Agenda item

Annual Assurance Report of Information Digital Services (IDS) Governance.

The annual report of the Chief Digital and Information Officer to the Committee concerning the decision-making arrangements within the Integrated Digital Service (IDS) and provides assurances that these arrangements are up to date, fit for purpose, effectively communicated and routinely complied with.


The Annual report of the Chief Digital and Information Officer set out the decision-making arrangements within Integrated Digital Service (IDS). The arrangements set out provided a framework for transport and accountable decision-making in IDS in accordance with the Council’s Corporate Governance Code and Framework.


The Deputy Chief Digital and Information Officer presented the report providing the following points:

·  The report looks at the process in places in IDS such as digital strategies, digital priorities and the various boards and the roles and responsibilities within the team. 

·  In terms of governance there are a number of boards, including the Digital Board, meetings with the Design Authority where there are a set of principles for how to deliver I.T. such a Cloud First to ensure that security in place in all pieces of work. There is also the Change Advisory Board, Information Management and Governance and Change Delivery Group.

·  In relation to digital inclusion, it was highlighted to Members that the 100% digital program reports every year to Scrutiny, and the next time will be 3rd April 2024. The report will focus on what has happened this year and will look at plans and priorities for next year. It was noted that the first draft of the report would be available to Members from 15th March. Priorities for both inclusion and learning is the adoption of technology. The role of 100% Digital is to work with colleagues not just in IDS, but across the organisation and the city to ensure that people have all they need to adopt the technologies to improve their lives, talking about citizens and communities or improve their experience at work.

·  The service is starting to establish directorate digital road maps with a product road map for each product to plan effectively how that product will be used across the Council. A repository is being set up to store this information so that the service can plan the use of products. There is also a product portfolio in the Digital Change Team, which has 101 products at various stages of introduction, growth, maturity and decline to allow effective planning on their use.

·  IDS have three big schemes which are the Essential Services Programme, Digital Efficiencies Programme and the Cloud Application and Compliance programme.

·  The Service Centre are working to create a Dashboard that will be used to report on the performance of the Service Centre against Key Performance Indicators.

·  Cyber assurance and security is crucial for the Council. Therefore, each year IDS must align to the PSN certification. This involves some testing where hackers come into the Council to try and break into systems, this is a major piece of work for IDS. The Committee was informed that the Council had just been awarded the PSN certification for 2024/25. It was noted that access databases need to be removed from the estate before going for accreditation next year. A report is due to go to CLT in relation to this.

·  Feedback from the election process using ID’s had been taken on board from 2022 and there was a different process in place for 2023 which was better, so the same format will be used again for the forthcoming elections.

·  The report provided information on Power Apps to improve services for the Council.

·  Within the report there was also information in relation to the survey of internal control which picked up areas of improvement for IDS, such as business partners.


In response to questions from the Committee the following information was provided:

·  EDI is tracked and will be addressed in the report next year.

·  Capital can be used to bring staff in to assist with big projects, to speed up delivery.

·  Apologies were made in relation to the typo in the report. It was thought that it should have read Children and Families, but this would be checked.

·  IDS were taking a fresh look at Lean IX to see if they would be using it, as the company had been bought by another company who were renowned for their very expensive licensing. Therefore, IDS would be checking to ensure that it would give the Council what it needs and represented value for money.

·  The Council has received around £9m from UK Shared Prosperity Fund over a three-year programme which is to be spent on a range of different issues, and with money from 100% Digital and with money from the Localities and Communities Team, the Council is combining efforts to put free Wi-Fi for communities into more community centres. A list of community centres in priority wards is being checked to ensure that the buildings used will be remaining open over the next 18 months, so currently looking at about 13 community centres. 100% Digital are looking to fund an officer who can provide support in relation to equipment and use of the equipment and improve I.T. skills. It was noted that a report was due to go to Executive Board. Members requested that the report was also provided to the Committee. It was also noted that Elected Members wished to be informed which communities and where, and if required they would be willing to assist where possible.

·  The Council has 300 licences for Mircosoft Co-Pilot which is A.I. embedded into Microsoft 365. IDS are currently working with staff across all the directorates to see how this can support staff to work more effectively and efficiently. It was recognised that A.I. is new and security risk was checked. It was noted that A.I. in some areas was showing to be invaluable.

·  IDS are looking to deploy a new Contact Centre solution called Genesis in the new financial year.

·  IDS will be addressing issues of cyber attacks over the coming months, these will be in the form of simulated phishing attacks, this will not be communicated to staff, but IDS will follow up with staff to offer support where required. There will also be training around cyber-attacks, it was recognised that this had to be a continuous cycle of communication. It was noted that this would also relate to 100% Digital to ensure that some of our most vulnerable people in the community are not victims of cyber-attacks. IDS has links to all the Council networks such as DAWN.

·  In relation to the Council’s website, it was noted that the website is analysed for ease of use and how many times used.

·  Leeds free Wi-Fi is available in 150 buildings, but it was acknowledged that it was not possible to check age-restrictions but can filter certain things and it is always under review.


RESOLVED – To note the positive assurances set out in the IDS Statement of Internal Control attached to the report at Appendix A.

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