Item 8, 5G Task & Finishing Group Scoping Document, is set to be discussed at the Infrastructure Overview & Scrutiny Panel Thursday, 17th September, 2020 6.15 pm
Subject: Digital Infrastructure – Task and finish group
Reason for briefing note: To set out the potential scope for a task and finish group on digital infrastructure
Responsible officer(s): Chris Joyce, Head of Infrastructure, Sustainability and Economic Growth
Date: 17th September 2020
On the 20th July 2020, the Infrastructure Overview and Scrutiny Panel discussed the potential work programme. A number of items were identified as needing further work to develop the detail of the item and return to the panel for approval. This paper sets out the potential scope for a task and finish group on digital infrastructure.
The panel could either decide to establish a task and finish group or identify future items for the work plan to support the development of a digital infrastructure strategy.
1.1 On the 20th July 2020, the Infrastructure Overview and Scrutiny Panel discussed future items for its work programme. A number of items were identified as needing further work to develop the detail and return to the panel for approval. This paper sets out the potential scope for a task and finish group on digital infrastructure as well as alternative options for the panel to inform and scrutinise the development of our strategy.
1.2 Digital infrastructure is increasingly important for our communities and businesses to function. Ensuring we understand our priorities, requirements and options for delivery is important. The need for a digital infrastructure strategy has been highlighted in our Borough Recovery Strategy as well as being an important part of our draft Environment and Climate Strategy which is currently out for public consultation.
1.3 The strategy would seek to identify the future requirements for digital infrastructure across the borough in terms of technology, capacity and physical infrastructure provision. We also need to identify the right delivery model and partners to enable this. The timetable for development of the strategy is being developed as part of the development of more detailed delivery plans for both the climate strategy and recovery strategy.
2 KEY IMPLICATIONS
2.1 The key implication will be the requirements for resourcing the task and finish group from panel members. The nature of the topic means that it will require input from officers across the council. Further detail on the scope for the task and finish group work is set out in section three of the report.
2.2 If the panel choose not to progress with a task and finish group, there will still be the opportunity to inform and scrutinise the strategy. The alternative option would be to include future items in the work plan, for example:
- Reviewing the current situation to understand the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This could include a review of best practice in other local authorities and other organisations.
- Defining strategic objectives, to provide an outline of what we are trying to achieve through a digital infrastructure strategy. This would enable the priorities to be identified and the outcomes we are seeking to deliver.
- Determining requirements: investigating the requirements of the strategy in terms of system capacity, technology specifications and programme.
- Reviewing delivery models: defining the role of the council, recommended changes to structures, policies and procedures.
- Scrutinising the draft strategy – once the timelines are understood, the draft strategy could be presented to the panel for review.
3.1 If the panel decides to progress with a task and finish group, four stages of work have been identified. The task and finish group could identify the key issues in each area to help inform the more detailed scope of work for development of the strategy:
Stage 1: Baseline analysis and review
Review existing policies, actions and activities
Assess resource and capabilities
Bring together wider policy context
Identify key stakeholders and contributors
Explore and gather best practice
Stage 2 – Identify strategic options
Define strategic outcomes and benefits
Requirements for capacity, technology specification and physical infrastructure
Assess opportunities and options
Identify desired outcomes and measures of success
Evaluate and prioritise
Stage 3 – Delivery models
Agree appetite for involvement and risk
Review and evaluate potential delivery models
Identify barriers in current policy and procedures for delivery.
Stage 4 – Recommendations
Reporting on stages 1-3 above.
Agreeing recommendations to guide policy development
3.2 The detail of the programme of meetings, the scope of work and key stakeholders will be developed if the panel chooses to take forward the task and finish group.
4 NEXT STEPS
4.1 The panel should agree whether to establish a task and finish group or add specific focussed topics to the future workplan so that officers can develop the appropriate plan for delivering this.