Letter to Leigh Lewis, Chief Executive,
Employment Service from Carolyn Pratley, Deloitte Consulting
Thank you for your time on 7 December and the
opportunity to discuss Deloitte Consulting's performance in Leeds
and Suffolk. At the meeting, you raised some issues regarding
Deloitte Consulting's ability to deliver innovation in our two
pilot areas and we highlighted some of the barriers to the implementation
of innovation. Two important issues were, the flexibility of the
timings allowed for client-facing meetings within the ONE process
and the approvals route for implementation of innovative approaches.
In response to this discussion, we are providing some detail on
these two topics.
Fixed Meeting Times
At our meeting we discussed the issues associated
with operating a process based upon uniform allocation of time
to all clients. You were concerned that we were placing constraints
upon the operation that were not required under the terms of our
contract. Our understanding of the contractual environment is
described as follows:
The Leeds contract in particular is very restrictive
with respect to varying the length of the meetings that take place
within the ONE process. For example, Annex 4 to Schedule 3.1 deals
with contingencies in the case of high workload volumes. It states
that before consideration is given to reducing the length of the
Work Focussed Meeting, we should request that clients travel to
less busy offices, extend our opening hours, and suspend work
with caseloaded clients. Before we implement any of these contingencies
we are required to gain approval from the contract manager and
the Pilot Management Group.
The contracts for both the ONE pilots that Deloitte
Consulting operate incorporate the Generic Process design. This
is a high level description of the process to be followed by staff
in all locations. It runs to approximately 50 pages and includes
statements such as "the Initial Work Focussed Meeting . .
. is expected to last approximately one hour". It is this
document that will be used as the basis for the process conformance
reviews that are to be undertaken by the Contract Management Teams
in Leeds and Suffolk. The Suffolk Contract Management Team has
devised an extensive checklist that they use in carrying out these
checks for the reception and start up functions. One of the items
covered by this checklist is the time taken to complete the start-up
process. We expect that the checklist for the Work Focussed Meeting
will also include checks on the time taken.
Approvals Process for Innovation
The contract structure and the level of detail
required within the contract for both the Leeds and Suffolk pilots
has also made innovation more difficult. When we have sought to
implement innovative approaches we have had to go through a long
approvals process. Typically this has taken many months. At our
meeting we discussed the Lone Parent Mentoring scheme that we
are interested in developing. However, as the Mentoring scheme
has not yet been through all stages of the approvals process I
have used a different case, that of the Opportunity Centre, to
The Opportunity Centre formed a part of our
original bid, but was not scheduled to be implemented until April.
This gave us the opportunity to undertake further assessment of
the provision already in place and the most effective way in which
it could be supplemented. Consequently, the proposal changed from
implementation of a centre based in Chapeltown serving the entire
ONE community to a city centre facility supporting the needs of
refugees and those who are claiming, or have recently ended a
claim for, Incapacity Benefit. The approvals process, which was
originally targeted on a start date of 3 April 2000 was as follows:
|November 1999||Innovation Centre included as part of bid for Leeds ONE pilot
|25 February 2000||Proposals for revised approach to Opportunity Centre presented to PMG
|7 March 2000||Written notification of 19 points of clarification received from Contract Management Team.
|7 April 2000||Revised approach to Opportunity Centre provision agreed in principle at PMG, with an action point to restructure the proposal for contractual purposes only. It was agreed that this should not prevent go live.
|28 April 2000||List of supplementary questions received from CMT and notification that the document will be QA'd by both senior managers and PVS strand prior to discussion at PSG.
|4 May 2000||Final proposal provided by CMT to Hugh Sherry.
|12 May 2000||Discussed at PSG.
|17 May 2000||Notified by CMT that risk assessment is required, therefore a new start date is required.
|19 May 2000||Proposal returned to PMG for further review.
|23 May 2000||Opportunity Centre begins taking clients.
|8 June 2000||Notified by CMT that risk assessment was completed on 23 May, therefore contractual variation can be progressed.
I hope that this information is helpful in clarifying the
discussions that we had on 7 December. If you would like further
details on these or other matters relating to the operation of
our ONE pilots please do not hesitate to contact me.
18 December 2000