1. The Chairman referred to the request made at the last meeting for a Member briefing on the dashboard and key performance indicators (KPIs) and advised that this would take place on 29 September 2021.
2. Ms Kennard introduced the report and responded to comments and questions from the committee, including the following:-
a) the time taken to respond to calls to the Contact Point was an ongoing matter of concern but Ms Kennard advised that there had been some improvement in July and August 2021. Mrs Beer advised that this area of performance had been impacted by resignation rates among Agilisys Contact Point staff. Some staff taken on to cover the initial impact of covid-19 were returning to their previous roles as restrictions lifted. For some, needing to work from home for a prolonged period meant they were keen to move back into customer facing roles. Agilisys were recruiting new staff but the time taken to fully train them in all aspects was extensive as the range of issues they had to cover was wide and complex. It was noted that the quality of calls answered remained high;
b) asked for more detail about target FN06, the level of sundry debt to the Council, and if this gave rise to any risk or just a cashflow challenge, Ms Cooke undertook to supply more detail on any specific area;
c) asked about the potential impact on staff of any delay in paying retirement benefits to them (target FN02), Ms Cooke advised that payments to those judged to be most in need were prioritised but that more staff had now been recruited to the Pensions administration team to help support this work;
d) one indicator not currently included in the dashboard was staff turnover and vacancy rates. Mrs Beer advised that turnover was currently reported to the Personnel Committee and that it was an issue for the respective Chairs of the two committees to discuss whether or not it would be useful to report it in addition to the Policy and Resources Cabinet Committee. A view was expressed that it would be helpful also to report vacancy rates. Mr Watts added that it might be more helpful to include this level of detail in reports to the Personnel Committee and signpost Members to these when they became available for each meeting rather than include this information in the dashboard. He undertook to consider outside the meeting how best to approach this issue; and
e) relating to target GL03, asked if there was any future plan to digitise documents or give more staff access to redacting tools, Mr Watts advised that some testing of redacting software had been undertaken but the cost was prohibitive and staff would need to be confident that any redacting could not be reversed by the recipient of any information. As a result, redacting software had not been generally rolled out. Files which were most often used were digitised but other historic personal case files, which related only to one individual and could be extensive, may only ever be requested by family members and hence would not justify the cost of digitising them. He undertook to consider the issue of the future treatment of archive material and report to a future meeting of the committee.
3. It was RESOLVED that the performance position for Strategic and Corporate Services and Members’ comments, set out above, be noted, with thanks, and the points arising from the Member briefing on 29 September be taken into account in future reporting.