Policy & Resources Cabinet Member – Minutes – 1 February 2013

35        (35)  DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES POLICY – The Assistant Director Human Resources submitted a report which sought approval for the council’s new Digital Technologies policy.

The council previously had four separate policies which governed employee use of Email, Internet, Social media and Mobile phones.  It was explained that these four existing policies had been combined and streamlined whilst still providing a robust framework for managers and employees.

The purpose of the policy was to make clear the standards expected when using digital technologies.

Resolved – That the policy be approved and adopted.

36        (36)  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE POLICY – The Assistant Director Human Resources submitted a report which sought approval for the council’s revised Domestic Violence policy.

The council’s Domestic Violence policy was first introduced in 2007 to address the issue of domestic violence and provided a framework of support to those employees and/or customers who experienced and disclosed domestic violence.

The Home Office had announced that it was revising its definition of domestic violence to take account of those aged 16 and 17 years old and to include coercive control and controlling behaviour.  This change was effective from March 2013 and the council’s policy had been revised in line with the amendments.

Resolved – That the revised policy be approved and adopted.

37        (37)  DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE – The Assistant Director Human Resources submitted a report which sought approval to update the council’s Disciplinary procedure.

The procedure had been updated regarding the use of evidence in disciplinary investigations. This followed a case in which CCTV evidence had been used to substantiate an allegation of misconduct against an employee. Subsequently, the council was provided with advice on such situations from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The procedure now stated that evidence from CCTV and other sources, such as computer and telephone records may be used and was cross referenced with the council’s CCTV Surveillance Scheme Code of Practice.

In addition, the procedure had been updated to include revised statutory guidance from the Department for Education (DfE). The guidance for local authorities applied when handling allegations of abuse against teachers and other staff working with children and young people.

The statutory guidance amends several areas of disciplinary practice, which included resignations, referral to regulatory bodies and retention of records and references.

Resolved – That the revised procedure be approved and adopted.

38        (38)  SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT POLICY – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which sought approval for an updated sustainable procurement policy.

It was explained that sustainable procurement was the term used to describe the process of acquiring goods and services that took into account the social, economic, ethical and environmental impacts that such acquisition and use had on people and communities.

The council along with North East Lincolnshire Council adopted a joint sustainable procurement policy in April 2009 in response to the Government’s “Sustainable Procurement Action Plan”.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 required public authorities to have regard to economic, social and environmental well-being in connection with public services contracts. The cabinet member was informed that Councils must consider with effect from 31 January 2013:

  • how what is proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area; and
  • how, in conducting the process of procurement, it might act with a view to securing that improvement

The policy had been brought up to date to reflect the changes in the statutory requirements.

Resolved – That the updated sustainable procurement policy as appended to the report be approved.

39        (39)  PROCUREMENT OF CONSTRUCTION AND HIGHWAYS RELATED PROJECTS –  The Director of Places and Director of Policy and Resources submitted a joint report which sought consideration and approval of a procurement plan for establishing an Integrated Framework for construction and highways procurement.

North Lincolnshire Council managed and procured a range of construction and highways related activities valued at approximately £20m each year, which were currently provided using a combination of direct labour organisation (DLO) and in-house project management and technical resource supplemented by an external supply chain.

Details of the main contracts and expiry dates were outlined within the report.

In light of the schedule of expiry dates and as part of a comprehensive review of re-procurement options, the council undertook a soft market testing (SMT) exercise to examine whether services could be delivered in a different and better way in the future and to add clarity to the possible scope of the procurement model.

Recommendations for the re-procurement of services were compiled based on research and analysis undertaken by a cross functional team of officers/elected members, taking into account the findings from soft market testing and sources of best practice.  The principal recommendation arising from the soft market testing was to establish a modern Integrated Framework for construction and highways related projects/works.

Further details and recommendations resulting from the soft market testing were outlined within the report.

Resolved – That the proposed procurement plan for Phase 1 and Phase 2, as detailed within the report, be approved.

Note: Reports are in Portable Document Format (PDF) and therefore require a suitable reader to view them. A reader can be downloaded free from the Adobe website (full instructions for downloading the reader are provided on the site).

Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.