The Compliance Management System is a corporate approach to compliance that provides a standardised approach, reduces risk and financial liability. The entire Authority is signed up to this system, even though we operate delegated budgets.
Powys County Council is a local authority covering a quarter of Wales with approx. 7500 employees. PCC operates delegated budgets and needs to consider the geographical challenges constantly in its service provision. Our sparse population challenges service delivery and policies and procedures are developed to provide a robust framework for service managers.
We became aware that not all services used our central service contract team to manage compliance within their properties. This meant that there were different standards of maintenance and servicing across the county that exposed the Council to major risk and liability. In addition, we identified items of equipment that were not being serviced at all. Senior management were informed and decided that a review was required and the Statutory Compliance Project Board (SCPB) was set up.
The SCPB worked on this project for just under two years and made decisions on all matters and issues arising. The result is the Compliance Management System (CMS). This is a mandatory system that all services support. A site audit of all mechanical and electrical equipment was undertaken and servicing/testing/statutory specifications were reviewed and standardised. Corporate funding was provided to top up pooled budgets and the Central Compliance Team was set up to manage all inspections routines, monitoring and billing.
A full training programme was also implemented with all premises managers having to attend. Refresher training is provided annually with E-learning backing up the process. Robust policies and procedures were developed to support the CMS and provide a complete system, including feedback mechanisms and on site documentation and safety checks. Monitoring of the CMS is maintained through regular contact with key officers, where amendments or issues are picked up and dealt with or escalated as required.
The Authority has now reduced its risk to the lowest possible level by ensuring that all mechanical and electrical equipment that is known is serviced and maintained to the correct standards. Breakdowns are reduced and equipment runs more efficiently, saving reactive and / or running costs. Auditable records are maintained and costs are driven down by competitive tendering of known quantities. Training has equipped premises managers to understand the importance of this area and how to manage their site better. Premises Managers have a good understanding of where to go for advice and support, including the intranet where they can access information and guidance.
Name: Sarah Jowett
Title/role: Property Manager
Organisation: Powys County Council
Telephone: 01597 826553