The Joint Committee considered a report of the Director of STAR on the continuous improvements made against STAR Business Plan 2021/24.
The report author informed Members of the recent changes to the objectives of the business plan and proceeded to list them. All activities undertaken were themed against four main headings: Leadership and Governance, Communications and Engagement, Technology and Data and Talent Management. The STAR Director noted that the Business Plan worked effectively because the STAR management team referred to it regularly and embedded it in all that they did.
As part of the business planning, a Continuous Improvement Group had been established whose work would feed into the STAR Board. The Group would aim to enhance communication between STAR’s partners and officers, to share learning and deliver further improvements.
The Director of STAR continued to inform Members of the significant progress on Social Value which had reached 28% of added value on contractual spend. The next challenge was to ensure that every decision reflected the social value agenda and Members were invited to contribute with their ideas and views on how this goal could be reached.
With regards to Staff Wellbeing, Members learned that STAR team would return to Sale Waterside office next week, in an agile/hybrid working style.
The Joint Committee noted that, in relation to the Income Plan 2021/22, a number of commissions had been secured and were being delivered. A new post had been created to lead a pilot on improving commercial contract management, to ensure that contracts had delivered effective outcomes and further negotiations of opportunities for the four Councils to use the same supplier were explored. A paper on Commercial Contract Management would be brought to the Joint Committee to outline the benefits of this activity and provide an overview of impact and outcomes.
Officers noted that contract management varied across departments in quality and rigour and they looked forward to a set of rules to adopt to show some consistency and to learn from good practice. This was considered common across the whole of the public sector and was an area for significant improvement nationally.
New Procurement Regulations would be introduced possibly in September 2021, the STAR web-site had been refreshed and the E-Learning module package had been updated and re-launched via each of the Council’s HR Teams to make it mandatory for all budget holders and those who raised invoices.
The STAR management team continued to speak at national events to raise STAR’s profile and share success.
Members asked whether there were opportunities linked to the implementation of the Integrated Care Systems. Members also noted that it would be useful to have a plan on how the four Councils could move forward the Social Value agenda in the next 12 months. Members also agreed that it would be important to consider how the concept of Social Value was communicated within their own organisations.
Members and Officers requested to receive further training on Social Value in particular for Member groups in the four organisations.
1. That the content of the report be noted;
2. That a paper be brought to a future Joint Committee to update on commercial contract management pilot to evidence the impact and outcomes secured;
3. That a paper on how to move forward the Social Value agenda in near future and the longer period and possibly creating some inter-authority principles to adhere to, be brought to the Joint Committee in September 2021;
4. That a training course / briefing on Social Value be delivered to Members for the four organisations;
5. That the Joint Committee explore a collective approach particularly to carbon neutrality through procurement and Social Value at the next meeting.