AGENDA ITEM 5c




South West of England Regional Development Agency


     SRB MANAGEMENT
      SYSTEMS AUDIT
     BRINGI...
1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY..........................................................................................................
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




1        EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

         Background

1.1      Br...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




1.6      The Scheme was awarded £8,350,000 SRB grant over 7 ...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




8.3      The SRB: A Handbook of Good Practice in Management ...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




         communication is not yet fully operational. Minutes...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




2        THE AUDIT

         Strategic Management of the Par...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




1.9      One method for resolving the issue, which the City ...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




         would suggest that the Induction Manual is a useful...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




         Project Appraisal Systems

1.22     Outline project...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




                                Roger McQuillan (Bristol Cit...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




         Individual Project Appraisals

2.5      A number of...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




         Project Approval Systems

2.11     The RPMG (and fo...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




         Is a formal Partnership grant offer letter sent to ...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




         Project Monitoring Systems

12.1     The Scheme cur...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




         Is the Partnership able to identify projects where ...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




            Financial Monitoring Systems

12.13       The Ac...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




         •    Appropriate SRB percentage applied
         • ...
Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit




         Scheme Level Monitoring

         Are Key Indicator...
APPENDIX 1: BRINGING BRISTOL TOGETHER SRB 6 –                                  MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AUDIT DECEMBER 2003 – AC...
to the BP.)
and supporting papers of the RPMG are copied to
the BP, but there is reportedly little dialogue
facilitating t...
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  1. 1. AGENDA ITEM 5c South West of England Regional Development Agency SRB MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AUDIT BRINGING BRISTOL TOGETHER SRB6 Final Report January 2004 Planners and Development Economists 11-15 Dix’s Field Exeter EX1 1QA Tel: 01392 210 868 Fax: 01392 210 869 email: southwest@tymconsult.com CONTENTS
  2. 2. 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.........................................................................................................................1 Background......................................................................................................................................................1 Methodology....................................................................................................................................................2 Structure of the Report...................................................................................................................................2 Conclusions.....................................................................................................................................................3 Key Issues and Recommendations...............................................................................................................3 2 THE AUDIT..............................................................................................................................................5 Strategic Management of the Partnership....................................................................................................5 Other Issues.....................................................................................................................................................7 Project Appraisal Systems.............................................................................................................................8 Individual Project Appraisals.......................................................................................................................10 Project Approval Systems............................................................................................................................11 Project Monitoring Systems.........................................................................................................................13 Financial Monitoring Systems.....................................................................................................................15 Scheme Level Monitoring.............................................................................................................................17 APPENDIX 1: BRINGING BRISTOL TOGETHER SRB 6 – MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AUDIT DECEMBER 2003 – ACTION TIMETABLE........................................................................................1
  3. 3. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Background 1.1 Bringing Bristol Together was successful under Round Six of the Single Regeneration Budget. The Bid was led by Bristol City Council and outlined the delivery of the scheme through the Bristol Regeneration Partnership. 1.1 The purpose of the Scheme is to place local people and equality communities of interest at the centre of social and economic regeneration. The Scheme aims to create strategic mechanisms and networks that will enable communities to gain the greatest possible benefit from the range of regeneration work that is being done throughout the City. The initiative focuses on providing capacity for equality communities of interest and their self-organised groups and on “bending” mainstream funding at a strategic level, reflecting the Neighbourhood Renewal agenda. 1.2 The SRB 6 Scheme includes the following wards of Bristol: 1.3 Kingsweston, Henbury, Southmead, Lockleaze, Ashley, Easton, Cabot, Lawrence Hill, Windmill Hill, Filwood, Hartcliffe, Hengrove and Whitchurch Park. 1.2 The Scheme responds to the following SRB Strategic Objectives: • SO1 – Enhance the employment prospects, education and skills of local people • SO 2 & 4 – Addressing social exclusion and enhancing opportunities for the disadvantaged and promoting local economies and business. • SO5 – Tackle crime and drug abuse and improve community safety 1.3 The Partnership delivering the Scheme was originally the Bristol Regeneration Partnership, which had responsibility for the strategic management of several SRB and other regeneration programmes across the City. A sub-group of the BRP (The SRB Sub-Committee) was responsible for the strategic management of SRB 6 (and other SRB Schemes in Bristol). The Accountable Body for this Scheme is Bristol City Council. 1.4 In light of the emerging Local Strategic Partnership structure in Bristol, the BRP has been superseded by the Bristol Partnership (BP), and the BRP SRB Sub-committee has in turn been superseded by a sub-group of the BP - the Regeneration Programme Management Group (RPMG). The strategic management of the remaining SRB Schemes (and other regeneration programmes) has been entirely delegated by the BP to the RPMG. The RPMG therefore, for the purposes of this report is taken to be “the Board”. 1.5 The Bringing Bristol Together SRB 6 Scheme is administered by a team employed by Bristol City Council and based at offices in the St Paul’s area of the City. The team comprises the Programme Manager, two Development Officers and an Administrative Assistant and is line managed by the Neighbourhood Renewal Team. The SRB team is assisted by two members of the Bristol City Council Finance Team, who are dedicated full time to finance monitoring of SRB, and are co-located with the SRB team. These support staff are line managed by the Bristol City Council Regeneration Finance and System Manager. The resultant operational team of six (to be referred to in this report as the “SRB Team”) currently has responsibility for the delivery and monitoring of SRB 3 and 6. Further assistance and supervision by other key members of the Accountable Body’s Finance Team is also provided on a regular basis. Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 1
  4. 4. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit 1.6 The Scheme was awarded £8,350,000 SRB grant over 7 years, from 2000 to 2007 (of which £2,780,000 was to be capital and £5,570,000 revenue), towards a total Scheme cost of £25,905,000. Other funds identified include: £2,985,000 (cash or in kind) from the private sector and other non-public sector contributors and £14,570,000 from other (non-SWRDA) public sector sources. Methodology 1.7 The Audit has been conducted to determine whether the management systems in place meet the requirements of the: − SRB Guidance Manual, (updated 2003) − SRB: A Handbook of Good Practice in Management Systems (October 2000) and − New Deal for Communities and the Single Regeneration Budget Project Appraisal and Approval (October 2000) 1.8 The Audit included: • Discussions with Matt Jacobs, the SRB Programme Manager and Joy Dann, the Scheme Administrator (BCC Finance Team) and Simon Bale – Regeneration Development Officer. Discussions were also held with, David Hider, Chair of the Regeneration Programme Management Group (RPMG) and Ian Edwards (Regeneration and Strategic Resources Manager - Bristol City Council). A separate visit was made to the Scheme by Kelsall Steele Accountants to inspect its Finance Management Systems. This included a review of a sample of project files and discussion with Joy Dann, Roger McQuillan – Senior Accountant (Bristol City Council), representing the Accountable Body, and Matt Jacobs. We are grateful for their assistance. • A review of key documents. • A visit to the Scheme Management Office, Accountable Body Finance Office and inspection of monitoring systems. Structure of the Report 8.1 This report sets out the Auditors’ conclusions and key recommendations (section 1), detailed findings (section 2) and an Action Timetable for the implementation of recommendations (Appendix 1). The Action Timetable details the action required against each recommendation, who is responsible for implementing it and by what date it should be achieved. 8.2 The Audit systematically reviewed the management systems required and this report considers each of the following sections in turn: • Strategic Management of the Partnership • Project Appraisal Systems • Project Approval Systems • Project Monitoring Systems • Financial Management and Monitoring • Scheme Level Monitoring Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 2
  5. 5. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit 8.3 The SRB: A Handbook of Good Practice in Management Systems Guidance Manual lists the questions that Management Systems Audits should address. The structure of each section of the audit report will be based on these questions, accompanied by additional paragraphs on other issues where appropriate. Conclusions 8.4 The Scheme’s management systems are well organised, robust and consistently implemented. There is a good understanding of the need for strategic management, and appropriate robust reporting mechanisms are in place to facilitate it. The Scheme is an example of good practice in SRB management systems. 8.5 There are some matters outstanding in the completion of development of new management structures, which it appears the Scheme and Partnership is aware of, but which need to be addressed in order to fully integrate the SRB activities into the wider Bristol Local Strategic Partnership mechanisms and to ensure the appropriate agreements are in place to formalise the arrangements for delivery of the Scheme, given the recent changes to Partnership working structures in the City. Key Issues and Recommendations Strategic Management of the Partnership (Paragraph 2.5) 8.6 It is reported that such an agreement between the Accountable Body and the new delivery structure (BP/RPMG) has not yet been put in place. 8.7 Clearly, in the interim there is a presumption that the roles and responsibilities of the Accountable Body remain the same and that it continues to provide the same service to the new Bristol Partnership (or sub-groups thereof) in respect of SRB as it did to the BRP. 8.8 Discussion with Ian Edwards at Bristol City Council (who was responsible for establishing the RPMG) has revealed that there has been some deliberation regarding this matter; • The Bristol Partnership (and sub-groups thereof, including the RPMG), being the Local Strategic Partnership, is not an incorporated organisation in the same way that the BRP was. • Although the LSP is the mechanism by which the Community Strategy is developed, the statutory responsibility for the Community Strategy lies with the City Council. 8.9 For these reasons it has not proved possible to draw up a legal agreement between the BP/RPMG and the City Council in respect of the services Bristol City Council provides to the BP/RPMG for the SRB Scheme and it is also difficult to see how a Service Level Agreement (between the respective Bristol City Council departments) could be applied to this case. 8.10 One method for resolving the issue, which the City Council has considered, is whether it might be possible for the funding agreement from the RDA to set out the respective roles and responsibilities of Accountable Body and Partnership. 8.11 We would recommend that as a result of this report, there may need to be dialogue between the SWRDA and the Accountable Body as to an acceptable resolution to this issue. (Paragraph 2.21) 8.12 Under the new management structure, although it is acknowledged that there must be some communication of strategic SRB information to the Bristol Partnership, it seems that this line of Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 3
  6. 6. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit communication is not yet fully operational. Minutes and supporting papers of the RPMG are copied to the BP, but there is reportedly little dialogue facilitating the integration of SRB activities with the wider remit of the BP. It may be that this can be addressed, for example through presentations to the BP. Project Monitoring Systems (paragraph 2.51) 8.13 As is the case with many SRB Schemes, the reliability of projects in making timely returns is variable. It is noted in the case of this Scheme that in particular, projects which are delivered “internally” – i.e. by departments within the Accountable Body, are less likely to be reliable in this area. (This is apparently due to their lack of reliance on receipt of grant to continue operations, as the internal transfer of funds within the Accountable Body’s finance systems is not as vital to them as the payment of grant funding is to smaller, external organisations relying more heavily upon it). 8.14 It is the responsibility of senior staff within the appropriate department of ALL project delivery organisations, to ensure that conditions of grant are met in accordance with the funding agreement from the SRB Partnership. The Accountable Body should take steps to improve reliability in the return of project monitoring information, using the appropriate line management channels to do so. Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 4
  7. 7. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit 2 THE AUDIT Strategic Management of the Partnership 1.1 The Partnership delivering the Scheme was originally the Bristol Regeneration Partnership, which had responsibility for the strategic management of several SRB and other regeneration programmes across the City. A sub-group of the BRP (The SRB Sub-Committee) was responsible for the strategic management of SRB 6 (and other SRB Schemes in Bristol). The Accountable Body for this Scheme is Bristol City Council. 1.2 In light of the emerging Local Strategic Partnership structure in Bristol, the BRP has been superseded by the Bristol Partnership (BP), and the BRP SRB Sub-committee has in turn been superseded by a sub-group of the BP - the Regeneration Programme Management Group (RPMG). The strategic management of the remaining SRB Schemes (and other regeneration programmes) has been entirely delegated by the BP to the RPMG. The RPMG therefore, for the purposes of this report is taken to be “the Board”. 1.3 The inception of the new structure has been aided by an away day and accompanying induction pack for the RPMG. 1.4 The Bringing Bristol Together SRB 6 Scheme is administered by a team employed by Bristol City Council and based at offices in the St Paul’s area of the City. The team comprises the Programme Manager, two Development Officers and an Administrative Assistant and is line managed by the Neighbourhood Renewal Team. The SRB team is assisted by two members of the Bristol City Council Finance Team, who are dedicated full time to finance monitoring of SRB, and are co-located with the SRB team. These support staff are line managed by the Bristol City Council Regeneration Finance and System Manager. The resultant operational team of six (to be referred to in this report as the “SRB Team”) currently has responsibility for the delivery and monitoring of SRB 3 and 6. Further assistance and supervision by other key members of the Accountable Body’s Finance Team is also provided on a regular basis. Is there a memorandum that sets out clearly the respective responsibilities and roles of the Accountable Body and Partnership? 1.5 It is reported that such an agreement between the Accountable Body and the new delivery structure (RPMG/BP) has not yet been put in place. 1.6 Clearly, in the interim there is a presumption that the roles and responsibilities of the Accountable Body remain the same and that it continues to provide the same service to the new Bristol Partnership in respect of SRB as it did to the BRP. 1.7 Discussion with Ian Edwards at Bristol City Council has revealed that there has been some deliberation regarding this matter; • The Bristol Partnership (being the Local Strategic Partnership) is not an incorporated organisation in the same way that the BRP was. • Although the LSP is the mechanism by which the Community Strategy is developed, the statutory responsibility for the Community Strategy lies with the City Council. 1.8 For these reasons it has not proved possible to draw up a legal agreement between the BP and the City Council in respect of the services Bristol City Council provides to the BP for the SRB Scheme and it is also difficult to see how a Service Level Agreement (between the respective Bristol City Council departments) could be applied to this case. Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 5
  8. 8. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit 1.9 One method for resolving the issue, which the City Council has considered, is whether it might be possible for the funding agreement from the RDA to set out the respective roles and responsibilities of Accountable Body and Partnership. 1.10 We would recommend that as a result of this report, there may need to be dialogue between the SWRDA and the Accountable Body as to an acceptable resolution to this issue. Is there a memorandum that sets out clearly the responsibilities and roles of the Partnership Board (and Sub-Board), the Partners, the Partnership Executive Team and project deliverers? 1.11 There are terms of reference setting out the roles and responsibilities of the RPMG as well as documentation within the RPMG Induction Manual setting out what it can expect in terms of reporting from the SRB team and what is expected of its members in terms of representing the Partner organisations and appropriate delivery of the Scheme. 1.12 The role of the SRB team is not categorically set out in a given document. However, the RPMG Induction Pack goes some way to this by outlining its composition and line management. In addition the job descriptions (currently under review) of the Programme Manager and Development Worker, as well as the list of RPMG expectations, and to a limited extent the Delivery Plans together form the basis of such a statement. 1.13 Although there is not a specific memorandum setting out the responsibilities and roles of project deliverers, between them, guidance accompanying the project proposal form, the grant offer letter and contract fulfil this function. 1.14 There may be a case for producing a single document on the roles and responsibilities of these various parties. This could take the form of additional guidance issued to all who become newly involved with the Scheme, for example, the RPMG Induction Pack could be enhanced/developed to fulfil this slightly wider purpose. The auditors acknowledge that despite a lack of centralisation of the documentation of respective roles and responsibilities, there is clearly a good understanding amongst the appropriate parties of what their obligations are. Are all strategic decisions referred to the Partnership Board? 1.15 Having viewed the minutes and accompanying papers of the BRP SRB sub-committee and RPMG, we are confident that all strategic decisions are referred to the Board. Does the Partnership Board (or Sub-Board with delegated powers) meet regularly? 1.16 The RPMG meets monthly. Is information on progress in the achievement of Key Indicators of Performance and the whole Delivery Plan regularly updated and reported to the Board/Sub-Board? 1.17 The reports provided to the RPMG by the Programme Manager fulfil these requirements. Are there procedures for dealing with any conflicts of interest? 1.18 The RPMG has not yet established formal procedures for dealing with conflicts of interest. We have seen evidence that this issue is currently being addressed – members have discussed the need for such a procedure. We have also seen evidence that conflicts of interest are being expressed when appropriate. 1.19 The RPMG must ensure that a conflicts of interest procedure is put in place without delay and documented in an update to existing guidance contained within the RPMG Induction Manual. (We Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 6
  9. 9. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit would suggest that the Induction Manual is a useful tool and should be used on an ongoing basis for new members as and when individuals representing the partners change). Are procedures in place to ensure the Scheme continues to meet local priorities through for example appropriate consultation in drawing up and rolling forward the Delivery Plan? 1.20 Various sources of information feed in to the Delivery Plan development process, including a community consultation element, drawing on the Neighbourhood Renewal LNAPs (Local Neighbourhood Action Plan) mechanisms. Other Issues 1.21 Under the new structure, although it is acknowledged that there must be some communication of strategic SRB information to the Bristol Partnership, it seems that this line of communication is not yet fully operational. Minutes and supporting papers of the RPMG are copied to the BP, but there is reportedly little dialogue facilitating the integration of SRB activities with the wider remit of the BP. It may be that this can be addressed, for example through presentations to the BP. Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 7
  10. 10. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit Project Appraisal Systems 1.22 Outline project proposals are referred to the RPMG which must give its support in principle to the project on the basis of its strategic fit within the Scheme. Once approved in principle, the project is taken forward to development by the proposed delivery body in association with an SRB Team Development Officer. 1.23 The Development Officer provides a written report to a Technical Appraisal Panel in advance of their meeting, accompanied by the project proposal paperwork. 1.24 The SRB 6 Scheme project proposals and developer’s report are appraised by the Technical Appraisal Panel, a group which convenes to undertake appraisals for the remaining SRB Schemes in Bristol, including SRB 3, 5 and 6. Are there formal agreed and widely understood arrangements for appraising projects which meet the requirements of the SRB Guidance Manual? 1.25 The Project Appraisal arrangements operated by the SRB Scheme are documented in the RPMG Induction Pack. The Scheme has recently adopted a commissioning approach to project development, and this is included within a flow-chart representation of the systems. The system adopted is in line with SRB requirements. Do these arrangements ensure a clear separation of the responsibilities for developing/implementing projects on the one hand and appraising/reviewing projects on the other? 1.26 The arrangements ensure separation of responsibilities in that the project developer putting forward their report on the project proposal does not take part in the appraisal of that project. Are there clear forms checklists and guidance to ensure appraisals reflect the SRB Guidance Manual requirements? 2.2 The project proposal form forms the basis of the appraisal report. The appraisal report is based on a template which includes some standard paragraphs and space for other comments. The Appraisal Panel meeting considers the appraisal report and project proposal and results in an amended appraisal report which goes to the RPMG along with the project proposal. 2.3 The appraisal paperwork used by the Scheme reflects SRB guidance. Have those responsible for Project Appraisal been given adequate training or have had previous relevant experience? 2.4 The table below shows who the Appraisal Panel includes and what training or experience they have had: Matt Jacobs (SRB3/6 No formal training, but Programme Manager) relevant experience Simon Bale (SRB No formal training, but 3/6Development Officer) relevant experience Rhiannon Malley (SRB Appraisal Training provided 3/6Development Officer) by Communities at Heart Joy Dann (Bristol Regeneration Appraisal Training provided Partnership) by University of West of England Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 8
  11. 11. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit Roger McQuillan (Bristol City Appraisal Training provided Council Finance) by University of West of England Stephen Hewitt (Hartcliffe and Appraisal Training provided Withywood SRB Scheme by University of West of Director) England Keren Suchecki (Hartcliffe and Appraisal Training provided Withywood SRB Development by University of West of Worker) England And on an occasional basis: Paul Drew (Bristol City Training unknown. Relevant Council Regeneration Policy) Experience Paul Owens (Objective 2 Training unknown. Relevant Programme Manager) Experience Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 9
  12. 12. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit Individual Project Appraisals 2.5 A number of project appraisals have been viewed in order to assess this aspect of the Scheme’s systems: Neighbourhood Nurseries Parent Co-ordinators (BREAZ) St. Paul’s Learning and Family Centre Pathways to Work Developing Social Enterprise Taaquin Youth Moves Enterprising Communities 2.6 In general the level and quality of information contained within the project proposals and appraisals of them which we have viewed is commensurate with the size of the projects. The content of appraisals appears to be thorough and objective. 2.7 It is also evident that the Appraisal Panel attaches conditions to the project’s delivery within its referral for approval to the Board. Do all appraisals describe how the project contributes to the strategic objectives of the scheme and state clearly the reason for project milestones and its outputs and funding profile? 2.8 We have viewed a sample of project appraisals which show that a consideration of how outputs have been calculated in the project appraisal is made. Appraisals consider and comment on whether Project Proposals explain in detail how outputs were defined and measured. There is clear evidence of detailed re-working of expenditure figures/profiles etc. demonstrating that the Appraisal Panel takes an appropriate approach to such issues. Do all appraisals explain how forecast project outputs were defined and measured? 8.1 We have viewed a sample of Project Appraisals which show that a consideration of how outputs have been calculated in the Project Appraisal is made. Appraisals consider and comment on whether project proposals explain in detail how outputs were defined and measured. Do all appraisals set out potential risks provide an assessment of value for money and where appropriate an options assessment? 2.9 Appraisals which have been viewed do set out potential risks and provide a value for money assessment. All appraisals should consider value for money both in terms of: • Determining appropriate cost limits for projects (e.g. through competitive tendering etc) and • Comparing outputs and impacts against project cost 2.10 We have also seen evidence amongst the appraisals viewed, of there being appropriate considerations of alternative options for the delivery of the desired outcomes. Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 10
  13. 13. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit Project Approval Systems 2.11 The RPMG (and formerly the SRB Management Sub-Committee of the BRP) is responsible for making approval decisions, based on the recommendation of the Appraisal Panel, and prior to that, its own agreement in principle to the project. Are all projects formally approved by the partnership Board (or Sub-Group with delegated powers)? 11.1 The minutes of the RPMG and BRP SRB Management Sub-Committee demonstrate that projects are formally approved via the agreed mechanisms. Are all non delegated projects referred to the RDA for approval? 11.2 The RPMG Induction Manual emphasises the need to refer projects requesting in excess of £250,000 SRB to the RDA for approval, after the Board has given its approval. We have seen evidence that projects requesting in excess of £250,000 SRB have been referred to the RDA. Are all projects approved before grant is paid to third parties or claimed by the partnership from the RDA and is a partnership grant offer letter issued to third parties under agreed procedures? 11.3 The procedures in place by which the Scheme Administrator (Joy Dann) processes claims and monitoring information from projects means that only projects which have received formal approval and to which grant offer letters and contracts have been issued can claim grant. 11.4 Joy Dann is notified of approval decisions via a copy of the appropriate RPMG minutes and signed approval paperwork, and only then raises an offer letter to the project. She keeps a checklist record of projects for which she has seen a signed approved appraisal report, as well as a record of the date on which she duly issues an approval letter and contract. The checklist acts as a reminder to chase projects whose signed contract has not yet been returned. 11.5 Monitoring paperwork is then issued as appropriate (see also project monitoring systems). Is sufficient information provided to those approving the project for them to be confident about the approval decision? 11.6 The minutes of the RPMG demonstrate that sufficient information is provided to them in order to enable a pro-active and animated discussion about the suitability, strategic fit and deliverability of projects presented to them for approval. The Chair of the Partnership Board also reports that he is happy with the degree of detail given. Indeed, discussion on the level of detail required and resultant changes have taken place fairly recently. Under the new arrangements, and as a result of the RPMG expressing its confidence in the Technical Appraisal Panel, the full proposal document is not as a matter of course made available to the Board in the way that it used to be (with the appraisal report which is always supplied), but is available on request along with any other supplementary information required. Appraisal reports are provided to the Board in advance of their meeting, in order that the information can be digested and appropriate queries raised and answered. Are all approval decisions recorded in writing? 11.7 All approval decisions are recorded in the minutes of the RPMG and signed on behalf of the RPMG in the dedicated space at the end of the appraisal report. Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 11
  14. 14. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit Is a formal Partnership grant offer letter sent to every project delivery organisation? 2.12 We have seen evidence that a partnership grant offer letter is issued to all projects. This letter is followed by a contract including: Specific outputs, milestones and spend expected of the project, and the terms and conditions of grant. We have seen evidence that copies signed on behalf of the project delivery organisation are returned and held for every project. Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 12
  15. 15. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit Project Monitoring Systems 12.1 The Scheme currently has 31 live projects, which are issued with monitoring deadlines in advance on an annual (or upon start-up) basis and monitoring paperwork and deadlines on a quarterly basis. Detailed guidance outlining claims and monitoring procedures and emphasising the need for timely and thorough returns is issued to all projects. 12.2 Upon inception, new projects are visited by the Regeneration Development Officer and introduced to the monitoring and reporting requirements of SRB. Discussions are held and assistance given in ensuring that appropriate material to substantiate claims for expenditure and outputs is provided by the project. 12.3 Roger McQuillan also visits the projects upon inception, on behalf of the Accountable Body to ensure that their finance monitoring systems are robust and appropriate, giving recommendations for improvements needed. 12.4 On an ongoing basis, support is provided to projects as needed in order to complete their quarterly returns. The information returned by projects is fed into the claims process and performance monitoring. Do project managers or deliverers provide information regularly on their projects’ activities outputs and expenditure? 12.5 Project monitoring information is provided quarterly, as requested with the claims paperwork. 12.6 As is the case with many SRB Schemes, the reliability of projects in making timely returns is variable. It is noted in the case of this Scheme that in particular, projects which are delivered “internally” – i.e. by departments within the Accountable Body, are less likely to be reliable in this area. (This is apparently due to their lack of reliance on receipt of grant to continue operations, as the internal transfer of funds within the Accountable Body’s finance systems is not as vital to them as the payment of grant funding is to smaller, external organisations relying more heavily upon it). 12.7 It is the responsibility of senior staff within the appropriate department of ALL project delivery organisations, to ensure that conditions of grant are met in accordance with the funding agreement from the SRB Partnership. The Accountable Body should take steps to improve reliability in the return of project monitoring information, using the appropriate line management channels to do so. Does the partnership keep records of this information and update them regularly? 12.8 The SRB Programme Manager and Regeneration Development Officers maintain PC systems which record project outputs and expenditure. Are procedures in place specifically to record and monitor the ethnic origin of individuals and groups who benefit from SRB projects? 12.9 Projects are required to report against ethnic minority targets by showing ethnic minority beneficiaries as a figure in brackets on their outputs returns. Is the output information supplied verified by the Partnership? 12.10 Regular project verification visits are undertaken. We have seen written evidence of these visits. Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 13
  16. 16. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit Is the Partnership able to identify projects where there is a shortfall in Performance and is it then acting appropriately? 12.11 The SRB Programme Manager and Regeneration Development Officers operate PC systems allowing them to flag up project performance shortfalls. The Scheme is currently developing enhanced systems for monitoring individual project performance, by implementing a database approach. 12.12 We have seen evidence amongst project correspondence and minutes that appropriate action is taken to address project under-performance. Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 14
  17. 17. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit Financial Monitoring Systems 12.13 The Accountable Body, for the SRB6 ‘Bringing Bristol Together’ Scheme is Bristol City Council. It provides the partnership with the financial services, management and support that it requires. This is in the form of a dedicated finance team, including Joy Dann with inputs from Roger McQuillan on technical and monitoring review. 12.14 The finance team’s responsibilities relate primarily to the verification of the claims submitted by the projects. 12.15 Roger McQuillan assists and advises Joy Dann. He reviews and checks the quarterly claims work in line with his knowledge of the projects. He assists, advises and audits the financial management systems of the projects. This work provides a preventative control. By giving the projects help and advice in how to record and maintain appropriate accounting information, the partnership are improving the quality of the information received and therefore ensuring the system is as efficient as possible. 12.16 The projects’ financial systems are subjected to risk assessment starting from the application for funding and continues throughout the life of the project. The risk assessment is used to decide how much focus each project needs. The risk assessment for each project is based on the quality of the finance systems in place, previous experience with SRB funding and the number of errors noted on their financial returns. The role of the technical and monitoring review officer is, therefore, integral to the operation of the partnership. Are grant claims from projects accompanied by progress monitoring reports? 12.17 The returns submitted by each project are made up of 4 separate forms. The forms, and who deals with them, are: • Finance – Joy Dann • Leverage – Joy Dann • Output – Matt Jacobs • Milestone – Matt Jacobs 12.18 A log is maintained of the return submitted by each project, so that if a form is not received this is flagged up, enabling Joy’s team to chase any outstanding information. Are clear and up to date records maintained of grant claimed by and paid to projects split by capital and revenue? 12.19 The claim forms that are used by the scheme breakdown the costs incurred by the project into salary, capital and revenue costs. Under each of those headings every item is listed. 12.20 The information is taken from each claim form and entered into a spreadsheet, detailing by project the capital and revenue costs, and therefore the total claim for each quarter. 12.21 The above mentioned spreadsheet also includes the allowable admin costs that can be claimed. Are all grant claims to the Partnership and to the RDA checked for eligibility? 12.22 On receipt of the claim form and the supporting documentation a full check between the claim form and the invoices is performed. This check includes: • Eligibility of costs Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 15
  18. 18. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit • Appropriate SRB percentage applied • Incurred within the start date of the project • Not claimed in prior period claim • Comparison to prior period claim • All costs and calculations 12.23 If differences are noted then they are communicated to the project on a feedback form. Are all claims to the Partnership submitted and checked by different people? 12.24 All finance claims are submitted by the project deliverers, reviewed by Joy Dann and signed off by Matt Jacobs. This is evidenced by ticks on the appropriate form. 12.25 Further to this, Roger McQuillan spot checks a sample of claims forms each quarter. A record of this is maintained by Roger on a separate spreadsheet. 12.26 The claim to the SWRDA is signed off by Mike Kibble, Principal Accountant at Bristol City Council. Is an assets register established and is it kept up to date? 12.27 An asset register is established and kept up to date. 12.28 A file is maintained which holds declarations from each projects stating the amount of fixed assets held or, if no assets are held, that this is the case. Are accounts prepared each year for approval by an external auditor? 12.29 As the partnership is run under the auspices of Bristol City Council, the accounting function is audited within the scope of the Council’s external audit. However, due to the immaterial nature of the scheme, no separate disclosure is made within the financial statements. 12.30 Internal audit sign off the annual return to SWRDA. Have clear guidelines been set out for the partnership on competitive tendering? 12.31 Guidance on competitive tendering is set out in the grant offer letter. Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 16
  19. 19. Bringing Bristol Together, SRB 6 Management Systems Audit Scheme Level Monitoring Are Key Indicators of Performance clearly defined and understood by all those involved in the management of the scheme? 12.32 It is clear from progress reports, discussions held with the SRB Programme Manager and Partnership chair that the role of Key Indicators of Performance in the strategic management of the Scheme is fully appreciated. Is overall progress across all projects summarised and reported to the Board/Sub Board regularly? 12.33 We have seen evidence of regular scheme level monitoring reports to the Board. Do these progress reports clearly identify any deficiencies in Performance? 12.34 Examples of progress reports to the Board which we have viewed demonstrate that comprehensive scheme level monitoring information is provided which clearly identifies slippages, underspend and strategic imbalances within the Scheme. 12.35 The minutes accompanying these progress reports demonstrate that appropriate action is taken to deal with the findings of monitoring information. When rolling forward its Delivery Plan does the Partnership carry out a comprehensive strategic review of progress towards the output and outcome goals of the scheme? 12.36 As well as the usual progress monitoring information (such as forecast performance and spend of existing and planned projects) which feeds into the Delivery Plan process, the Scheme has undertaken both a Periodic Review (in July 2003) and a comprehensive project prioritisation process (in 2002), allowing it review and address the strategic direction of the Scheme, and facilitating the freeing up of previously nominally committed funds to ensure that it fulfils its aims, and fills the gaps identified in the Scheme’s progress towards meeting its Strategic Objectives. 12.37 It is clear that an extremely professional and measured approach has been taken in addressing the strategic direction of the Scheme. The subsequent introduction of the commissioning process in the development of new projects is one of the mechanisms by which the Scheme has chosen to deliver the action required to address the findings of the periodic review and outcomes of the prioritisation process. Roger Tym and Partners, Final Report, January 2004 17
  20. 20. APPENDIX 1: BRINGING BRISTOL TOGETHER SRB 6 – MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AUDIT DECEMBER 2003 – ACTION TIMETABLE Recommendation Action Required Responsibility for Action Deadline for Date Achieved Achievement Strategic Management of the Partnership (Paragraph 2.5) - Ian Edwards (Bristol 1st March 2004 It is reported that a formal written Agreement of an appropriate mechanism to be City Council) agreement between the Accountable used to fulfil the SRB requirements for a - Matt Jacobs (SRB Body and the new delivery structure for written agreement between the Accountable Programme Manager), the SRB Scheme (The BP/RPMG) has Body and Partnership. - SWRDA not yet been put in place. Drafting, establishment and signing of - Ian Edwards (Bristol 1st April 2004 We would recommend that as a result of appropriate document. City Council) the findings of this report in relation to - Matt Jacobs (SRB this issue (see full text), there may need Programme Manager) to be dialogue between the SWRDA and - BP/RPMG. the Accountable Body as to an acceptable resolution to this issue, given the unusual circumstances and lack of clarity in how to deal with the emerging LSP structures in the context of the SRB Good Practice Requirements. (Paragraph 2.21) Under the new management structure, although it Agree need, method and format for - Matt Jacobs (SRB 1st April 2004 is acknowledged that there must be some communication of strategic information on the Programme Manager) communication of strategic SRB information to management of the SRB programme to the BP - BP/RPMG. the Bristol Partnership, it seems that this line of via the RPMG. (It may be that this can be - Bristol City Council communication is not yet operational. Minutes addressed, for example through presentations Officers as required.
  21. 21. to the BP.) and supporting papers of the RPMG are copied to the BP, but there is reportedly little dialogue facilitating the integration of SRB activities with the wider remit of the BP. Recommendation Action Required Responsibility for Action Deadline for Date Achieved Achievement Project Monitoring Systems (Paragraph 2.51) As is the case with many SRB Schemes, the reliability of projects in making timely returns is variable. It is noted in the case of this Scheme that in particular, projects which are delivered “internally” – i.e. by departments within the Accountable Body, are less likely to be reliable in this area. (This is apparently due to their lack of reliance on receipt of grant to continue operations, as the internal transfer of funds within the Accountable Body’s finance systems is not as vital to them as the payment of grant funding is to smaller, external organisations relying more heavily upon it). SRB Programme Manager to communicate - SRB Programme Upon Issuing of this finding of the SRB Management Systems Manager the Final Systems It is the responsibility of senior staff Audit to the appropriate individuals that have Audit Report within the appropriate department of ALL managerial responsibility for those making project delivery organisations, to ensure project monitoring returns. that conditions of grant are met in - Line Manager of SRB 1st April 2004 accordance with the funding agreement In turn, the Accountable Body should take Programme Manager from the SRB Partnership. steps to improve reliability in the return of - Appropriate project monitoring information, using the Departmental Senior appropriate line management channels to do Staff within Bristol City so. Council

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