Housing Management System Implementation
Cabinet, at its meeting on 14 June 2023, will consider a report from the Executive Director (Communities and People) and the Head of Financial Services on the Housing Management System Implementation. Cllr Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focused Services and Council Companies, Nigel Kennedy, Head of Financial Services and Bill Graves, Landlord Services Manager, have been invited to present the report and answer questions. The Committee is asked to consider the report and may wish to make recommendations to Cabinet.
Cllr Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focused Services and Council Companies presented the report which updated members on the lessons learned from the implementation of the Housing Management System and the outcome of discussions with the supplier in regard to potential settlement. The report requested Cabinet approval of additional budget for further development of the product after the move to 'business as usual' had been secured. He highlighted improvements surrounding the governance and leadership of the project and stated that the implementation of the system had now reached the stage where its capabilities could be fully exploited.
Members of the Audit and Governance Committee joined the meeting to participate in the discussion as non-voting members.
Cllr Corais arrived at the meeting.
Cllr Nigel Chapman, Nigel Kennedy, Head of Financial Services, and Bill Graves, Landlord Services Manager responded to the Committee's queries as follows:
- In addition to a disaster contingency plan, strong cyber security measures were currently in place which would be further enforced by the recruitment of a new Cyber Security Specialist.
- A project manager with expertise in the housing management system had now been appointed alongside three dedicated staff. Further to ensuring experienced resources were sought, it was assured that further scrutiny had been applied to the range of IT projects undertaken and the prioritisation of gateway processes across all businesses of the Council as part of lessons learnt in mitigating potential risks in the future.
- In relation to the retrospective budget allocation, a review of the approvals revealed that there were aspects of expenditure which had not been brought to the Cabinet formally due to time constraints, however it was confirmed that all additional spend went through appropriate approval processes.
- On the question of Intellectual Property (IP) ownership and whether potential revenue could be benefited through this, it was confirmed that the supplier held the rights for the IP and therefore the Council would not have the ability to generate income.
- The supplier was considered the third biggest housing system provider with the core system being widely used by other local authorities nationally. In terms of the bespoke element relating to choice-based lettings functionality and enhanced housing options, the original intention was that the Council would lead the use of these elements and serve as a roadmap for other local authorities. The supplier had since concluded to partner with an alternative provider which already specialised in the ready-made solutions used by councils.
- The system reached its ‘steady state’ in November 2022. The intention now was to exploit the product by working closely with the supplier to develop and integrate certain robust features in order for both staff and tenants to further benefit by finding its use easier and more immediate such as mobility, online customer portal, stock and asset management, etc.
The Committee resolved to make the following recommendations to Cabinet:
- That the Council ensures there is a contingency plan when reaching a critical point in future projects, so that project implementation can be reverted back to an earlier ‘working’ status if it becomes clear that there are issues and/or errors with implementation.
- Cabinet Report June 2023 LAST FINAL in comments, item 9. PDF 494 KB View as DOCX (9./1) 204 KB
- Appendix 2, item 9. PDF 598 KB
- Appendix 3, item 9. PDF 150 KB
- Appendix 5, item 9. PDF 60 KB
- Restricted enclosure View the reasons why document 9./5 is restricted
- Restricted enclosure View the reasons why document 9./6 is restricted