Agenda for Audit, Standards and Governance Committee on Wednesday 11th May 2016, 6.00 p.m.

Agenda and minutes

Audit, Standards and Governance Committee - Wednesday 11th May 2016 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Parkside Suite - Parkside. View directions

Contact: Amanda Scarce  Jess Bayley

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Named Substitutes


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors S. R. Colella and H. J. Jones with Councillor C. Hotham and K. May attending as substitutes respectively.


Apologies were also received from the Service Manager of the Worcestershire Internal Audit Shared Service and Parish Councillor J. Ellis.



Declarations of interest and Whipping Arrangements


There were no declarations of interest or any whipping arrangements.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 173 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the Audit, Standards and Governance Committee held on 24th March 2016 were submitted.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Audit, Standards and Governance Committee held on 24th March 2016 be approved as a correct record.



Valeur Consulting pdf icon PDF 190 KB


The Chairman reminded the Board that this report was being considered following a request from a number of Members.  Members were being asked to note its content and recommend any actions it felt necessary. 


The Head of Transformation introduced the report and in so doing highlighted to Members the costs associated with the work undertaken by Valeur Consulting since 2014 together with details of how this work had been funded and how the costs were split between both Redditch and Bromsgrove Councils.  Information is respect of the waiver which had been put in place in respect of this contract and Members were reminded of the Council’s Contracts Procedure rules and explained the special circumstances which had been taken into account in this case, together with the details of the benefit in maintaining the continuity with the existing work.  The Head of Transformation went on to the provide the Board with details of the work that Valeur had been carrying out in, in particular the intervention work with the Management Team and 4th tier managers and particular key areas supported.  Strategic support and guidance to the Management Team had also been provided by Valeur Consulting in a number of areas and in respect of the development of the Corporate Plan and the Council’s key priorities.


Following presentation of the report Officers responded to a number of questions raised by Members including:


·         The use of staffing costs to cover the cost of the work of a consultant and vacant posts in general remaining vacant for some time.  Issues around vacant posts had also been raised by the external auditors.  Officers confirmed this had been flagged as a weakness and would be addressed in 2016/17.

·         The waiver process was discussed - Members were keen for this process to be reviewed and for involvement of the Portfolio Holder to be considered in order to ensure that this process was used appropriately.

·         Members were concerned about the level of work being carried out with 4th tier managers as it was felt that the analysis of data referred to was something which managers at this level should be capable of carrying out.  Officers provided more detail and explained that the use of the data was completely different to how it had been used in the past.

·         The Corporate Dashboard and how if used properly could contribute towards the design of better more efficient services.  Officers explained how the aim was to move away from traditional performance indicators.

·         The importance of accountability and providing value for money for residents.

·         Clarity in respect of the breakdown of costs between the two Councils and how this had been agreed – Members suggested that this process may need to be further reviewed to ensure that Bromsgrove received best value from the arrangement.

·         The provision of a clear breakdown of savings made.  Officers concurred that this should have been provided prior to the meeting and agreed to send it to Members.  It was noted that any saving made would also be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68/15