Reducing the burden of reporting
The Future Generations Bill will mean big changes for public services in Wales. I was fortunate enough to facilitate the workshop by the Integrated Reporting Council and the Crown Estate at our Future Generations Shared Learning Seminar in February, where I had the opportunity to listen to both Mark Gough and Kate Jefferies outline how Integrated Reporting might benefit an organisation, especially in relation to the bill. You can see both Mark and Kate discussing their session in the below video, and the presentations from plenary session and the workshop are available on the seminar page on the Wales Audit Office website.
I really enjoy the part of the workshops where participants tell us about the approaches that organisations are taking and the issues they’re facing. Having invited people from across public services to attend, it would be rude not to hear from them about their good practice and to make the most of the experience available to us in the room.
One of the main fears in the workshop was that the bill would result in an extra layer of bureaucracy for councils who are already over-burdened with reporting needs.
It was fascinating then to hear about Wrexham County Borough Council’s approach, as they’ve put together a ‘Golden Thread’ where each level of reporting feeds in to the next.
This means that the staff appraisals have a clear path to the council plan, the themes of which mirror the Local Service Board’s ‘Our Wrexham plan’. It’s great to see how effective planning of the process has meant that each staff member’s personal objectives can be directly linked to the aims of public service organisations in Wrexham.
It was fantastic to hear how this has resulted in streamlined reporting – the data is now both simpler and clearer. It also avoids reporting the same thing at different levels and frees up time so that staff can spend it directly on providing services.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can read the case study in full here, and if your organisation is undertaking similar work, we’d love to hear more about it.