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© Grant Thornton UK LLP. All rights reserved. Review of Partnership Working: Follow Up Review Vale of Glamorgan Council Final Report- November 2009
© Grant Thornton UK LLP. All rights reserved. 2 Introduction and Key Messages This report summarises the results of recent work to follow up the issues raised by our 2008 assessment of partnership working. The findings are based on: - observations of partnership meetings during the year (which also provided an opportunity to meet and talk to partners); - a review of relevant documentation; and - discussions with key officers. Overall, our work suggests that the Council has made progress in some areas since our last review. Of particular note is the resource that has been invested in developing the performance management framework for the strategic partnership bodies. As well as providing a tool by which progress can be measured, the framework will deliver a number of other benefits, when complete, including: - clarifying the objectives and priorities of partnerships; - strengthening the agendas of partnership meetings, by providing a clear focus; - defining the roles and responsibilities of members and working groups, in relation to the delivery of targets; and - identifying where and how resources need to be deployed to best support the achievement of objectives. Whilst it would appear that the performance management framework is being robustly developed, the full benefit has yet to be realised. Many of the recommendations agreed at the end of our review in 2008 are reliant upon its implementation. Given this, we encourage the Council to expedite work in this area, as a priority.
© Grant Thornton UK LLP. All rights reserved. 3 Audit Update- 2009 RecommendationUpdateRevised recommendations Agreed/ Management Comment Responsibility and Target Response Date 1. Ensure that all organisations agree the objectives of the partnership and the priorities to be addressed The Council is working with the Local Government Data Unit (LGDU) to agree a performance management framework for all Partnerships. Through this exercise, objectives and priorities are being clarified. However, the recent changes within the health sector has meant that the Health, Social Care and Well Being Partnership has not met for over six months. Given this, work will be needed to ensure that there is agreement as to the key issues to target, coming through the LGDU exercise. We also note that the outcome of the LGDU work has yet to directly impact upon partnership agendas. During our discussions, partners expressed concern that agendas can still be weak, with too many items being presented for information. Ensure all partners are engaged in and committed to the priorities of the strategic partnerships, as reflected in the emerging performance management framework. Focus partnership agendas on progress towards the delivery of agreed priorities. Information items may be more appropriately presented at a relevant working group. YesHuw Isaac End March 2010
© Grant Thornton UK LLP. All rights reserved. 4 Audit Update- 2009 RecommendationUpdateRevised recommendations Agreed/ Management Comment Responsibility and Target Response Date 2. Define the roles and responsibilities of members in implementing change This will be addressed through the work to establish a performance management framework (see recommendation 1) as the focus on priority areas is strengthened and an awareness develops of who must be engaged and in what capacity. Membership of some partnerships will be rationalised as a result. Our recent work found some partners still uncertain as to their role. Whilst progress has been made, this recommendation remains relevant. Define the roles and responsibilities of members in implementing change. YesHuw Isaac End March 2010 3. Clarify the role and expectations of working groups, within the partnership structure This will come through the work on the performance management framework, in due course. Working groups will become responsible for implementing the actions needed to deliver the overarching objectives. Whilst progress has been made, this recommendation remains relevant. Clarify the role and expectations of working groups, within the partnership structure YesHuw Isaac End March 2010
© Grant Thornton UK LLP. All rights reserved. 5 Audit Update- 2009 RecommendationUpdateRevised recommendations Agreed/ Management Comment Responsibility and Target Response Date 4. Develop implementation and resource plans that complement strategic plans, so that all partners know how change is to be delivered and where the resources will come from This will form the next key area of work, when the performance management framework is agreed. This recommendation remains relevant. Develop implementation and resource plans that complement strategic plans, so that all partners know how change is to be delivered and where the resources will come from YesHuw Isaac End March 2010 5. Develop the performance management framework so that progress with implementation can be monitored, at the appropriate level. Please see above. The work being carried out by the LGDU appears to have engaged members and be leading to the development of a robust performance management framework. Work has been completed with two partnerships and is half completed for a third. Given the number of recommendations that depend upon progressing this recommendation, we encourage the Council to expedite progress in this area, if at all possible. Expedite the implementation of the new performance management framework, to the extent that it is possible. YesHuw Isaac End March 2010
© Grant Thornton UK LLP. All rights reserved. 6 Audit Update- 2009 RecommendationUpdateRevised recommendations Agreed/ Management Comment Responsibility and Target Response Date 6. Establish a risk register and issues log for each partnership, to enable barriers to progress to be identified and managed This recommendation has yet to be addressed. Establish a risk register and issues log for each partnership, to enable barriers to progress to be identified and managed YesHuw Isaac End March 2010 7. Evaluate the costs and benefits of partnership activities, to better understand which partnerships are contributing to the strategic goals of the Council, and where realignment is necessary. A centralised team to support partnership activity is currently being created. This will be a task for the team, when established. This recommendation remains relevant. Evaluate the costs and benefits of partnership activities, to better understand which partnerships are contributing to the strategic goals of the Council, and where realignment is necessary. YesHuw Isaac End March 2010
© Grant Thornton UK LLP. All rights reserved. 7 Audit Update- 2009 RecommendationUpdateRevised recommendations Agreed/ Management Comment Responsibility and Target Response Date 8. Review and refine the role of partnership co-ordinators, to ensure that the officers in post are able to facilitate and drive forward partnership agendas, as required This has been completed. Partnership co-ordinators will come together to form a central resource for partnership activity from April 2010. They will have a revised role, based on needs coming from Partnership priorities. No ongoing recommendation. N/A
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