Agenda item

Project Management Office Requirements - Response to the Audit Task Group


The Interim Director of Finance presented the report in respect of the Project Management Office. It was explained that this report was being considered as a result of a recommendation made by the Audit Task Group. The Task Group had conducted a detailed investigation into why the Section 24 Notice had been issued to Bromsgrove District Council in October 2022. The Bromsgrove Audit Task Group had considered hundreds of pages of written evidence and had held eight meetings over a period of 20 hours in February and early March 2023. The report and recommendations from the Task Group had been considered at a meeting of the Audit, Standards and Governance Committee held on 9th March 2023, and subsequently at a Cabinet meeting held on 15th March 2023, when all of the recommendations were agreed.


Cabinet was informed that high level corporate projects were reported quarterly to the Corporate Management Team (CMT) and were also included as part of the Quarterly Finance and Performance Report.


Furthermore, Members were advised that the Council already had a number of Officers trained to be project managers at Prince 2.  It was noted that these skills needed to be realigned in order to ensure that trained staff were, where operationally possible, project managing Council projects.


Officers reported that, the CMT had recently reviewed the number of projects that were either underway or planned to start across the organisation. However, a further review was undertaken in February and March and a third of these projects were moved from the project list and were now considered Business as Usual. Once the final number of projects was established, they had been categorised as follows:


·       Economic Development and Regeneration.

·       Housing.

·       ICT Related

·       Organisational Change Related


The Interim Director of Finance reported that the Project Management Office Requirements, in response to the Audit Task Group report, recommended that two new roles be established: a Programme Manager and Programme Officer. The establishment of these roles had been a recommendation from the Audit Task Group. It was hoped that by recruiting to these roles that the project framework would be adhered to more successfully and that reporting on all projects would be on a monthly basis. The salaries for these two roles would be in total between £70k and £110k. It was noted that these costs would be included in any costs allocated to a project and therefore would be spread across all service areas.


Members welcomed this report in light of the findings of the Audit Task Group. However, some Members were keen to ensure that the roles and responsibilities of the Programme Manager and Programme Officer were made clear when established; and that staff who were recruited had the correct qualifications. It was confirmed by Officers that this would be the case and that both roles would mainly report to the CMT.


There was a query regarding how NWEDR projects were managed, and Officers clarified that this area was covered by the Governance Group which was chaired by the Chief Executive of Bromsgrove District Council.




1)      Formal reporting of all projects be undertaken on a monthly basis by Officers and that this information to be included in the Quarterly Finance and Performance Reports for Members.


2)      A compliance structure be put in place to ensure the delivery of projects and the management of the multiple interdependencies across projects.  This included:


a.     A council programme office be established to provide oversight and validation of the delivery of projects across the organisation.


b.     The roles of a programme manager and a programme officer be established to provide support for the delivery of this oversight, especially for ICT and Organisational Change projects across the organisation.










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