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Agenda item


To consider a progress report on the recommendations made in the internal audit report Driving at Work issued on the 31st January 2023.


Ms Lynne Rowbottom, Transport Manager, presented a report on progress against the recommendations made in the internal audit report Driving at Work issued on 31 January 2023. She informed the Committee a number of the recommendations had been successfully completed and that others would be resolved following the launch of the Driving at Work app in October 2023. Ms Tracy Greenhalgh, Head of Audit and Risk, added that the app had been under development for approximately three years and although further a delay in its roll-out due to issues identified by internal audit had been experienced, it was expected that it would be launched on 10 October 2023.


The Committee discussed the Driving at Work handbook, noting that it was reviewed annual to ensure that it was up to date with the latest legal requirements. Ms Rowbottom added that the handbook had been designed to be user friendly and that it was a requirement for all staff who drove at work to be familiar with it. Drivers if the Council’s HGVs were required to undergo annual training and testing on the handbook, which was supported by dedicated work books and training sessions.


Private staff vehicles driven as part of officers duties, known as the “grey fleet”, remained an area of concern however. The Committee was informed that only 36.6% of staff within the grey fleet were compliant with the Driving at Work policy. Ms Greenhalgh recognised that this was not a good position but stated that the implementation of the new app would assist in improving compliance. Ms Rowbottom added that ensuring that driving documents were up to date was compulsory and that going forward she would be responsible for monitoring compliance and would hold line manager to account for any failings in staff providing documents.


Members highlighted that failure to ensure compliance with the Driving at Work policy represented a serious risk for the Council, noting that the Chief Executive and Council as a body would be legally liable in the event of a serious incident involving a vehicle in the grey fleet. The Committee therefore asked that a follow up report detailing progress against the recommendations made in the internal audit and the level of compliance within the grey fleet following the implementation of the Driving at Work App be provided to a meeting in six-months’ time.


The Committee also discussed staff training to ensure compliance following the introduction of the new app. Ms Rowbottom explained that training would commence in the week starting 18 September with members of the Illuminations and Highways team. This training would then progress to ensure that every service within the Council had received Driving at Work training by the end of the 2023/2024 financial year. The training would focus on ensuring compliance with policy.


Ms Greenhalgh also added that the use of the app and sharepoint would allow better monitoring of compliance with policy, which would improve the overall position. However she recognised that the submission of the relevant documents required positive action from members of staff to ensure that their details were up to date.


It was noted that responsible officer for Recommendation 12, which recommended the ongoing review of the Transport Manager’s six month review, was shown as the Transport Manager. It was therefore queried this meant that they would be reviewing themselves, Ms Rowbottom responded that Mr John-Paul Lovie, Head of Waste Services, would be responsible for conducting six-monthly reviews and their performance as Transport Manager.


Resolved: That


1.      The report on progress against the recommendations made by the Internal Audit of Driving at Work be noted; and

2.      That a follow-up report on progress against outstanding internal audit recommendations and compliance with the driving at work policy within the grey fleet be brought to a meeting of the Committee in six-month’s time.


Ms Rowbottom left the meeting following this item.

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