Audit Scotland praises improved leadership at South Ayrshire Council

Written by Rebecca Hill on 29 June 2016 in News

South Ayrshire Council is making good progress towards satisfying auditors that it is providing addressing significant weaknesses identified 18 months ago.

On the up: South Ayrshire Council needs to keep making progress - Photo credit: Flickr, Doug Waldron

The Scottish public spending watchdog, the Accounts Commission, has said that the council has made “considerable progress”, including improvements to IT systems and considering users in service design, after a damning report in December 2014.

This includes steps to improve the corporate management team’s leadership of staff, with monthly meetings and a “good level of discussion” across the organisation.

Related content

Critical report prompts council ICT overhaul

“The corporate management team has a robust corporate approach and greater focus on priorities, delivering improvements and meeting financial challenges,” the report said.

This includes the appointing a digital transformation manager to make necessary improvements in the digital and IT services provided by the council – this decision was taken following advice from Socitm last year.

Changes in attitude from managers, and the recruitment of staff from outside the council, has created “a more dynamic and vibrant council”, the report said.

However, the report said that these improvements must continue in order to manage future financial pressures.

The report noted that the council had agreed to £4.154 million of savings in the 2015-16 revenue budget and a further £4.553m in the 2016-17 budget, but then had to make further expenditure reductions of £3.239m due to central government cuts.

Service redesign and the creation of some online services have helped push this change, the Commission said, but it added that there may be “scope for more radical approaches to service redesign”.

The report identified savings of £250,000 over two years by shifting employees onto a self-service online HR system.

Another positive example was work being done to create a smartphone app for employees to use in property maintenance. This will allow employees to pick up job details and then prioritise work based on urgency and location to increase productivity and improve customer service.

The council was also praised for its work to engage the community better, including asking users about their views in the review process, a consultation on budget options and the creation of locality planning groups for health and social care partnerships.

Share this page



Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Addressing government legacy IT to be ‘a key focus of spending review’
30 July 2020

Chief secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay claims that half of government’s IT spend goes on supporting ageing kit

‘Policing is not set up for a world in which so much crime is committed online’
29 July 2020

Major review of police across England and Wales finds forces are ill-equipped to cope with the huge rise in recent years of cyber offences

Inside DWP’s digital coronavirus response – APIs, reuse and micro-services
28 July 2020

In the face of huge demand for its services, the DWP was able to call on a library of reusable tools, the department’s integration lead Jacqui Leggetter tells PublicTechnology