South Ribble Council ‘Disappointed’ Over Performance Criticism

South Ribble Borough Council are ‘disappointed’ at the results of an audit that finds improvements need to be made to performance.

The internal audit process has identified a level of ‘Limited Assurance’ for GDPR and Performance Management. This means that on the counts of Performance Management and management of GDPR, the council cannot place sufficient reliance on the controls in place and that substantive control weaknesses exist in these areas.

The council is disappointed in the findings, recognise and accept that there are failings across the organisation in these areas and are committed going forward to rectify these failings as soon as possible.

Interim Chief Executive of South Ribble Borough Council, Gary Hall said, “Our main priority at the council is to serve our residents and we owe it to them to be transparent and to be open.

“There has been notable failings in our management of GDPR and our Performance Management processes and for this we apologise.

“We make no excuses about this; we simply promise to put it right, and this process starts right now.”

On 25 May 2018 the GDPR came into effect, requiring all organisations who process, control and / or store personal data to ensure compliance with the GDPR requirements.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has produced a 12-step plan to assist organisations in achieving compliance, and the Council’s current arrangements for GDPR compliance have been measured against this.

Gary Hall continues, “In respect of GDPR, we will take the findings of the report on board and will implement the actions in the associated Management Report immediately.

“Our focus now is on the 19 proposed actions from the report and making sure we implement them as thoroughly and as diligently as possible. We are determined for this to change; and to change very quickly.”

The Council is committed to delivering a high quality and value for money service for its residents and the achievement of this is measured and reported through its Performance Management framework.

It’s essential that the data which is presented has been verified and is accurately presented to enable informed decision making.

Gary Hall continues, “The findings of an internal audit report showed that the performance measures we currently work towards are not fit for purpose.

“The performance of the council is something we ought to be able to track and monitor regularly, easily, and with adequate definitions. This allows us to tell how well or how poorly, we are performing so we can do something about it.

“We rely on high quality performance monitoring to identify areas where improvement is needed but we are failing to paint a full enough picture of the council’s achievements and shortcomings to adequately report back to the council’s Senior Management and agree on next steps.

“This is something we are absolutely determined to put right with the council’s Leadership Team and Policy, Performance and Partnerships Team both completely dedicated to seeing drastic improvements as soon as possible.”

Councillor Paul Foster, Leader of South Ribble Borough said, “When the new administration came into leadership of the Council in May, an overarching review of Corporate Governance measures was high on our agenda.

“Following our extensive review, it is clear there are a number of legacy issues being brought forward to Governance Committee and this is just the start. We welcome the audits and we recognise and accept there has been failings. We are now dedicated to rectifying problems and making sure we deliver the first-class service our residents should expect.

“I’m confident officers will now work with the management plans to improve our processes going forward.”

If any resident has any concerns about the above or have any questions, please let us know by contacting info@southribble.gov.uk.

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