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Charging Policies Presentation To Irrv Misc & Inc Collection Conference Apr 2010

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Good Practice in Income Maximisation Policy formulation

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Charging Policies Presentation To Irrv Misc & Inc Collection Conference Apr 2010

  1. 1. Charging Policies Bola Odunsi BSC Consulting Ltd
  2. 2. My Background <ul><li>20 years local govt career across a number of London Councils </li></ul><ul><li>Revs & Bens, Corporate Customer Services </li></ul><ul><li>Last LA role was in LB Barking & Dagenham as HoS – Track record of service transformations & improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Now self employed, providing consultancy & interim management support to clients </li></ul>
  3. 3. Overview <ul><li>Definition of Charging Policies </li></ul><ul><li>Context for Local Government </li></ul><ul><li>Factors that Influence Charging Policies </li></ul><ul><li>Service areas covered by Charging Policies </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate Charging Policy? Yes or No </li></ul><ul><li>Context of Charging Policies in Social Care </li></ul><ul><li>Areas of discretion in setting your charging policy </li></ul><ul><li>Underlying principles to be taken into account </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on Collection </li></ul><ul><li>What does good practice look like? </li></ul><ul><li>Questions & Answers </li></ul>
  4. 4. Charging Policies – A definition <ul><li>An organisation strategic framework or statement of pricing intent for the fees & charges it intends to make in respect of the services and/or goods it provides. </li></ul>© Bola Odunsi
  5. 5. Context for Local Govt <ul><li>Public Sector ethos </li></ul><ul><li>Statutory Requirements (e.g. Schools & Fairer Charging) </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical Considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Political Context </li></ul><ul><li>Fiduciary Responsibilities </li></ul>
  6. 6. Factors that influence Charging Policies <ul><li>Avoiding complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Affordability </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure on LA’s financial resources </li></ul><ul><li>Rising Demand </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic Considerations & alignment with existing policies </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation & Administration processes </li></ul><ul><li>Consequences of Charging Users </li></ul>
  7. 7. Examples of Services that have Charging Policies <ul><li>Home Care, Day Care & Other non-residential social services (Fairer Charging) </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Schools (meals, transport, trips etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Registrar Services </li></ul><ul><li>Land Charges </li></ul><ul><li>Pest Control </li></ul><ul><li>Licence fees </li></ul><ul><li>& much more!!!! </li></ul>
  8. 8. Corporate Charging Policy? Yes! <ul><li>Joined Up strategic thinking across the Council </li></ul><ul><li>Linked to outcomes – corporate impact assessment considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Aligned to MTFS & income budgets </li></ul><ul><li>Perception of equity & fairness by the public </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate sharing of information, processes & approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Centric Approach & ease of self service – less complex </li></ul>
  9. 9. Corporate Charging Policy? No!! <ul><li>Service independence </li></ul><ul><li>Charging policies can be better tailored to service users </li></ul><ul><li>One size doesn’t fit all!! </li></ul><ul><li>Better collection rates? </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to manage impact assessment process and take proactive measures </li></ul>
  10. 10. Charging Policies for Social Care <ul><li>Residential Services - strongly influenced by national regulations & guidance (CRAG – Charges for Residential Accommodation Guide) </li></ul><ul><li>Non residential services – national guidance </li></ul><ul><li>LAs can apply discretion through local charging policies </li></ul>
  11. 11. “ Fairer Charging” Requirements ( Non-residential care services for adults) <ul><li>Minimum level of disposable income </li></ul><ul><li>Levels of DLA & AA can be included as income but take account of other services & support plus additional living expenses arising from their disability </li></ul><ul><li>User’s property not treated as capital asset for assessment purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Cumulative charges for complimentary services need to meet above criteria </li></ul>
  12. 12. Areas of Policy Discretion <ul><li>Disregarding capital value </li></ul><ul><li>Disregard some element of partner’s income, if spouse remains at home. </li></ul><ul><li>For temporary care or short term care, there is discretion on whether to undertake a financial assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Potential to seek contribution from a 3 rd party if cost of residential accommodation is higher than what LA expects to pay. </li></ul><ul><li>Whether to apply a maximum charge. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Underlying Principles To Be Considered In Setting Charging Policies <ul><li>Alignment with Corporate or Service objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable, fair & transparent to all . </li></ul><ul><li>Charge to be assessed according to frequency, cost & ability to pay </li></ul><ul><li>Service user to be left with sufficient money to meet their needs (Social care cases where financial assessment done) </li></ul><ul><li>Discourage perverse financial incentives </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent with other charging policies within the Council </li></ul><ul><li>Efficient & expedient Reviews & Appeals procedure – not to be confused with the complaints process </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility to cope with changes in circumstances </li></ul>
  14. 14. Impact on Collection <ul><li>Perception of fairness & equity </li></ul><ul><li>Accuracy of customer information </li></ul><ul><li>Consider linking risk profile to service provision or payment terms </li></ul><ul><li>Payment options – Customer centric </li></ul><ul><li>Recovery & Enforcement </li></ul><ul><li>Links with Service area & SLA requirements </li></ul>
  15. 15. What is Good Practice? <ul><li>Examples? </li></ul><ul><li>Who decides? Government or the customer? </li></ul><ul><li>Possible indicators; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer satisfaction & customer feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to information & ease of understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Levels of self service activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complaints & appeals data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent recognition of excellence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collection levels or write off volumes?? </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Questions & Comments <ul><li>Thank you for listening </li></ul>

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