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NI LOCAL GOVERNMENT - Review of ICE Programme Interim Presentation to RGG Martin Horton 03/10/13
To undertake a peer review of the ICE Programme with particular regard to issues of: • • • Impact across the sector and within councils Governance Political and operational buy in Operations Capacity ICE in the future
Work to date • • Desk research of literature NILGA Office Bearers and executive members RGG Members 8 CEOs Do. E officials NILGA officials Survey to 26 councils
Some Context / TIMELINE • Ministerial announcement – March 2008 • Pw. C Economic Appraisal – October 2009 • Local Government response to the 11 Council, Business Services Organisation (BSO) model based upon projected savings of £ 438 m over 25 years • Local Government Proposals - SLB Meeting of 14 April 2010 • NI Executive Position re Local Government Reform – 14 June 2010 • Case for change – January 2011 • Final report – July 2011 • RPA resurfaces
What is ICE? • A programme to identify, share and implement opportunities for improvement, collaboration and efficiency across local government in Northern Ireland • A voluntary local government led reform and transformation programme open to all 26 councils • A means whereby local government can achieve its vision of delivering world class local government
ICE FRAMEWORK • Built upon existing corporate planning processes • Encourages systematic review and improvement at every level within the council • Encourages opportunities to come from within
Corporate Visioning Process Service Review Guidance & Process ICE Collaboration Opportunities – Regional/ Sub regional/ Local
How is ICE being progressed?
What will it mean? • Councils working together to achieve significant efficiency savings; • New opportunities to deliver services in new collaborative ways; • Regional on-line support toolkit for participating Councils; • A council led ICE process
What is in it for us? • Building on existing good practices and improvement and efficiency initiatives; • Assurance that local government services are delivered in an efficient, effective manner; • Improved joined-up services for the customer; • Opportunity to introduce co-terminosity with other service providers; • Improved value for money – increased opportunities for delivering services more efficiently; • Long-term financial stability; • Improved staff morale and motivation; • Improved consistency of internal processes; and • Sharing of good practice across councils and with other sectors
Looking ahead… • Longer term ICE programme – Guidance on concept, process and ICE framework – Based upon self-assessment and self improvement and integral to corporate planning cycle – Used to implement opportunities and to identify others – Communication and guidance ongoing – On-line support tool was anticipated end 2010/early 2011
STATED POTENTIAL BENEFITS 1. Improved customer satisfaction due to better targeted services and facilities 2. Improved ratepayer satisfaction due to increased value for money 3. Improved career enhancement opportunities, staff skilling and staff morale 4. Improved performance management 5. Improved partnership relationships and greater sharing of knowledge across local government and other sectors 6. Increased potential to improve and standardise service provision and to promote new service delivery models 1 -3. no ability to measure this built into the process 4 -6. evidence of progress made that, in the absence of ICE, would not have otherwise happened. However, due to the absence of full engagement this is not sector wide. An ability to realise these benefits will be critical to the future success of LG
Underpinned by: • • • ICE Framework (19/19) Service review and improvement process (19/19) Development of key performance indicators and benchmark/baseline data (19/19) The ICE guidance pack Integration and alignment with council frameworks and processes (18/19) Publication of ICE plans and annual statements by participating councils (18/19) On-line resources and information exchange Training and support Invest to save (19/19) Specialist capacity
Impact and progress – what has happened because of ICE Not surprisingly, those who have engaged the most are the most positive and cite the most progress. 13 of 26 have responded to this review. The majority are very positive. A small minority see little or no impact/benefit. But, that leaves 13 with no comment to make. This reflects a general pattern of engagement (In the past 12 months, 34% of Councils have not attended a single RGG meeting. Only 20% of Councils have been represented at all four meetings).
IMPACT AND PROGRESS – WHAT HAS HAPPENED BECAUSE OF ICE • • • • A framework for collaboration Value in working together Sharing of experience Experience and knowledge gained through participation The efforts of a few have made a difference for many SRI and service change The beginnings of a change in culture Savings in time/resources and money (though not centrally gathered and therefore not easy to find nor communicate) Wider sharing of documentation/templates Use of the framework in a few councils/clusters Model policy development Local collaboration The working groups • A FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE
ISSUES • Lack of capacity • From final report to action without an over-arching operational plan • Lack of follow through on key, underpinning actions • Management of process rather than leadership of sector wide change • Reluctance to accept common approaches • Seeking consensus at the expense of rigorous challenge • Inattention to results • Doubts as to the realism of ICE in the light of a perceived unwillingness to tackle the issue of reducing staff numbers • Parochialism and “not invented here” • Sovereignty concerns • Why bother – RPA has gone away/won’t happen/wait and see • RPA is back on the agenda so we don’t have time for ICE • Ministerial expectations • Short term-ism • Not taking sector wide and/or local responsibility • Unwillingness to give things up • The risk averse vs. the risk aware • Willing to engage in spite of the difficulties vs finding reasons not to engage • Decision taking is by the few (key officers)= outcomes are for the few
ISSUES • Ø Ø • • • Ø Ø • Engagement – Governance Operational The link between RGG and Councils Mixed CEO behaviours Degree of Trust – Between Councils Between Members and Officers Between LG and CG Slow decision making/Who can make decisions • • • Changing external environment The politics of mergers Larger councils – self sufficient? Smaller councils – we have too much else to do? The shifting focus to 11 Not seeing the part ICE can/should play in the next generation of LG Changing plans, processes and structures is relatively straightforward when compared to the challenge of changing cultures. One might take months, the other will take years. “Faced with the choice of changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof” J. K. Galbraith
Where next for ICE – the things you say A small number (of respondent Members and CEOs) believe that ICE has no future and, at least, should be suspended until post 2015 if not abandoned altogether. The majority believe that ICE has a key part to play in both the transition to 2015 and the transformation of LG post 2015. My view is that the “Case for Change” is even more relevant today than it was in 2010 and has within it a philosophy and operating framework to form the core of RTC/STC activity. Building a foundation for improvement, collaboration and efficiency through and beyond transition is a necessary pre-cursor to achieving transformational change in the future. A dedicated member and officer development team is a serious option which would face head on and solve many of the issues outlined.
Next Steps With your agreement, the next phase of this review will seek to find and recommend ways in which ICE can develop as an integral part of the transition and, post 2015, transformation of local government in Northern Ireland. Actions will include: • A session with SOLACE and NILGA • Discussion with Do. E Officials • Discussion with RTC Members and, via them, input from RTCs • Final report and discussion with RGG