Policy & Finance Cabinet Member – Minutes – 12 November 2015

 29 (29) VIREMENTS 2015-16 – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which sought approval for changes to revenue and capital budgets for 2015-16 as part of the council’s policy of active budget management.

On 24 February 2015 Council approved the revenue and capital budgets for the 2015/16 financial year.  The report gave details of virements that required Cabinet Member approval.

Resolved – That the virements at paragraph 3.1 of the report be approved.

30 (30)  RECORDS MANAGEMENT POLICY UPDATE – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report seeking approval for a series of required changes to the council’s Records Management Policy.

Information was a key council asset and it was crucial that it was handled with the same care as other important assets, such as finance, people, land and property.

In order to maximise the effective and efficient use of information, it was essential that there was a corporate view on how information was managed, created, stored, retrieved, retained, disposed of and shared.  The Records Management Policy set out the agreed approach to ensure that this was managed effectively and consistently.

The Records Management Policy was approved in March 2013 but at that point did not include a Records Retention Schedule.  It was agreed that this would be added following an update to national guidance.

Recently the Local Government Association had produced updated national guidance on records retention for local government.  The guidance allowed for the addition of local practices where applicable however, these should be kept to a minimum to maintain consistency.

Resolved – That the updated Records Management Policy, including the Records Retention Schedule, be approved.

31 (31) CONTRACT AWARD: TEMPORARY AGENCY WORKERS – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report setting out the findings from a recent procurement exercise to renew the corporate arrangement for temporary agency workers.

In August 2015 the Policy and Finance Cabinet Member approved a procurement for temporary agency workers via the national MSTAR2 (minute 19 refers) framework.  The purpose of the report was to outline the outcome of the procurement process as required under Contract Procedure Rules.

MSTAR2 was the successor arrangement to the former MSTAR national framework providing managed service provision for the supply of agency workers across the local government sector.  It was selected following an options appraisal as the best solution to meet the council’s temporary agency worker needs.

The report gave details of the procurement exercise undertaken.

Resolved – That the outcomes of the procurement exercise, together with the internal control improvements, be noted.

32 (32) PROFESSIONAL SERVICES USAGE: QUARTER 2 2015/16 – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report updating the Cabinet Member on the use of professional services in Quarter 2 of 2015/16.

The protocol for managing professional services was introduced as part of a package of cost management measures in 2011.  The protocol required services to report their use of professional services on a quarterly basis.  This reporting requirement was formally adopted as part of the council’s updated contract procedure rules in May 2012.

It was widely recognised that the provision of specialist expert advice was essential for the successful delivery of major projects and effective management of potentially high cost risk exposure.  The report gave examples of strategic projects requiring specialist advice.

For the purpose of the report the term “professional services” was used to describe the procurement of highly specialised subject matter expertise which the council did not possess in-house or where an independent opinion was required.

The report set out a summary of professional services usage for Quarter 2 in 2015/2016, and detailed findings were presented at Appendix A to the report.

Resolved – That the findings set out in the report for Quarter 2 2015/16 be noted.