One Council Programme update
Irene Bremang (Programme Management Office Manager) introduced the report before the committee and delivered a presentation updating members on the One Council (OC) Programme. This programme was launched in 2009 and aimed to provide a framework for delivering organisational change and improved service delivery to limit the impact of budget reduction on Brent residents. The targeted savings for the four year programme period was up to £100m from the base budget by 2014/15..
The committee was advised by Irene Bremang that since the last update to the committee in May 2013, five projects had been completed and closed. A new project, Working with Families Phase 3, had also been brought into the programme, whilst two existing projects had been removed to be pursued as separate initiatives. The removal of these projects had required a reduction of £2.2m in the targeted savings for 2014/15 as these savings would now be delivered by departments outside of the OC programme. Currently, there were ten live projects left to deliver, encompassing some of the larger and more complicated projects. The Brent One Oracle project which had been rated Red in May 2013, due to risks relating to internal resourcing, had now progressed to Amber. This was being delivered in partnership with five other councils and timescales and scope of work remained challenging. The Parking Enforcement Review project was at present the only project with a red status. This red rating reflected the difficulties with the introduction of the new online service. It was noted that the project delivery had been strengthened and Brent staff were working closely with the new service provider to address the issues.
Irene Bremang explained that new internal governance arrangements for the OC programme had been established in June 2013, following changes to the senior management structure of the council. The interim Chief Executive was now the OC Programme Sponsor and the Corporate Management Team (CMT) now acted as the OC Strategic Programme Board. Portfolio projects and general programme matters were the responsibility of a refreshed OC Programme Delivery Board chaired by the Strategic Director of Environment and Neighbourhoods. The committee was further advised that the programme was on track to deliver the additional £10.2m savings targeted for 2013/14 and this was being robustly monitored by the Programme Board. The costs of the programme had decreased, reflecting the focus on using internal resources to delivery projects and only making use of consultants when specialist input was required. The costs were also reduced as there were fewer live projects (10 projects) still be completed in the programme.
During Members’ subsequent discussion it was noted that the council had to deliver significant savings in the forthcoming years and a member queried how these would be achieved. Further details were also sought on the impact of the reduction in programme costs on the delivery of the remaining live projects. In response, the committee was advised that the One Council Programme would deliver approximately 70 per cent of the required savings. There were other initiatives involving service or staff reduction that would address the remaining 30 per cent and which did not require the complex management support that the OC programme provided. Irene Bremang added that the resources of the programme were adequate to deliver the remaining projects and that discussions had started on the next set of projects for the OC Programme beyond 2014.
That the report be noted.