14 April 2009

Efficiency Review of Democratic Services

Idea: The service as a whole was reviewed however staff identified that the majority of information circulated to elected members was in the form of hard copy documents. They therefore specifically asked the Business Efficiency Team to devise more efficient effect ways for circulating information. 

Results: The result was a redesign of processes for sharing information with elected members including implementing a member hotline, introducing a dedicated IT trainer for elected members therefore enabling documents and information to be circulated electronically, ensuring the timely receipt of key data. 

All calls from elected members requiring information were filtered through a central group of staff, rather than being received via diverse services with differing published response timescales. These centralised staff had undergone specific training and had a great understanding of the Council and its functions. In addition all enquiries are logged on a central system and any resulting frequently asked questions are identified and published on the intranet therefore diversifying the channels for members to access information whilst also reducing the volume of potential avoidable contacts. 

The introduction of the dedicated IT trainer for elected members has helped to ensure that all members have access to electronic information and are familiar with the processes for access information in this manner. 

The financial results are still being measured however we set a target of 30% cashable savings in relation to a reduction in printing and paper. 

We also identified in the region of 8 staff hours could be saved, via centralising the members’ hotline, per month. 

Leadership: The Democratic Services staff identified the requirement for improvements to sharing information via the initial Efficiency Review workshop. 

Learning: We learnt that staff are extremely keen to try new ideas and new ways of working when the benefits are clear and explicit. 

Further information: Businessefficiency@fenland.gov.uk

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