Decision details

Revenues and Benefits Processing - Backlog Clearance

Decision Maker: Director of Finance

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


1.  That the Director of Finance has approved the engagement of Civica to assist with the ongoing clearance of processing backlog, together with Council Tax call handling support in the Revenues & Benefits Department. This being through the procurement of their respective ‘On Demand Processing and On Demand Customer Services‘ provision.


2.  That budget of £300,000 be set for this work, utilising saving from vacancies held within the Revenues & Benefits Department and Housing Support Fund Administration allocation.

Reasons for the decision:

The continued provision of external support will allow the Revenues and Benefits department to clear the remaining backlogged work items, which whilst substantially reduced remains a key concern and operational risk. The originating causes, as previously described, relating to additional work imposed by central government in delivering fuel rebate payments to Wirral residents, the Household Support Fund, long standing vacancy control, insufficient staffing capacity, the limited scope of ‘automation’ and the continued high levels of service user demand borne out of the ongoing wider economic position.

Alternative options considered:

Increase Workforce capacity – recruit more staff.  This was not within scope, given the requirement to achieve budget efficiencies totalling £750k in 2022/23.


Engage external Revenues and Benefits processing support – procure a managed service to remotely process work.  Either through the purchase of a pre-determined number of processing ‘ hours’, or by ring-fencing specific work types for completion within an agreed timeframe.


The option to do nothing was not considered given the impact the backlog is having upon customer experience and potential risks associated with processing delays.

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:

The decision has been taken under Part 3 Section C - Overview and Scheme of Delegations of Authority to Officers as the decision is not reserved to a Committee or Sub-Committee and the Director is satisfied that paragraphs 2(a) to 2(c) apply.


Background Papers


Paper to Change Advisory Board


5th July 2023 - Officer Decision Notice - Revenues and Benefits Processing – Backlog Clearance

Publication date: 07/05/2024

Date of decision: 07/05/2024

Accompanying Documents: