Agenda and minutes

Audit and Performance Committee - Wednesday 15th July, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Rooms 3 & 4 - 17th Floor, Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6 QP. View directions

Contact: Reuben Segal  Tel: 020 7641 3160 Email:

No. Item



To note any changes to the membership.


1.1     It was noted that Councillor Jacqui Wilkinson had replaced Councillor Lindsey Hall.


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members and Officers of the existence and nature of any personal or prejudicial interests in matters on this agenda.


2.1       Councillor Warner declared in respect of item 5 (Annual Contracts Review) that she is a Member of London Mayors as reference was made in the appendices to the report about the funding of a float.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 211 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on xxxx.


3.1     RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on the 18th May 2015 be signed by the Chairman as a correct record of proceedings.


2014-15 Year End Performance and Period 2 Finance Report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the City Treasurer and the Director of Strategy, Performance & Communications


4.1       Steve Muldoon, Assistant City Treasurer, introduced the report relating to the financial performance.  He informed the committee that at Period 2 Service Areas were projecting an overspend, prior to management action, of £0.923m against the net budget position of £192.096m. This was due to net pressures arising in Children's Services relating to placements. Actions were in place to mitigate this and the overspend had been reduced to £500,000 to date. A further update on this would be provided in next month’s report. All other service areas were broadly in line with their budgets. There were however risks in other areas that needed to be kept under review. This included risks of £2.12 million in City Management & Communities. This predominantly related to a Concessionary Fares (Freedom Pass) saving target of £1 Million.


4.2       The Committee asked for an explanation of what “placements” meant in relation to Children's Services and for details of the causes of current pressures e.g. Is it the challenges of recruiting foster carers or a consequence of an increase in the number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children? Mr Muldoon was also asked about the financial implications on the service following the government's announcement that children in local authority care are to be ‘looked after’ up to the age of 25.


4.3       Mr Muldoon was asked about whether the council was able to identify continuous risks over the medium term and about the work being undertaken to assess the implications to medium term budgets arising from the Queen's speech. The committee was informed that officers are studying the details of the Queen's speech and undertaking modelling of how this will affect the council's finances in future years. Service Areas use a variety of information such as population statistics and Census data to identify future ongoing risks.


4.4       The Committee noted that opportunities had been identified in Waste & Parks Services (£1.125 million), mainly through commercial waste service income. Mr Muldoon was asked for details about the income generation opportunities as historically the council had struggled to compete with other commercial waste collection companies. He advised that the increased income was derived through increasing charges. This had not translated to an increase in the council's share in the market. Mr Muldoon was asked whether increasing costs could result in an increase in non-compliance in the disposal of the commercial waste in the city.


4.5       The committee asked for further information on the following finance related issues:


1.   Chief Executive (paragraph 1.1.1) - explain why there may be a potential underspend in Members Allowances (£70,000).


2.   Children's Services (paragraph 1.1.5) - provide an explanation of the overspend relating to placements and other pressures. The committee is unclear what placements relates to. What impact will the government's announcement requiring local authorities to care for looked after children up to the age of 25 have on the service area’s budget?


3.City Management & Communities (paragraph 1.1.6) - what percentage of the commercial waste market in Westminster does the Council have?


4.City Management  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Annual Contracts Review 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 417 KB

Report of the Chief Procurement Officer

Additional documents:


5.1     Anthony Oliver, Chief Procurement Officer and Della Main, Operations Support Manager, Process and Governance, introduced an Annual Report that reviewed the Council’s contracts as per the requirements of the Committee’s Terms of Reference.


5.2     An addendum to the report which corrected errors contained in Appendix A (Contracts Let in 2014-15 where the total contract value exceeds £150,000) was tabled.


5.3     The committee was informed that 65 contracts over the value of £150,000 and 161 contracts with a value of less than £150,000 were let in 2014/15 in accordance with the requirements of the Procurement Code. There were 101 extensions and 15 variations of existing contracts. In exceptional circumstances a waiver to the requirements of the Procurement Code may be obtained from the Chief Procurement Officer. 104 waivers were approved during the course of the year.


5.4       The Committee was advised that the capitalEsourcing contracts register is regarded as the “single source of truth” and forms the basis for reporting on contract information across the Council. Through training and regular communications, it has been made clear to Contract Managers that it is a mandatory requirement to ensure that records are accurately maintained and regularly updated.  Regular reports are submitted to the Executive Management Team (EMT) outlining the level of compliance across the Council.  Members were concerned to hear that although, compliance is improving, a large number of records remain incomplete and therefore non-compliant. Detailed analysis of the system demonstrated there had been good progress in some areas, with others lagging.  It was suggested that some of the resistance to recording data was due to officers viewing the activity as an administrative task even though the process is fairly simple and quick to complete. 


5.5       The Committee noted that Contract Managers are responsible for monitoring contract performance through capitalEsourcing.  As before, Members were concerned that there is limited compliance in relation to quarterly contract performance updates which is particularly poor across Tri-borough.  They were informed that while officers may be undertaking assessments of how contracts are performing, these are not being inputted into the capital Esourcing system.


5.6       To mitigate these issues, Mr Oliver advised that the Procurement Team will intensify training to Contract Managers over the coming months.  A contract management framework has been designed to support an effective and more consistent approach across Tri-borough.  Mr Oliver explained that while he only has responsibility for contracts let by Westminster he provides reports outlining the level of compliance on a Tri-borough basis to the Shared Services Board so that the Executive Management Team are aware of data gaps and can mandate and prioritise requirements to the officers who report directly to them.  The Committee requested an update on compliance with contract record keeping across the Council at a future meeting.


5.7       The Committee considered the high profile contracts awarded in 2014-15, one of which was the provision of Print and Document Management Services with Ricoh.  It was noted that the contract will generate estimated savings of £3.8m when compared to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Establishment of a Tri-Borough Appointments Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services




6.1       The Committee received a report that set out proposals to establish a Sub-Committee specifically to deal with senior Tri-borough appointments in order to approve and simplify the current arrangements.


6.2       That a Sub-Committee entitled Appointments Sub-Committee (Tri-borough) be established with the Constitution and Terms of Reference as set out in Appendix A to the report.


6.3       That the Terms of Reference of the Appointments Sub-Committee be amended as set out in Appendix B to the report.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services

Additional documents:




7.1     That an item on HR service pressures and challenges and an update on Contract Management Framework, Procurement and Commercial training including compliance with contract record keeping within capitalEsourcing be added to the committee's work programme.


7.2     That the responses to actions arising from the previous meeting be noted.