< Previous page ^ Table of Contents Next page >

Notice in response to the Discussion held on 10 October 2000: CAPSA and its implementation

20 November 2000

The Council have considered the remarks made in the Discussion of the University's new on-line accounting system (CAPSA) and its implementation (p. 86). They are seeking advice from the CAPSA Steering Committee over many of the detailed questions that were raised about the functional specification of the system, its performance, and the management of the implementation process. Much of this information will be of importance to the review which the Council have already decided shall be undertaken and which they intend to publish on completion. However, in so far as it is necessary to do so for the effective implementation of CAPSA, they will publish a further Notice when information is available. For the moment, however, and noting that since the Discussion there have been some substantial improvements in performance and extensions of functionality, the Council continue to be of the view that, both centrally and in institutions, effort and resource should be concentrated on achieving a stable operational system as quickly as possible. When that position has been reached, necessary enhancements, whether in functionality or in performance, can be identified and implemented. At that point also, a review can be undertaken, both of what further changes are either necessary or desirable and of the implementation to that point. To be fully effective the review needs to involve persons expert in major software implementations and in higher education management. Whilst it will be important for any review to take account of the particular circumstances of the University, it should also be informed by external expertise and experience. The Council have asked the Audit Committee to advise them how best to undertake the review.

Some of the remarks in the Discussion concern the general quality of management and administration in the University. The Council recognize those concerns, but they also recognize that one of the difficulties, against which CAPSA had to be developed and implemented, was that the University's management and administration had not been resourced to keep pace with developments in higher education nationally. They wish again to express their gratitude to all staff for all their efforts to implement the new system. It is inevitable that the University will have to invest more in the way it does its business. But in doing so, it is important that the Regent House and the academic community generally have confidence both in what is undertaken with those resources and in the effectiveness of those operations. To that end, the Council last academical year agreed, in principle, proposals from the Registrary for the development of explicit quality assurance procedures for the operation of the Unified Administrative Service. They will report on those arrangements to the Regent House next term.

< Previous page ^ Table of Contents Next page >

Cambridge University Reporter, 22 November 2000
Copyright © 2011 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.