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Note: Please note that the original report for Agenda Item 5 has been withdrawn and a revised document has been issued as a supplementary paper.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies have been received from Councillor Morris (Vice-chairman), Wells (Chairman) and Todd.
In the absence of the chairman and vice-chairman it will be necessary to elect a chairman for the meeting.
Apologies were received from Councillor Morris.
The Chairman to report any notifications received prior to this meeting regarding the attendance of substitutes for the named Members of this committee.
There were no substitutes for the meeting.
Declaration Of Any Interests
To receive any declarations of interest.
No declarations of interests were received from councillors or officers.
To confirm as a true record.
The minutes were confirmed as a true record.
TO CONSIDER the report of the Director of Shared Services.
Please note the information which is exempt from publication and contained later on this agenda at items 7a and 7b.
a) Project overview - including staff aspects
Verbal update from Dominic Whelan
b) Potential Contracting Out arrangements
The Director of Shared Services introduced the report and summarised the work that had been undertaken to reach an agreement with Civica UK Ltd. He confirmed that a final offer for the provision of services had been received.
The Terms met the expectations of the business case presented to the Committee in November 2017 specifically related to the expected savings, the safeguarding of existing jobs, the profit share arrangements of the hub, the intention to establish a new trading operation, the protection of the current levels of performance and the intention to improve performance and deliver new opportunities and additional income for the councils.
The Director of Shared Services gave a summary of the key issues:
Staffing - a comprehensive TUPE consultation had been completed between Thanet District Council, EK Services staff, Unison and Civica. Reassurance was given that East Kent Services were fully prepared to transfer the staff in good order if the decision were to take place. It was confirmed that key terms and conditions would be protected, and for current staff only, membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme would be protected.
Property - the staff would continue to work from existing locations in East Kent using existing technical equipment and systems that would remain under asset ownership of the Councils. Plans for Civica to establish a trading operation (the East Kent Hub) had been confirmed and the anticipation of jobs growth and new income for councils via profit sharing arrangements was also confirmed.
Governance - a contract management board would be in place to operate between Civica and East Kent Services in addition to a strategic board comprised of key officers from the three councils and a senior representative from Civica. No changes were proposed to the current monitoring and reporting arrangements.
Auditing - The East Kent Audit Partnership would continue their current auditing with additional scrutiny on the performance reporting regime. Three members of staff would remain at East Kent Services to carry out a checking regime on the benefits process, as required by legislation. External audits would continue as normal.
Performance and penalties - Civica had agreed to maintain performance to at least current levels with a commitment to seek performance improvement and increase income into Councils. The Key Performance Indicators were linked to a level of charge deductions that can be applied for failure to meet targets.
In response to a question, the Director of Shared Services and Principal Solicitor (Contracts and Procurement) clarified that the contract made provisions for the monitoring and contract management structures to change should there be a future change in EK Services governance arrangements.
There was further discussion on this item after the exclusion of the press and public and the decision for this item is detailed under minute 7.
EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
TO RESOLVE – That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that there would be disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act or the Freedom of Information Act or both.
RESOLVED: That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that there would be disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act or the Freedom of Information Act or both.
EXEMPT ANNEX: EAST KENT SERVICES STRATEGIC SERVICE DELIVERY OPTIONS AND POTENTIAL FOR CONTRACTING OUT OF CERTAIN FUNCTIONS
The information in the report is exempt from publication because its disclosure is likely to prejudice the commercial interest of both the Council and other bodies (Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000). The Council considers that at present the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. Paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (Financial and business affairs of the Council and other persons) also applies.
a) Appendix to Report - Commercial and Contract Terms
Report to follow.
b) Civica Presentation
TO RECEIVE a presentation.
Gary Bell from Civica will present to the meeting.
The Director of Shared Services introduced the commercial terms that had been developed following a period of negotiation. The Principal Solicitor (Contracts and Procurement) provided points of clarification where necessary and councillors had a number of questions relating to the terms.
Solicitor to the Council (Dover District Council) advised that all the key Terms had been agreed and briefed to the Committee but as there were still a small number of minor contract details to be agreed after the meeting, it was proposed that Resolution 3 should be amended. This was agreed by general consent following a further amendment from a councillor.
The report set out the following options:
i. To accept the commercial offer from Civica UK Ltd and authorise the entry into contract for the future delivery of the Revenues, Benefits and Customer Services, delegation from Councils and approve the proposed delegation to the Director of Shared Services and Director of Collaborative Services.
ii. Not to accept the commercial offer.
(1) To consider the results of the contract negotiations undertaken between EK Services and Civica UK Ltd.
(2) To note the offer received from Civica UK Ltd and the reduction in operating costs that will accrue should those terms be accepted.
(3) To note the offer of services from Civica UK Ltd, and to agree that each of Canterbury City Council, Dover District Council and Thanet District Council enter into such contract for a period of 7 years with the option to extend by up to a further 3 years (together with all associated contracts) on final terms to be approved by the Director of Shared Services in consultation with the Chief Executives and Leaders of each of the three Councils.
(4) To request that each of Canterbury City Council, Dover District Council and Thanet District Council enter into contract with Civica UK Ltd for the delivery of the Revenues, Benefits and Customer Services functions.
(5) That in the view of this Committee these decisions are urgent and should not be subject to call-in. The Committee therefore requests that the Chairmen of both Dover District Council and Thanet District Councils agree to suspend call-in of this decision in order to enable the provision of services under the contract to proceed from the proposed Transfer Date.
(6) To note that, in addition to the operational savings within EKS from the contract price, there will be additional savings from a future restructure within the remaining elements of EK Services as the residual element of EKS will be able to achieve some efficiencies due to the reduction in scale of the overall organisation.
(7) That, subject to the terms of the contract, Civica UK Limited and the employees of Civica UK Limited be authorised to exercise the powers and functions of each of Canterbury City Council, Dover District Council and Thanet District Council in relation to services to be provided by Civica UK Limited to the councils under the contract to the full extent permitted by law, in particular ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS TO BE DEALT WITH IN PUBLIC
ANY OTHER BUSINESS WHICH FALLS UNDER THE EXEMPT PROVISIONS OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 OR THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 OR BOTH
It may be necessary to exclude the press or public for this item.