Reviewing the delivery and performance of the Council’s capital programme

The Assignment

Capital review – A review of the delivery and performance of the Council’s capital programme, to support the production of a more developed capital strategy and view of capital expenditure requirements in the medium to long-term.

Kingston Council sought to expand the current horizon of their capital programme by providing a more developed view of their capital expenditure requirements beyond four years. To do this, the Council needed to examine its annual capital programme setting process and review the programme, projects and initiatives, in order to developer a longer-term capital strategy and implement a capital governance framework that would ensure effective management of the capital programme in the future.

The Role

We were brought in by the Council to undertake a review of its capital programme, firstly by mapping capital programme spend against corporate plan priorities, to understand whether the current Capital Strategy had the right strategic focus. We then undertook an operational review of the capital programme to understand current delivery and performance in terms of management, monitoring and governance. To do this, we held a series of stakeholder interviews, prepared a bespoke self-assessment survey using CIPFA guidance and completed a review of existing governance arrangements.

This work fed into a series of recommendations for how the Council could set its capital programme and ensure more effective management in the future.

We also worked in partnership with the Council to recommend an approach to developing a longer-term capital strategy through the development of a capital pipeline that would enable a more developed view of capital expenditure requirements and financing strategies beyond the current four-year horizon. This led to the development of a capital strategy toolkit that would support a consistent approach and the effective management of the Council’s capital programme in the future.

Key Outcomes

Our work has allowed the Council to understand which areas of the capital programme setting process is working well and those that need improvement. We have helped the Council develop an approach, via the production of a capital pipeline, that will expand the horizon of capital expenditure requirements and allow the Council to make more informed decisions about financing and funding in light of a longer-term capital strategy. Our toolkit will enable a more efficient annual capital programme setting process and clearer mapping of capital projects against corporate plan priorities, to ensure that capital spend is supporting the right outcomes.