Communications on the design and implementation of a new Corporate Performance Framework, which included associated indicators and reporting arrangements, and attached, as appendices, the new Corporate Performance Framework model, new performance indicators and key performance measures and actions, in the form of RAG ratings, for Quarter 4 of 2018/19.




In attendance for this item were James Henderson (Director of Policy, Performance and Communications) and Louise Brewins (Head of Performance and Intelligence).




The report contained an update of the programme for the new Corporate Performance Framework, together with details of the Authority’s performance in 2018/19.  James Henderson stressed the importance of the Council having an effective Corporate Performance Framework, to help it know that everything was working effectively, ensure that it had the relevant information to make managers aware of how the Authority was performing and to provide an opportunity for the public and other stakeholders to understand such performance.  Mr Henderson added that, whilst it was acknowledged there was a very extensive list of performance indicators, it was proposed that officers would look at a number of key indicators, and report back to the Committee on these.  Louise Brewins referred to the performance for Quarter 4 in 2018/19, stating that there had been mixed results. 




Members of the Committee raised questions, and the following responses were provided:-




·             Members would be granted access to the new Corporate Performance Framework to enable them to look at specific elements of the information.




·             The reason as to why no RAG ratings had been highlighted for certain indicators in the Quarter 4 report for 2018/19 was due to the fact that either there was no data available, a specific target had not been formally agreed, or the target definitions had changed.  A number of indicators related to national definitions, for example, education performance indicators, of which the Government had recently changed the definitions, meaning that there were no previous data to compare these with directly. 




·             Information, in the form of a spreadsheet, and setting out a list of the proposed new high level measures, together with details of which previous high level indicators had been abandoned, modified or added to the Corporate Performance Framework, together with the reasons for this, would be circulated to Members. 




·             Whilst the majority of the measures related to functions of the Council, there were a number which related to functions of external partners. These had been maintained on the basis that they were still relevant.




·             The performance indicators for Quarter 1 of 2019/20 would be available in October 2019.




·             Officers were aware of the fact that the new Corporate Performance Framework was too focused on quantitative data, but acknowledged the fact that qualitative data would need to be included. It was envisaged that future reports would contain more qualitative data.




·             It was hoped that once the new Framework had been established, officers would then seek to implement an engagement plan, which would include a communication plan and training, as required.




·             This meeting was to be used as one forum for consulting with Members on the proposed new Framework.




·             Whilst the protected characteristics of staff were not listed as performance indicators in the list of new indicators, this was an area where data was collated, and to which all managers had access.  Such measures were reviewed at the Staff Equality and Inclusion Board.




·             Whilst a number of performance indicators related to standard measures, there was some degree of variation in what Council Services had put forward.  It had been identified that there was a need for a consistent approach, which would include the need for a core set of indicators related to management of services for use by all Council Services. Further discussions would be held with Services.




·             Consideration would be given, as part of the establishment of the new Framework, to providing information in those areas where key discrepancies had been identified.




·             The aim of the Corporate Performance Framework model was to ensure that team managers and Heads of Service would be held responsible and accountable, respectively, from the start and, if an issue could not be resolved, or was causing a particular problem, it would be escalated promptly to a level where it could be resolved. 




·             At present, the new indicators were prioritised in terms of the level of escalation required, for example, to Senior Leadership Team, Portfolio Leadership Team or Executive Management Team. However,  performance indicators were not looked at in isolation, for example Adult Social Care, which enabled officers to take a more holistic view.  Indicators were also reviewed over time so that any changes may be identified and analysed.  This included measuring the amount of change from one point in time to another. 




·             Providing relevant data was available, comparator information could be included, for example, core cities, statistical neighbours and neighbouring authorities. 




·             Consideration would be given to removing any measures over which the Authority had no influence.




·             In terms of any measures having red or amber ratings, it would be helpful to incorporate commentary on reasons for this.




·             Officers were not able to confirm whether there were any indicators to be included in respect of the Council’s ‘Tell Us Once’ scheme, but would find out and report back to Members.




·             The new performance indicator ‘% of Internal Audit Resources Spent on Productive Activities’ under Finance and Commercial Services, was a standard measure, and referred to the time actually spent undertaking audits.  It was accepted that the wording wasn’t ideal, and consideration would be given to renaming this indicator.




·             The indicator relating to the percentage of household waste composted, under Business Strategy and Regulation, referred to the Garden Waste Scheme.




·             It had been acknowledged that further work was required in terms of how the indicator regarding the total number of fly-tipping incidents, under Business Strategy and Regulation, was measured.  At present, although there could be a high number of incidents, the volume of waste dumped overall could be low. 




·             Information on whether the performance indicators relating to print issues in libraries included community and voluntary libraries, would be circulated to Members.




·             It was not easy to capture information on those measures over which the Council only had a limited amount of control, such as buses.  It could be possible to break down the information and construct indicators so that they demonstrate a dependency.  The Authority could, realistically, only exert influence over such indicators if they were included in the Council’s partners’ own performance framework.  The Authority looked at its partners’ performance indicators and frameworks as a matter of routine. An example of where this worked particularly well was in relation to the NHS, on the basis that there were a number of shared national indicators with the Authority.




·             There was currently no indicator referring to the time taken by officers to respond to Councillors’ queries, referring mainly to Councillors’ casework, but this would be included in the new Framework.




RESOLVED: That the Committee:-




(a)      notes the information contained in the report now submitted, together with the information now reported and the responses to the questions raised;




(b)      thanks James Henderson and Louise Brewins for attending the meeting, and responding to the questions raised; and




(c)      requests the Director of Policy, Performance and Communications to:-




(i)              send information, in the form of a spreadsheet, and setting out a list of the proposed new high level measures, together with details of which previous high level indicators had been abandoned, modified or added to the Corporate Performance Framework, together with reasons for each of these;


(ii)             ensure that there is a consistent set of core service management indicators, for use by all Council Services, and arrange for further discussions to be held with those Services who fail to provide the data or if the data sent is not relevant;


(iii)            make arrangements for details of the performance indicators to be sent to the relevant Scrutiny Committee, for comment;


(iv)           provide Members with an explanation of the escalation process in terms of the new Corporate Performance Framework model, together with an indication of longer-term trends and commentary; and


(v)            include a measure regarding the time it takes for officers to respond to Councillors queries, as part of their casework.


Supporting documents: