What needs to be published for members to decide whether to adopt a scheme?

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  • #43459
    marlene
    Participant

    We have just finished consulation on our proposed CTS scheme and are in the process of collating the results.  The consultation document was a set of rules on how the new CTS scheme would be operated (we didn't change much, got rid of 2AR made some minor changes to effective dates and how to claim), with some minor choices, yet to be decided, dependant on consultaion, such as a minimum benefit award and length of extended payments.

    My question is do we need a full set of rules for members to decide whether they wish to adopt this scheme, if so are people producing their own version of regulations, or are you referring, where things are unchanged to either the existing CTB regs, the SI's or the default scheme?

    I am thinking that each LA (who is not going down the default route) is producing there own Regulations, but this seems like alot of work, even if you cut and paste.

    What are people doing?  yes

     

     

     

          

      

    #123364
    chris harvey
    Participant

    You need to be careful about making changes to effective dates and how to claim as these are prescribed for all claims.
    We are thinking about merely referring to the prescribed regs for pensioners and to the prescribed regs for working age. For our local scheme for working age that is not prescribed we are thinking about cutting and pasting various chunks of the default scheme and amending them where we want to differ from the default rules. So members will consider a scheme that points to the prescribed rules and has full details of local scheme elements

    #123365
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    Same as Chris – it is a lot of work but necessary. Will members be interested (probably not), will the public read them (probably not), will the majority of staff read them (probably not).

    Will a tribunal judge or judge in the courts following judicial review read them , will an Auditor want to see them when deciding if you can properly claim your annual grant (don’t quote me, this might be lighter touch than now) , are you likely to be challenged by a pressure group as an example of bad practice if you don’t have one (yes).

    The risks associated with the making of potentially ultra vires awards or decisions that can’t properly be described/defended far outweight the inconvenience in my mind.

    #123378
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Firstly, the draft regs require your scheme to be published..and referring to an old scheme that has (by then) been deleted …will these old regs even be kept anywhere on a public forum in say a year? Will staff be able to find them let alone claimants? Also as Judge Jacobs explained last week, the full local scheme will need to be sent with every appeal to Tribunal.

    I can see Ombudsman complaints galore here….

    #123379
    marlene
    Participant

    Thanks for your comments, very helpful!

    I agree, a set of Regulations are required, just don’t think its appreciated how much work that involves even if you cut and paste!

    #123381
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Marlene…I would just point out that DCLG has provided £30 million on account to English LA’s and a lot more to come. LA’s want the money but dont seem to want to spend it on things like this (which it was intended for?).

    #123406
    Anonymous
    Guest

    The £30 millions will not even cover the IT costs Peter and that is before what we have already spent on the consultationn and future costs … staff training, overtime etc… I could go on.

    #123412
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Firstly that is just the first payment Iain, not the final one.

    £30 million plus on IT costs? When most are taking the default scheme or a version of it? THIRTY MILLION??? No wonder its trebles all round for the software houses.

    #123427
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    I have been trying to find the docs i have somewhere about how the £30m was distributed. From memory it amounts to just over £80,000 per LA (regardless of size), Police authority, Fire authority and County Council regardless of how much work they have to do or how much the IT is likely to cost.

    It isn’t a great deal of money when you consider the activity required for consultation, procurement and set up.

    AND it is even less now I know it to be an ADVANCE ?????

    If it is an “advance” what is it going to be deducted from for the Police, fire and CC’s or will their “advance” be deducted from what we might have had for administration ?

    #123428
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Peter are you implying that we should be spending this money on overtime then, because it’s a resource issue not a financial issue (entirely). Our software provider wants most of our grant anyway. I have to stick up for my colleague here!

    #123431
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    DWP said last week that the admin grant would NOT be cut next year because of the abolition of CTB. Tht was very generous I thought ….they would have been entitled to. Plus there is all the DCLG cash to come and new burdens money for April 2013 due.

    All in all, it is likely to be a record year for admin funding. A lot to do I know; but using the excuse about loss of Government funding to cut staff is not very fair (in my view). A change in strategy is fair enough.

    IT costs….is the cost linked to the work required or value for money? Ghita’s blood boils….

    So I accept LA’s would like more AND there is a huge amount to do but as an independent observer, I actually think its not bad at all.

    Not expecting to convince many of you though ….. :bigsmile:

    #123442
    RobBox
    Participant

    You can spend, spend, spend, but you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. :beer:

    #123447
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    Mr Sceptical here. Until I hear Eric and Iain speak with one voice saying that we will not have an admin grant cut and that CTR will be fully funded under the new burdens doctrine I am not going to count my chickens. I can hear Eric now “because Iain is not reducing the admin grant there is infact no new burden, it is just a different burden”

    #123477
    Anonymous
    Guest

    This might brighten your day up a touch, Julian

    Hello Nick

    No, the initial New Burdens up-front payment was – as Simon’s letter implied – envisaged as something that might help facilitate initial design, consultation, engagement with precepting authorities etc.

    As you may know, we are currently engaged in an exercise to ascertain the extent of wider New Burdens costs. This would include, but is strictly not limited to IT costs. We are looking to determine what all the wider NB costs would be, and to arrive at a generic NB amount, based on evidence from a stratified sample of randomly selected local authorities.

    It’s important for local authorities to manage their relationship with IT suppliers regarding costs and contracts – we will certainly not be expecting IT suppliers to simply ‘take’ the whole of a New Burdens payment which is intended and required to cover a wider range of New Burdens needs – whether in relation to the ‘up-front’ payment or the later payment.

    I hope this helps you – if you have any further queries, please feel free to call.

    Best wishes

    Helen
    Helen Richman
    Local Government Finance
    Phone: 0303 444 2884
    M: 07876 384 029
    Email: helen.richman@communities.gsi.gov.uk

    #123508
    marlene
    Participant

    Still confused!

    We have produced a document which outlines the main rules of the new support scheme that we plan to adopt from the 1st April 2013. The only thing this document doesn’t do is detail the qualifying conditions for each individual premium, income and capital disregard details etc..for this level of detail it refers to the SI’s, 2006 Regs and the DWP guidance manual. The main essence of the scheme is in there, the classes of people and the CTS that will apply to each group and how it is calculated, how people may claim and appeals etc.

    Are you saying that the finer details do need to be included? and are people really doing this. Everything I see on the web are documents similar to the one we have produced, with similar references. I can understand that we need to say what we are doing and provide a set of rules to a Tribunal, but I think we have that. I accept that you are saying that these things may not exist in a years time, but in reality if peoples schemes refer back to these regulations I think they very much still will be there. May be not in ten years time, but in year one I think so. This gives a longer period in which LA’s can write their own schemes which they are certain that they can deliver (in terms of software etc). I just think that the current timescales and deadlines are unrealistic.

    We are a small District Authority, I am an appeals officer and am part of a team tasked with writing a scheme, I am not legally trained, and I have my day job to contend with! 🙁

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