Agenda item

To consider a report on Member ICT Provision post elections 2022


The Corporate Lead Officer for Customer Contact presented a report to the committee, outlining the proposed ICT equipment to be provided to Members.  It was noted that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant shift towards a more digital way of working corporately, in school and with the Council which is a continuation of a journey set out several years ago to work in a digital, as opposed to a paper based approach. Hybrid equipment is currently being installed in the Council Chambers which will facilitate a flexible approach, reducing travelling time and costs for Councillors and Staff, however Members would require a laptop to access the hybrid solution as it cannot be accessed via Android or Apply applications. 


It was proposed that Members are offered the same provisions as council staff, namely a Windows laptop, and two 24" screens.  Office 365 account would be installed providing Word, Excel and access to e-mails. Members would also be able to install Office 365 on up to 5 other devices, for use from their personal mobile devices.  Members would be required to sign an acceptable usage agreement for personal use of equipment, within reason.  It was noted that this proposal conforms to the necessary security requirements, ensuring improved cyber resilience and ensuring all Members are compliant with GDPR.


Printing facilities would be provided at Canolfan Rheidol and Penmorfa, due to the cost of providing and operating personal printers, and Members would be able to send documents to the post-room for printing and posting.  It was noted that appropriate training would be provided on issued devices with support provided via the ICT service desk. 


Members noted that i-pads are useful for working in the community, in order to be able to show documents to residents that may not otherwise be able to access the internet, and for attending meetings from alternative locations, other than at home.  Members also asked whether the Council was offering a secure i-pad platform to Officers, which has not been offered to Members.  Officers noted that alternative solutions are being considered and tested for cyber security, however there was also a need to ensure that Members are able to access the hybrid system.


Members noted that it can be useful to download and print Council papers, especially when chairing a meeting. Officers confirmed that two large screens would be provided which facilities the reading of documents on one screen whilst following the meeting on another.  Members also noted that it is impracticable to travel in order to print.  Officers reminded Members of the Council’s commitment to reducing paper many years ago, noting that Officers personal printers have been completely eliminated.


Members asked whether alternative tablets could be used e.g. Microsoft Tablets.  It was confirmed that specialist tablets can be extremely costly and that Members would need to identify funding to meet additional costs.  Members noted that the paper was written from the perspective of an Officer which did not recognise the needs of Councillors, which requires more flexibility.  Members were also advised that ultimately it is their decision as to whether to accept the advice of Officer in relation to cyber security.


Following discussion it was RESOLVED:

(i)            that following the election, new Members would be issued with the same equipment that was provided by current Members in January when i-pads were de-commissioned;

(ii)          to refer the matter for discussion by Council during the next administration.

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