Your 2016 Bright Ideas
Suggestion: Switch off annexe lighting in the summer months to generate cost savings as there's enough natural light.
Outcome: Following a month-long trial period in August, this suggestion has been implemented.
Second-hand pool cars
Suggestion: When replacing cars, savings could be made if low-mileage ( <30,000), second hand cars with full service history were used instead
Outcome: Not progressed as we purchase cars through national contracts which secures significant savings. Vehicles with 30,000 miles would have higher maintenance costs, no or limited warranty. The long-term costs and resource required would not be viable.
Secondary school library system
Suggestion: Move our secondary schools onto the Talis library sytem to save on individual licence fees and provide service efficiencies for managing stock.
Outcome: Put forward for service implementation.
Suggestion: Introduce online billing for council tax purposes to allow customers to view their statements, payments etc. This would reduce the costs of printing and posting letters.
Outcome: This work is already underway as part of our Moray Connected project. Firstly we're making sure that safe authentication measures are in place, before we implement more online services, including council tax.
Switch off to save (SOS)
Suggestion: A procedure should be introduced where all IT equipment in schools is powered down during periods when it's not in use.
Outcome: Work is already in place and further work is in progress. There's currently a script in place which runs to close down PCs at night, with the exception of devices not on the network (eg interactive whiteboards or projectors). We're entering a pilot with SSE to run software on the network to allow times to be set for shutting down networked devices automatically, and monitor energy usage.
Council close 1pm Friday
Suggestion: Close all council offices at 1pm on a Friday to generate substantial savings on heating and power.
Outcome: Closing all council offices at 1pm on a Friday would not be quite as simple as it may seem. With critical responsibilities to the public and staff contracts, we could never completely close all council offices at 1pm. There are likely to be service implications and limited savings arising from doing so.
Improved use of internal mail system
Suggestion: Make more use of the internal mail/email system for routine letters and communications. This would save on time, resources and postage costs within the Council.
Outcome: This suggestion will be implemented across the Council. Communications will be sent to services asking them to review their current procedures and consider the use of the internal mail system or email instead of using Royal Mail.
Financial Savings - saying NO
Suggestion: Give more control to the Payments Team to allow them to decline 'specialist' items which are available through our current suppliers or deemed unnecessary.
Outcome: A rationalised list of items was previously drawn up however it developed complexities and the Budget Manager could still over-ride it, thus mitigating the intended result. Moving forward, alternative action has been identified where the relevant department will question requests in more detail and gather specific data.
Voluntary reduction in working hours
Suggestion: Promote a voluntary scheme for employees to request a reduction in hours to prevent cuts to jobs/services.
Outcome: The opportunity to reduce hours is already available within our Flexible Working Policy and available to all employees (except teaching). A wide range of flexible working options are available to support both service and individual needs.
Reduction in contracted hours
Suggestion: Reduce the full-time contractual hours to 35 hours per week. This would attract obvious financial savings as well as increased efficiency as employees are likely to do the same or similar delivery of the job within the reduced hours.
Outcome: A reduction in hours directly impacts on the resources available to provide our services and assumes that there’s capacity to absorb the service pressures that would result. All service managers have been asked to consider budget issues, efficiencies and reduction in available workforce hours as part of the wider financial savings which need to be made. Our flexible working policy sets out various options which can be utilised to meet both service and individual needs.
These were just some of the ideas which were submitted - you can view a full list of Bright Ideas (PDF).