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Efficient Government Fund EGF)1)1)41 North East Scotland Shared Finance

DescriptionSTATUS - UNSUCCESSFUL - To provide financial services across the 3 Councils in the North East incl. A single system for council tax, non domestic rates and benefits, administration, single financial ledger system, single internal audit services, single debt collection services.
ISBN
Official Print Publication DateJanuary 2005
Website Publication DateFebruary 24, 2006

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    Efficient Government Fund

    Stage 1 application - expression of interest

    Finance

    Part 1: Summary Table

    Bid number (for EG use)

    Lead bidder

    Aberdeen City Council - Gordon Edwards ( gedwards@aberdeencity.gov.uk)
    Aberdeenshire Council - Charles Armstrong
    ( charles.armstrong@aberdeenshire.gov.uk)
    Moray Council - Mark Palmer
    ( mark.palmer@mail.moray.gov.uk)

    Brief description of the aims of the project

    Financial Services for North East of Scotland. A joint approach to the provision of financial services across the 3 Councils in the North East. In the short term focus on the efficiency gains available in the following areas:

    • Single system for Council Tax, Non Domestic Rates and Benefits administration (Revenues Service)
    • Single Financial Ledger System
    • Single Internal Audit Services
    • Single debt collection services.

    Savings from:

    • Reduced software maintenance costs
    • Reduced systems support
    • Redirect Managers and Specialist staff to other areas
    • Savings from aggregated procurement
    • Improved performance in: collection rates, benefits administration and fraud prevention.

    Clear description of what the EGF money would be used to buy

    To move to single systems will require the preparation of updated system and service specifications and tendering arrangements. c £150,000 Testing and Implementation. c £250,000 A capital contribution to the set up costs associated with new hardware and software. c £1,000,000. (all costs are included as indicative at this point).

    Partners to the project likely to commit resources

    Aberdeen City Council

    Aberdeenshire Council

    Moray Council

    Names of other organisations with whom the project has been discussed (to assist the introductions process)

    Grampian Joint Police Board

    Grampian Fire and Rescue Service

    Grampian Joint Valuation Board

    North of Scotland Directors of Finance

    Evidence that suggested approach has been deployed successfully elsewhere

    There are examples in England, such as in East Anglia where the Revenues and Benefits services are provided using a partnership arrangement. A structured approach to implementation will enable the benefits to be assessed after the feasibility study to determine the next stages.

    In the unlikely circumstances that significant savings cannot be identified then the partners can review whether the project (or a particular component of the project) should continue.

    Are there any restrictions to potential for enlargement of the project (i.e. technology, number of partners etc)

    In theory there would be no restrictions. To ensure a reliable level of service a relatively local presence is required and this issue would need to be considered against potential further cost savings from enlargement. The ultimate scale of the project would need to be agreed after the feasibility study, including a cost benefit analysis, to ensure that a robust assessment of cost and quality could be achieved on the basis of a correct definition of the scale of the project. Additional potential partners: Colleges, Joint Boards.

    Benefits projected from the project

    Economies of scale are targeted from this initiative and are anticipated from a lower per capita cost on annual software licence fees and a single support unit to maintain the system. For the Revenues Service efficiencies can also be realistically anticipated from single structure to rationalise management and specialist functions. Internal Audit service efficiencies can be anticipated from a single structure operating as a joint arrangement.

    Estimated financial projections

    Total

    2005/6

    2006/7

    2007/8

    2008/9

    Overall project cost

    See part 2 Narrative bid

    Estimated projected benefits

    Is a pilot required - see guidance notes

    No but the project will be delivered on a staged basis with funding clearly defined for each stage.

    Additionally: why is EG funding required

    This is a major undertaking. The 3 lead authorities do not have the capacity for planning/implementation which will be required a large investment to avoid major disruption during the transition process.

    Is this project complementary in anyway to other EG work

    This project encompasses a range of efficiency savings described in the bidding document and the joint working between the Authorities will link with other bids such as the joint North East bid to create a single ICT infrastructure for the delivery of all public services across Grampian.

    Is "stage 2 development funding" requested?

    Yes - further details included in Part 2 Narrative bid.