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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 07/03/2006
Service Review of Accountancy and Exchequer Services Progress Report



APPENDIX C
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 7TH MARCH 2006
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Title:
SERVICE REVIEW OF ACCOUNTANCY AND EXCHEQUER SERVICES
PROGRESS REPORT
[Wards Affected: N/A]
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Summary and purpose:

In June 2005, the Executive considered the service review of Waverley's Accountancy and Exchequer Services. The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee received this report at its meeting on 23rd January 2006 showing the progress made on the agreed Improvement Plan during 2005, and now commends it to the Executive.
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Social/community implications:

There are no quality of life implications directly associated with this report. However, some of the services to be reviewed are provided directly to the public and local businesses and the review considers the opportunities for improving public access and methods of communication.

Environmental implications:

There are no direct environmental implications arising from this report.

E-Government implications:

The service review considers the extent to which the new financial systems provide the capacity to improve services to customers and examines how these systems should be developed in the future.

Resource and legal implications:

The resources used to undertake this review were contained within existing budgets. The Improvement Plan identifies where actions require additional resources. Most actions need a focus of staff resource on particular development areas and this will be managed through the Service Plan and individual staff appraisals and monitored through team meetings and the Finance Department Management Group.

Background

1. The service review focused on the exchequer and the accountancy functions of the Finance Department at Waverley which provide financial services in support of all the Council’s activities. Exchequer Services ensure that all payments (staff salaries, Members’ allowances, creditors etc.) are made and that all sundry income due to the Council is collected and accounted for. Accountancy provides a professional accountancy service in support of many of the Director of Finance’s statutory responsibilities and in order to ensure that sufficient financial resources are available to fund all the Council’s activities.

2. The service review identified that a range of high quality core finance services is provided to the Council and that customer satisfaction levels are high. Chief Officers, managers and Members have confidence in the services and the staff. The staff are committed and have demonstrated that they respond well to change.

3. In general, the services compare well to other authorities in terms of cost and output and, taking the high customer satisfaction levels into account, these services are considered to provide Waverley with good value for money.

4. It was also identified that, in some areas, the services could be more aligned to customers’ needs and a degree of modernisation and innovation is necessary to take the service forward. The Improvement Plan at Annexe 1 aims to ensure that the services are developed and improvements are made into the future. The Improvement Plan has been updated to include progress made against the agreed actions in 2005.

Observations from the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee

5. The Committee considered the report to be a valuable insight into a service which takes place behind the scenes at Waverley. It wished to commend the report to the Executive and recognised the service as a crucial function of the daily operation of the Council's business.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Executive notes the progress made on the Improvement Plan during 2005.

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Background Papers (DoF)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Graeme Clark Telephone: 01483 523236

E-mail: grclark@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/exec/2005-06/296