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DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any disclosable interests under the Code of Conduct and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.
There were no declarations of interest in respect of items on the agenda.
PETITIONS, DEPUTATIONS AND QUESTIONS
To receive any petitions, deputations and questions received from members of the public in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule24 which provides that any petition, deputation or question received shall only be considered if it relates to an item on the agenda.
The total time allowed for this item shall be 30 minutes. Petitions, declarations and questions shall be dealt with in the order in which they are received and any which are not considered within the time limit shall receive a written response after the meeting.
No petitions, deputations or questions had been received from members of the public.
Questions from Members of the Council
To receive any questions submitted from Members of the Council in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rules 24, 87 and 95. Any question received shall only be considered if it relates to an item on the agenda.
No questions had been received from Members of the Council.
To receive Report No. 155/2017 from the Head of Internal Audit
Report No 155/2017 was received from the Head of Internal Audit, Miss Rachel Ashley-Caunt. The purpose of the report was to provide the Committee with the findings of the Internal Audit consultancy review of the Children’s Centre/Library project and the management response.
Miss Ashley-Caunt gave a brief overview of the report and the key elements of Appendix A. A full copy of the review was in Appendix A.
Section 4 provided the reasons for the extra budget requirement, looked at costs initially omitted, which would reasonably have been incurred, costs included and underestimated and unforeseen costs. Miss Ashley-Caunt explained that she would expect any capital project to incur some unforeseen costs, which is the reason for usually including a contingency amount in the budget allocations but there had been no contingency allocation for the library project.
Section 3 provided information on the weaknesses in the initiation stages of the project. It set out how the initial budget was developed and misinformed and the failure to allow for reasonable costs of the project.
The review also looked at savings that were being achieved and any areas removed from the initial budget. The report also covered the findings in relation to the project governance and management.
Miss Ashley-Caunt confirmed that since the original approval of the project budget, project governance arrangements had been established, the weaknesses and pressures had been highlighted and action was taken to manage the financial pressures. The findings of the review had been discussed with senior management and a number of lessons had been learnt.
The Chief Executive, Mrs Helen Briggs, gave a brief overview of the management response, Appendix B. Mrs Briggs confirmed the audit report was accepted in its entirety, lessons had been learnt and comments in relation to changes that had arisen had been followed through and change control procedures were in place.
Mrs Briggs circulated a document titled Project Management: An Example – Rutland One Public Estate: St George’s Barracks. The document demonstrated the lessons learnt in practice and the framework for major projects. The St George’s Barracks Programme Board has elected members on it– St George’s Project Group had the Deputy Leader and Ward Member as members, and was created at the inception of the project with a report to Cabinet highlighting the background of the project to all Members. There was strong stakeholder and ward member participation for updates and key elements of the project – also finance functions were represented by the Director for Resources and appropriate officer experts were all represented.
In respect of the Library and Children’s Centre, Mrs Briggs reassured Members that since September 2016 governance arrangements had been in place and that the Project Board included Cabinet representation from December 2016. The governance structure demonstrated had been used for major projects in the past with examples being Liquidlogic and People First, it was fully accepted that more time should have been taken in delivering cost estimates at the early part of the project and more challenges to ... view the full minutes text for item 204.