Agenda item

Corporate Support Service Programme

(To receive a presentation from Andrew McLean, Children's Service Manager, Commissioning, which provides the Schools' Forum with an update on the developments of the Corporate Support Services review (currently delivered by Serco) and to engage the Forum on their views for how best to keep the Forum and Lincolnshire Schools informed and engaged on the process)


The Forum received a presentation from Andrew McLean, Children's Service Manager, Commissioning, which provided the Schools' Forum with an update on the development of the Corporate Support Services review (currently being delivered by Serco); and to seek the views of the Forum and Lincolnshire Schools on how to best to keep them informed and engaged in the process.


The Forum was advised that the Council had agreed to a commissioning review of existing services delivered by Serco, which included IMT, Customer Service Centre, People Management, Payroll/HR Admin, Adult Care Finance, Exchequer Services and the provision of the Business World On (formerly known as Agresso) ERP System.  It was noted that the agreement with Serco was in year four of a five year contract, which was due to end on 31 March 2020.  A copy of the decision making timetable for the future delivery of these services was shared with the Forum.  This included a detailed overview of the potential transition of the Council's Payroll/HR Admin Services to Hoople Ltd, via a shared service agreement with Herefordshire Council.


A copy of the governance structure for the re-provision was presented to the Forum; and confirmation was given that early engagement had taken place with the Lincolnshire Learning Partnership Board (schools' strategic group for school improvement) where an overview of the Hoople position was presented and discussed on how schools could be effectively engaged during the programme.


The Forum was advised that Hoople had been present in Lincolnshire from 14 - 31 May 2018; and had been carrying out extensive workshop sessions focussing on Finance, Payroll/HR Admin and Systems Technical Architecture.  It was highlighted that the workshop sessions had given Hoople the opportunity to understand Lincolnshire's issues.


It was highlighted that the design workshops had been successful in providing the necessary confidence in Hoople's capability to provide an effective Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system solution and Payroll/HR Admin service.


The Forum was invited to comment on the most effective way to collectively engage with affected schools.


During discussion, the following points were raised:-


·         The need for the involvement of schools business managers early on in the process, and that adequate time should be allocated for training.  Reassurance was given that maintained schools would be taken on the journey.  The Forum noted that Hoople did provide a financial system offer to Academies in their area, which was an addition to the current service offer.  The Forum was advised that currently 170 schools would be moving over to the new system.  The Forum was further advised that work was ongoing with Hoople to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the system to ensure that it was more stable in the future.  Confirmation was given that there would be dual running of the payroll system ahead of the potential transfer on 1 April 2020;

·         One member enquired as the existing system seemed to be working better now, why change?  The Forum was advised that the existing system needed a lot of de-bugging; and that there was lack of accuracies pertaining to the payroll service.  Reassurance was given that the Hoople ERP platform was a robust system, which had been tried and tested; and that Hoople had a proven track record for the delivery of Payroll/HR Admin services;

·         One member enquired as to what the period of notice was for the existing contract for schools.  The Forum was advised that the existing contract for schools had a one year notice period; and

·         Some concern was expressed to the number of jobs being exported out of Lincolnshire; and for the need to ensure that the transition to Hoople was seamless.  Officers appreciated the concerns raised regarding distance, but advised that there was an ongoing dialogue with Hoople for the option of a local office.  The Forum was also advised that there was always risks associated with moving to a new provider, but there was a level of confidence as there was already a level of knowledge in the system that had been operating successfully for a number of years, which had not been the case at the point of transfer to Serco.




That the presentation relating to the Corporate Support Service Programme be received.



Original Text: