The Chairman welcomed the Chief Internal Auditor, the Customer Services and Business Improvement Manager, Dave Mullin from Ignite, and a local Unison representative.
The Leader of the Council introduced the item and advised the Committee of the progression of Future Guildford. She indicated that the Future Guildford transformation was the best way to streamline the Council and make the savings necessary. The Leader of the Council indicated that she had no issues with the progression of Future Guildford.
In response to a question about changes to Executive portfolios to reflect the Future Guildford transformation, the Leader of the Council indicated she would be making an announcement at the next meeting of the Executive.
In reply to questions, the Unison representative advised the meeting that staff reactions to the Future Guildford transformation varied according to the individual concerned. He indicated that Unison was unable to change the decision to use the Ignite model and had advised its members to engage with the Future Guildford process. He indicated that the support and training provided for staff undergoing change appeared adequate. He informed the Committee that most difficulties had occurred around the post-consultation feedback.
The Committee was advised that the results of a staff survey carried out in June 2019 were attached as an appendix to the report submitted to the Committee. The Committee was informed that the survey results were used to help tailor aspects of the Future Guildford approach. The meeting was informed that the survey would be repeated in future.
In response to questions about the capacity of the public facing Council services after implementation of Phase B, the Committee was informed that detailed process redesign for Phase B of Future Guildford was ongoing and that the assumptions of the business case were being tested with staff that were subject-matter experts.
The Chief Internal Auditor confirmed that exit interviews were not compulsory. The Chairman suggested that the results of any exit interviews might provide useful information for the Committee’s assessment of Future Guildford.
With reference to the current status of the ICT systems, a member of the Committee questioned whether the implementation of Phase B of Future Guildford was dependent on the CRM software being in place and whether such dependencies had been sufficiently planned for. In reply, the Chief Internal Auditor indicated that the Phase B and CRM were being progressed in parallel.
The Chairman and members of the Committee questioned the omission of the issues log from the information within the report submitted to the Committee. In response to a question about the issues log requested previously by the Committee, the Managing Director referred to the issues presented to the Future Guildford Project Board in January 2020.
The Chairman and members of the Committee requested a detailed breakdown of the monies spent on contractors to date, and a preference for written examples of business processes that had changed as a result of Phase A of Future Guildford.
The Customer Services and Business Improvement Manager listed examples of business processes that had changed as a result of Phase A of Future Guildford, including staff booking leave and the ICT service desk. She advised the Committee that written details of the new processes, including relevant business process flowcharts, could be provided. The Chief Internal Auditor stated that the issues logs and workstream dependencies would be shared with the Committee.
The Chairman indicated that the additional details requested by the Committee should be provided within the next Future Guildford update to the Committee.
Members requested details of the £241,000 used on project contingencies and were advised that the spend was on outplacement work, extending legal support during the Phase A consultation period, behavioural support, and a variation in the ERP project.
In response to a query about the lack of benchmark information about customer satisfaction, the Customer Services and Business Improvement Manager advised the Committee of customer engagement undertaken as part of the business process redesign work.
The Managing Director advised the meeting that the staff survey results from June 2020 and the outcomes of the Phase B consultation could be included in the next update to the Committee.
The Chairman thanked the Leader of the Council, the Managing Director, the Resources Director, the Chief Internal Auditor, the Customer Services and Business Improvement Manager, Dave Mullin from Ignite, and the local Unison representative for attending the meeting and answering questions.
RESOLVED: (I) That the update provided to the Committee be noted.
(II) That a further update on Future Guildford be provided to the Committee once the Phase B transition was complete.