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Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments
The Chair stated that apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Rouane and that Councillor Bennett was substituting for Councillor Rouane.
Declaration of Interests
There were no Declarations of Interest.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2022 and to receive information arising from them.
The Committee approved the minutes of the meeting of 17 January 2022 and authorised the Chair to sign them as a correct record.
Petitions and Public Address
There were none.
Outcomes Framework and Performance Reporting PDF 354 KB
The Committee is RECOMMENDED to
i. Consider the outcomes framework and performance management arrangements set out in this report and its annexes, and provide any comments, suggestions or feedback to Cabinet.
ii. Note the progress to date developing a public performance portal with a planned go-live in the second quarter of the year and consider whether the committee would like a demonstration of the portal.
The Committee considered a report by the Corporate Director Customers, Organisational Development and Resources, RECOMMENDING that the Committee:
1. Consider the Outcomes Framework and Performance Management arrangements set out in [the] report and its annexes;
2. Provide any comments, suggestions, or feedback to Cabinet;
3. Note the progress to date on developing a Public Performance Portal (“the Portal”) with a planned “go live” [date] in the second quarter of the year; and
4. Consider whether the Committee would like a demonstration of the Portal.
The Chair welcomed Councillor Phillips, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, who presented the report.
In the subsequent discussion, the following points were made.
(a) In response to a question regarding which Performance Model had been used when preparing the Outcomes Framework and Performance Reporting document (“the document”), and whether any other models had been considered, Claire Taylor, Corporate Director, Customers, Organisational Development and Resources, stated there were different approaches that could be adopted in relation to performance management. Regarding the Outcomes Framework (“the Framework”), the intention was to represent a way of monitoring and managing progress of the Council’s strategic priorities. To that extent, the Framework was a combination of progress measures and initiatives, and key performance measures of the Council’s core business. Accordingly, the Framework was an exercise in balancing a summary of core measures and key outcomes.
Ms Taylor noted that there were different Performance Management models that could be used, such as a balanced scorecard and EFQN and that different approaches were used in different areas of the Council depending on what was appropriate. She noted that the Framework was the “tip of the Performance Management iceberg” which had several hundred metrics below it.
[Ms Taylor then provided a detailed explanation on how this worked in practice, including the operation of the Public Performance Portal].
(b) In response to several questions, Councillor Phillips provided the following information –
(i) All the Council’s Cabinet Members would have had some input into the Performance Framework;
(ii) To link Strategic Priorities and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and how Key Plans and Strategies supported and underpinned the wider delivery of the Council’s Strategic Plan, would have made the document extremely long and unwieldy;
(iii) Regarding the Council’s Strategic Plan and its vision of “Leading Positive Change by Working in Partnership to Make Oxfordshire a Greener, Fairer and Healthier County”, it was noted that “Working with Partners” was a work in progress and that, at present, the Council could only measure performance in relation to its own activities; and
(iv) The Framework and Performance Management document, as well as being a strategic document, was a dynamic document.
(c) Councillor Sudbury added that the performance indicators for climate issues were “legacy indicators” and no longer fit for purpose. He noted that work was being carried out on updating the performance indicators as well as a new Climate and Resilience strategy.
(d) In response to a question by the Chair, it was stated that officers had been carrying ... view the full minutes text for item 9/22
Customer service centre - delivery model and plans for transformation presentation PDF 588 KB
The briefing note provides background and an overview of the service function to provide context for scrutiny covering either the service itself or its transformation programme.
The Committee considered a report by the Corporate Director Customers, Organisational Development and Resources in which the Committee was: RECOMMENDED to consider the content of the briefing note [set out in the report] with a view to [making] suggestions for performance and development [improvements] within this function.
Mark Haynes, Director, Customer and Culture, presented the report.
In response to a question by the Chair, Mr Haynes stated that the difference between continuous improvement and transformation within the context of the Customer Service Centre was one of scale whereby continuous improvement referred to “business as usual” activities, and transformation referred to collaborative work with other services on larger programmes and projects.
In response to an invitation from the Chair to add any comments that she might wish to make, Councillor Phillips stated that she wished to thank Mr Haynes and his team for their work, noting that they were constantly seeking to improve the service.
She stated that complaints were one way of finding out what was going on within the organisation and, therefore, the Council was looking to centralise its Complaints Service to determine the nature of issues affecting residents.
In the subsequent discussion, the following points were raised by Members of the Committee.
(a) That use private sector terminology such as customer, business, corporate etc. was to be discouraged as being inappropriate when referring to the Council’s Complaints Service, which was a public service.
(b) In response to several questions by Members, Mr Haynes provided the following information –
(i) Following the installation of a new telephone system in June/July of last year, it had been possible to offer web chat and social media services as part of the Contact Service Centre services and staff were becoming adept at responding to enquiries using these services as well as responding to telephone enquiries.
(ii) Work was being carried out on the Council’s ICT Digital Presence programme to improve the Council’s website, notably the front end of the service, including searches using the Council website which could give rise to enquiries as well as complaints following service user searches of the Council’s website.
(iii) Discussions were taking place as to how AI might be used to improve the Council’s services over the next year.
(iv) Regarding services for persons who did not have access to digital technology, it was the intention to offer a variety of services such that people could choose how they wished to communicate with the Council and to do so in a way that was simple.
(v) Work on establishing good relationships with the Council’s various Directorates, including informing them of the services that the Contact Centre could offer when responding to enquiries, had meant that the major Directorates were now willing to allow the Contact Centre to respond to enquiries on their behalf. Concerning directorates more reluctant to allow the Contact Centre to field their enquiries by virtue of the professional nature of their service, it was noted that the Contact Centre comprised Council staff ... view the full minutes text for item 10/22
Complaints Management Improvement Project PDF 505 KB
During 2021, as part of the customer service transformation programme, complaints management was taken on by the ‘voice of the customer’ team within the customer service function. The council’s complaints management process is managed centrally with a focus on the statutory process in adults and children’s services, the central team liaising with the service to investigate and resolve complaints.
Following a review of the complaints management function in November 2021, a number of performance issues and associated risks relating to the operation of the corporate and statutory complaints service were identified. These issues related to backlogs, data quality and reporting, resources and workflow and case management.
The Committee is RECOMMENDED to consider the content of the briefing note with a view to suggestions for performance and development within this function.
The Committee had before it a report by the Corporate Director Customers, Organisational Development and Resources incorporating a briefing note about complaints management.
It was RECOMMENDED that the Committee consider the content of the briefing note with a view to suggestions for performance and development within this function.
Mindful of the time, the Chair proposed that, as in keeping with the previous item, there were no substantive recommendations for the committee to consider and there was no requirement for the committee to identify key issues or make recommendations to Cabinet. Therefore, he proposed that this item be deferred until the next meeting of the Committee.
On the advice of the Scrutiny Officer, the Chair proposed that, rather than defer the report to the next meeting of the Committee, that the Committee simply note the report.
AGREED: To note the report.
Concluding Remarks by the Chair
The Chair noted that this was the last meeting of the Committee in the current municipal year. Therefore, he proposed that any Members who wished to remain on the Committee, give consideration as to items that the Committee might wish to scrutinise in the next municipal year.
Mr Michael Carr, Scrutiny Officer
The Chair noted that this was the last meeting of Michael Carr, Scrutiny Officer, and that he wished to put wish to put on record the Committee’s thanks for his able assistance in recent weeks and months.
Committee Work Programme 2022/23
In response to a Member’s question, Mr Carr stated that, as the Committee’s Work Programme was not an item on the agenda for consideration at today’s meeting, it was not possible for Members of the Committee to agree, at this meeting, items for inclusion on the Committee’s Work Programme for the next municipal year. He proposed that it would be appropriate for the Committee, at its first meeting in the new municipal year to agree its Work Programme for the 2022/23 Municipal Year. In so doing, he proposed that the Committee consult with OCC Councillors and officers; stakeholders; outside bodies; and any other interested parties, in deciding which items the Committee may wish to consider, and when, in the next municipal year.
The Chair then closed the meeting.
The meeting ended at 1:15 PM
……………………………………………………………………………..in the Chair
Date of signing ……….……………………………………………….DD MM 2022