Savings arising from moving services into LGSS - MTP Ref. 166

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1 Equality Impact Assessment Working in Progress Document Part 1: Screening Savings arising from moving services into LGSS - MTP Ref. 166 Section 1. Programme Details: LGSS Programme Section 2. Screening Undertaken (please complete as appropriate) Director or Head of Service: Lead Officer for developing the policy/activity/practice: Other people involved in the screening (this may be people who work for NBC or a related service or people outside NBC): Isabell Procter Catherine Wilson Alice Turrell, Kelly Fitzgerald, Nicci Marzec 3. Programme Details This EIA looks at the service aspects of transferring those services in scope to LGSS. The impacts on staffing will be reviewed in a separate EIA as part of the staffing TUPE consultation process. Please explain: The Outline business case has been developed to explore if the transfer of services into LGSS is a viable proposition. Specific reference has been made to ascertain key questions such as: Will we make the necessary financial savings and still be able to provide the standards and quality of service we currently manage Will we see an increase in performance within the specified teams The outline case is due to go to a programme board which is Management board, Overview and Scrutiny, and Cabinet. An updated EIA for each of those will be provided If approval is given for developing a full business case, negotiations will commence with LGSS. The business case has been reviewed to ensure its principles and priorities are within the Corporate Plan for NBC

2 Programme Background The public sector is experiencing unprecedented financial challenges which require innovative solutions to continue the drive for efficiency, and to enable resources to be focused on front line service delivery. Shared Service arrangements have been an important part of the public sector s response to this challenging environment, and therefore have informed many of the decisions that have taken place to encourage a Shared Service vision for NBC. NBC has made a commitment to become one of the best Councils in terms of public service by In order to facilitate this commitment, several options have been considered with a specific focus on the support services. LGSS was established by CCC and NCC as a Joint Committee in The Shared Service has managed to successfully establish a programme that delivers the full range of strategic, professional and transactional business support services to its founding partners and other public sector bodies. LGSS and NBC started working together in April 2012 to jointly consider options and develop a business case for sharing services. The discussions between NBC and LGSS Service leads have been extensive and have been comprehensive in detailing where the financial savings and efficiencies in terms of service deliveries can be seen and realised for the benefit of all partners involved. Multi-functional shared services will affect different groups in various ways, therefore, the EIA will serve as an important tool to ensure sustainable development is considered at all times with consideration being given to all parties that will be involved at all times. Description of the Programme It is understood that whilst NBC will see financial benefits of joining LGSS through scale economies, it is important to note that NBC could also achieve significant non-financial benefits from participating in a multi-authority shared service venture that would include improvements to standards of working including the sharing of best practice. These shared experiences provide a strong argument for the consideration of sharing support services not only to NBC and its service areas, but also at a later stage to attract other authorities who may look to become part of the LGSS structure and the shared services it can provide. Programme Objectives The objectives of LGSS will involve the design and implementation of a programme that will support and generate savings to the founding members, partner authorities and public bodies that will help to: enable local organisations to benefit from LGSS scale economies and depth of skills; provide a flexible range of support services and contracts to partners and other authorities; keep jobs local whilst improving performance through a single management structure; grow in such a way as to ensure that it is in the interests of the partner organisations; offer an effective alternative to outsourcing and public-private joint ventures; enable other organisations to easily join through partnership delegation agreements. If these objectives are met, it will encourage a greater transparency of service delivery, and streamline the service provision which will be strengthened by strong governance objectives, and will guarantee a simplified and clear end to end integrated process for all users. Projected Outcomes It must firstly be noted that as much as possible, the operational service delivery should not be affected by the LGSS service integration. The initial outcomes that we hope to achieve are the efficiency gains the shared service would deliver in terms of both qualitative and quantitative savings to both NBC and LGSS. Whilst the financial savings are substantial, there are considerable qualitative savings through sharing, such as increasing the critical mass of resources, broadening the depth of their skill-base, and improving service resilience. Strategic Fit with Corporate Objectives

3 The Corporate Strategy for NBC states that one of the priorities must be a process whereby we provide value for money through Sharing Services and continuously strive for excellence by identifying the most effective and efficient methods of deliveries of service. A number of Shared Services have proven to be successful including the Joint Environmental Services contract, showing year on year savings on local taxpayer s money, as well as the implementation of a legal shared service with East Northamptonshire Council and a chargeable Fraud Service for Daventry District Council. These successful partnerships emphasize the importance of sharing specialist expertise to ensure the best service is delivered as part of the Corporate Plan. This also contributes to the way in which processes will be designed to ensure results are aligned to the Council s Equality Strategy, Our Approach to Equalities which demonstrates the need to work towards achieving Excellent within the Equality Framework for local Government Section 4. Relevance to Equality and Diversity Duties The Council has an equality strategy which sits under its Constitution. It needs to work in accordance with this in moving this project forward. NBC acknowledge that it has a responsibility as a Council and are committed to ensuring the transfer process encompasses the Equalities and Diversity Strategy as much as it possibly can. This strategy ensures that the Council embeds good quality and practice within its decision which will encourage equality and diversity practice for councillors, employees, contractors, local organisations and citizens in Northampton. As much as NBC are committed to ensuring their adherence to its Equality and Diversity strategy, upon entering into any contractual agreements or Service Level Agreements, NBC would expect that the external party will be willing to accept a duty to provide services in line and in accordance with our strategies, policies and any associated procedures and practices. Please explain: The council has public sector equality duties which require it to have due regard in the exercise of all its functions and decision-making. This means we need to look at the need to eliminate discrimination, victimisation and harassment; the need to advance equality of opportunity and participation; and the need to foster good relations and understandings in everything we do, including when looking to make savings and changes to how services are provided. The council retains these duties even when outsourcing services or providing shared services. Further EIA will need to be done on aspects of this project as it moves forward to ensure due regard is had appropriately and specifically including identifying any cumulative impacts. In putting forward various options e.g. service combinations to go into LGSS an EIA will be done in

4 respect of each of those options. In having due regard to potential and actual impacts on workforce due regard will be had to the Workforce equality monitoring report and covered within the EIA during the staff TUPE consultation process. How Will this Programme Promote Good Community Relations? The programme will promote good community relations by improving the overall performance of teams and allow them to effectively engage with our clients, and service users through streamlined and integrated back office and frontline services that carry the ethos of inclusion for diverse groups and value for money objectives for people who access the service as a whole. How Will This Programme Promote Positive Attitudes Towards People with Protected Characteristics? The services within the shared service transfer are majority back office services that do not have direct access to the public of Northamptonshire. The one front facing service is Revs and Bens which will remain largely as is from a front facing perspective; consideration is still to be undertaken with regard to the contact centre aspect. At this point in time, the current service will remain as is, with members of the public contacting NBC OSS or CC. How Will This Programme Encourage Participation of People With Protected Characteristics? N/A How Will This Programme Affect Groups Differently? Does This Programme Cause Harm or Benefit to Any Group (S) Differently From Others? If There Is A Negative Impact On Any Group, Is That Impact: 1. Legal Black, Asian or other ethnic minority and/or cultural groups? 2. Intended Disabled people? And their carers? Transgender people? Men and women? Lesbians, gay men and/or bisexual people? Different religious communities/groups? People of a particular age e.g. older people or children and young people? Any other groups? People with flexible or agreed working patterns? Do not see the transfer of shared service as having a specific impact either negative or positive on any protected characteristic

5 Are their any aspects, including how it is delivered, or accessed, that could contribute to inequalities? EIA will be done in respect of staff aspects if the project goes forward. To consider - staff directly affected by loss or change of role - invisible potential impacts e.g. LGBT colleague out in local service area but not out with everyone who may fear restructure implication; e.g. people with disabilities including autistic spectrum disorder who may find change a particular challenge or who may fear access needs if forced relocation. - NBC is a Stonewall Diversity Champion actively seeks to promote LGB equality - (IIP) - Equality Framework NBC is achieving moving towards being excellent (i.e. systems in place and practices making a difference and achieving meeting our equality duties) and using EFECT system ( In developing a final business case and arrangements for the transfer of staff, NBC equalities duties in respect of both will be incorporated into contractual arrangements, Service Level Arrangements and terms and conditions. Section 5. Evidence Base for Screening Wider community will not see a change in service provision and therefore limited use of base screening. Gaps in Evidence Base Gaps Recommendations To Fill The Gaps Section 6. Requirements of the Equality Duties: Has there been consultation with all interested parties? Stakeholder consultation has been undertaken, and further consultation will be completed with Overview & Scrutiny. Can Elements of the Programme be Tailored to Fit Individual Circumstances? Once the full business case has been completed then the programme can only be tailored

6 by LGSS. There is an expectation that when delivering services for NBC, LGSS will have due regard at all times to its duties under the Equalities Act and undertake any EIA s as appropriate for the services they are providing. Can the Programme Exceed the Minimum Legal Equity and Human Rights Requirements? N/A Impact Actions Race N/A Disability Gender, Gender Identity, Gender Assignment Pregnancy, Maternity (inc breastfeeding) Sexual Orientation Age Children Youth Midlife Older people Religion, Faith, Belief Human Rights Section 7 Proportionality There is limited impact on the public from this shared service Section 8 Decision to Proceed to a Full Impact Assessment No reason to proceed

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