Policy & Resources Cabinet Member – Minutes – 12 June 2014

127      (1)  VIREMENTS 2014-2015 – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which sought approval for changes to the revenue and capital budgets for 2013/14 and 2014/15.

On 25 February 2014 Council approved the revenue and capital budgets for the 2014/15 financial year respectively.  The report gave details of virements approved by the Director of Policy and Resources under delegated powers and those that required Cabinet Member approval.

Resolved – (a) That the virements at paragraph 3.1 of the report, approved by the Director of Policy and Resources under delegated powers be noted, and (b) that the permanent virements outlined in paragraph 3.2 of the report be approved.

128      (2) LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSION SCHEME DISCRETIONARY OPTIONS AND COMPENSATION FOR TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT – The Assistant Director Human Resources submitted a report which outlined the key changes and sought approval for the pension discretions that were contained in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) 2014 Regulations.

The revised Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations (LGPS) 2013 and the LGPS (Transitional Provisions, Savings and Amendment) Regulations 2014 required the council, as the employer, to make and publish a policy decision on each of the five discretions that were contained in the new pension scheme.

Changes to the pension scheme were to be effective from 1 April 2014.

The five discretionary areas upon which decisions must be taken were:

i.               whether the council would pay towards the cost of Shared Cost Additional Pension Contributions (SCAPCs) made by an active pension scheme member to purchase extra pension benefits of up to £6,500 per annum.

ii.               whether to waive all or part of the actuarial reduction arising when an employee requested flexible retirement.

iii.               whether to agree to waive any actuarial reductions due in cases where employees retired any time after the age of 55 and pay the strain cost associated with the leaver.

iv.               whether to grant an additional pension of up to £6,500 to an active pension member or within six months of leaving to a member whose employment was terminated on the grounds of redundancy or retirement on the grounds of efficiency.

v.               whether to “switch back” on the 85-year rule for employees leaving between the ages of 55 and 60 and for the council to pay the strain cost arising from the early retirement.

Further details were outlined within the report.

Resolved – That the suggested proposals be approved.

129      (3)  CONTRACT AWARD INFORMATION 2013-2014 – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which provided a summary of the contracts awarded by the council during the financial year 2013/2014.

Contracts Procedure Rules (CPRs) detailed that directors must report annually on all contracts awarded over £10,000 by their directorate.The report had been prepared on behalf of directors by the business supportdivision.

The report detailed information on all contracts directly awarded via the eTendering system over a threshold of £10,000. As with previous years, the report excluded contracts awarded by other public bodies on the council’s behalf under collaborative arrangements.

During 2013/14 a total of 114 tendering exercises were undertaken resulting in 131 contracts being awarded to 95 companies. Of these, 34 tendering exercises were over £100,000. It was confirmed that 37% of all contracts were awarded to suppliers based within North Lincolnshire.

Resolved – That the findings set out in the report for 2013/14 be noted.

130      (4)  UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY AND TELECOMS PHASE 2 PROCUREMENT – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which sought approval of a unified communications strategy for the council’s voice and data telephony infrastructure and outlined an initial supporting delivery plan.

A technical unified communications strategy had been produced in conjunction with Damovo, a nationally recognised telephony specialist. Its purpose was to help identify opportunities to reduce costs and provide a modern and resilient technical platform that would support council-wide business transformation going forward.

Unified Communications (UC) is the term used to describe a set of communication services bundled and delivered together as a single cohesive solution and enabled the use of voice, data, Internet, video and other communication services through integration of products.

The report outlined that the phase 1 procurement exercise successfully introduced a new PSN connectivity contract, delivering significant savings for the council and schools. This new infrastructure was being rolled-out to replace existing network provision under the expiring Daisy contract.

It was explained that the phase 2 procurement was now necessary to provision the council’s telecoms requirements from 20 September 2014.

In line with the strategy and key actions outlined in paragraph 2.4 of the report, it was proposed that the current telephony platform be enhanced; the existing system be upgraded to a modern centralised platform, business continuity be increased and supplemented with additional UC technology where appropriate, retaining the majority of the existing handsets.

It was proposed that the council build on its existing investment by introducing the latest Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies to deliver savings and the ability to implement UC where required.  Legacy telephony would be replaced with new technology as it failed or required replacement.  A phase 2 procurement for VoIP services would be carried out to replace the traditional BT connectivity via a national framework.

Resolved – That option 1 as outlined within the report be progressed in line with the presented timetable, commencing with the phase 2 telecoms procurement.

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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.