Jan 10 2013 By Doug Archibald, Galloway News
The council has made little progress in the battle to maintain the region’s decaying roads.
Auditors, carrying out a follow-up check on developments over the past 18 months, came up against a lack of information and found progress had been held back because of too few staff.
PricewaterhouseCoopers put forward three recommendations to yesterday’s audit and risk management committee to kick-start progress on demands from the Maintaining Scotland’s Roads report put forward in February 2011.
Their study found a lack of staff had limited progress in implementing the council’s roads asset management plan, approved two and a half years ago, especially in areas such as the collection of data.
When it came to managing the performance of roads maintenance the auditors found there was “limited” data for measuring customer satisfaction on elements of the roads maintenance services and “no information” on secondary performance indicators covering areas such as the extent of road re-surfacing achieved; pothole repairs and total carriageway maintenance per kilometre.
The 2011 report called on the council to explore new ways of getting value for money and acknowledged there had been some progress with a new maintenance strategy approved, tendering in the private sector and changes to the maintenance operations.
But the auditors found that there was “no information currently available to show improvement in economy or service as a result of the initiative”.
Members of the committee were told that following discussions with senior management extra staff would be appointed to develop RAMP, special monitoring of customer satisfaction and secondary performance indicators would be carried out and the council would act on a recommendation to consider partnership working with the private sector.