Report of the Director of Finance and Public Value, (DF/22/56) on the proposed replacement of the Council’s Corporate Financial and Integrated Adult Social Care systems. This Report will follow.
(a) that revenue funding of £12.3million for:
· the procurement and implementation of a new financial system; and
· the procurement and implementation of an Integrated Adults Social Care case management and finance system, and a provider assessment and market management solution,
(b) that the cost of the system replacements be funded from reserves;
(c) that the capital programme be reduced by the amount previously set aside
for the Adult Social Care system replacement; and
(d) that a mechanism to rebuild reserves for this investment is considered as
part of the budget setting process.
(Councillors Biederman and Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Finance and Public Value, (DF/22/56) on the proposed replacement of the Council’s Corporate Financial and Integrated Adult Social Care systems, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.
The Cabinet noted that the authority had two legacy IT systems that now needed replacing. The first was FINEST, the corporate accounting and finance system; and Care First, which was the Adult Social Care system. The proposal was for a total of £12.3 million of non-recurrent revenue expenditure with £5.8 million for replacement of Adult Social Care systems and £6.5 million for the replacement of the corporate financial system.
Modern ICT systems were software as a service and cloud-based, meaning they were hosted externally. Current accounting regulations did not permit such solutions to be funded through the capital programme; they had to be charged to Revenue.
In terms of the ledger system “FINEST”, replacement was required by the end of 2025 as underpinning technology would not support it from that date. The system had been in use since 1995 and its functionally was limited. Whilst modules had been added over the years integration between systems remained challenging and as such it remained difficult to see a clear and complete snapshot of a budget at a given time without specialist finance support. There was also a need for manual processes which heightened risks around data quality. Furthermore, it required on premise support which did not align with the rest of the Council’s ICT architecture.
The Integrated Adult Social Care Programme included the replacement of the case management and finance system and the implementation of a Provider Assessment and Market Management System (PAMMS).
The current case management system (CareFirst) had been in place for more than 19 years on a series of rolling contracts and was not intuitive and added to the burden of recording upon already pressurised frontline staff. The current systems constrained both the ability to transform the service; work in new and innovative ways as well as collaboration with partners. A full specification had been developed and the procurement stage was planned to commence in July 2022.
The Report outlined the Council’s ICT strategy which promoted a “cloud-first” approach and the numerous benefits of Cloud-based software.
The Cabinet noted that Procurement of new systems was the only viable proposal for the replacement of both care and financial systems. Upgrading the existing software platforms did not provide a viable alternative and neither did building software. The proposal to replace aligned the Authority’s vision and priorities in the Council’s Strategic Plan 2021- 2025, contributing to the objectives including but not limited to:
· supporting us to “make best use of our data and intelligence”;
· supporting us to transform the way we work;
· ensuring that suppliers / customers were easily able to see ... view the full minutes text for item 176