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New tracker software for recommendations could improve Powys Council services

COUNCILLORS will soon be able to find out exactly how recommendations made by internal auditors to improve council services are being handled by staff

At their meeting on Thursday, February 11, members of the Audit committee were given a presentation by Powys County Council’s (PCC) internal auditors, SWAP, on how new software tracking progress would work.

SWAP assistant director, Ian Halstead, said: “This is about how you as an Audit committee can have assurance that the actions that have been agreed are being delivered or implemented.”

He explained that SWAP came up with  system for PCC using Power BI, business analytics software made by Microsoft.

This would categorise work from one to three in terms of priority.

Mr Halstead added “It will be rolled out across the authority and that will allow you to see where the council is with recommendations.”

He also said that the tracker can show different levels of detail, from a generalised overview to a look at what’s happening at service level.

Head of Finance, Jane Thomas, said: “This is absolutely brilliant, it’s what we have been looking for to enable us to effectively track the recommendations.

“For my own service area, I actually have a spreadsheet  to do this, but that’s one job we’ll no longer have to maintain.”

Committee chairman, Cllr John Morris (Crickhowell – Liberal Democrat), asked whether there was a time scale to roll the software out to all councillors.

Mr Halstead said: “We are looking at how we’ll roll this out there are a few licensing issues which we need to correct,  there’s some information that we need to be cautious about, we need to be sure we roll it out into a safe environment.”

He believed it would be up to the audit committee and other scrutiny committee chairmen to discuss what is the “right level of access” to the tracker.

Committee vice-chairman and independent member, John Brautigam, said: “How regularly is this going to be updated?”

Mr Halstead explained that it could be updated monthly or quarterly by SWAP or PCC,  but that had not been decided yet.

Cllr Morris, said: “It does look very useful. we look forward to being able to use this ourselves.”

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