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Published - June 2024

Performance Improvement Plan 2024 - 2025

Performance monitoring and reporting arrangements

To ensure that we continuously improve and meet the needs and outcomes of our city and residents, we have established governance arrangements in relation to corporate performance management, summarised and set out in figure 5 below.

Governance arrangements

Monitoring and regular reporting of performance is essential to ensure that priorities are being achieved, and that the information that was collected informed decision making and plans.

Progress is monitored and reported regularly to the Corporate Management Team (CMT), on a quarterly basis to the Audit Assurance Board and the Audit and Risk Panel, and regularly to relevant working groups, relevant committees, and the full council meeting.

Corporate, committee and departmental business plans and strategies containing statutory or self-imposed performance indicators, are monitored, and reported both internally to departmental and the Corporate Management Team and formally to the relevant committee.

In addition, action plans and programme plans relating to council’s key priority projects are monitored and reported through cross-departmental groups, management teams and boards, and regularly to the relevant committee.  

Figure 5 summarises the high-level governance arrangements and the responsibilities for implementing these.

Each year, we publish a self-assessment report, setting out details of how we have performed as a council and benchmarked against other local authorities where possible.  The council is a member of the Association of Public Sector Excellence (APSE), which is a public sector benchmarking organisation.  This enables us to compare and improve our performance across a range of services and activities, with other comparable councils.

The council’s internal audit team regularly review the improvement framework, and this is reported to the Audit and Risk Panel.  Annually the NIAO reviews the processes and arrangements as part of the annual performance improvement audit and publicly publishes this. 

A new planning and performance management framework is currently being developed which will refresh the current arrangements, provide a co-ordinated focus and a robust framework to enhance our continuous improvement journey. This new framework will enable us to deliver our collective responsibility with community planning partners, as well as supporting us to carry out our statutory duty to improve, deliver best value and achieve the best possible impact for the people of Belfast. 

Figure 5: High-level governance arrangements

*Please note these arrangements are subject to review as part of the development of the corporate planning and performance framework.

Annual timeline

Every year, we review and update our performance improvement objectives and plan to ensure we are delivering continuous improvement.  Our annual process to develop, monitor, report and review the council’s progress to deliver performance improvement is set out in table 1 below.

Table 1: Annual review timeline

January – March 2024

  • Continue to review and analyse the evidence base (continuous improvement).
  • Planning workshops with elected members alongside the Corporate Management Team (CMT) to identify draft improvement priorities for 2024-25
  • Draft performance improvement objectives for 2024-25 presented and agreed by CMT, committee and the full council.
  • Council strikes the rate.
  • Quarterly performance report presented to CMT, Audit and Assurance Board, Audit and Risk Panel, committee, and the full council.

April – June 2024

  • Consultation process on the draft performance improvement objectives and proposed actions starts and ends.
  • Consultation responses collated and analysed, and a report summarising feedback developed.
  • Quarterly performance and year end reports presented to CMT, Audit and Assurance Board, Audit and Risk Panel, committee, and the full council.
  • Performance Improvement Plan 2024-25 agreed by CMT, committee and the full council. 
  • Performance Improvement Plan 2024-25 published on the Council’s website by 30 June.
  • Carry out the annual self-assessment review of the prior year’s performance.

July – September 2024

  • Preparation for NIAO performance improvement fieldwork.
  • Annual self-assessment report brought to CMT, Audit and Assurance Board, Audit and Risk Panel, committee, and the full council.
  • Quarterly performance report brought to CMT, Audit and Assurance Board, Audit and Risk Panel, committee, and the full council.
  • Annual self-assessment report published on the Council’s website by 30 September.

October – December 2024

  • Quarterly performance report to CMT, Audit and Assurance Board, Audit and Risk Panel, committee, and the full council.
  • Ongoing support and liaison with the NIAO and departments on performance audit.
  • Final NIAO Section 95 Report on Audit issued in November – presented to the relevant board and committee. 
  • Annual self-assessment report published on the council’s website by 30 September.
  • Desktop analysis of all evidence.
  • Ongoing engagement on the planning, estimates and performance improvement process.
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