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Ninth Report of the Board of Scrutiny: Notice by the Council

2 August 2004

The ninth Report of the Board is published in this issue of the Reporter (p. 1082). The Council are putting the Report up for discussion at the Discussion to be held on Tuesday, 26 October 2004, with the agreement of the Board, as they both believe that discussion of such a Report in July would not be appropriate.

The Council are grateful to the Board of Scrutiny for their Report. They believe that it will interest members of the University to have some preliminary comment on the recommendations of the Board's Report.

(a) Resource allocation and budgeting. Aspects of changes of practice suggested in Recommendations I to IV are already under preparation by the Finance Committee and the Planning and Resources Committee (PRC).
(b) Strategic planning. Recommendations V to VIII cover some of the broad objectives of the strategic planning process currently underway, which includes discussions with the Colleges. A Report on Composition Fees has been published in this issue of the Reporter (p. 1064).
(c) Finance and investments. Recommendations IX to XII have been referred to the Finance Committee for comment: however, the Committee is already reviewing aspects of these matters and a Report proposing the necessary statutory changes to permit a total return policy is expected to be published in the Michaelmas Term 2004.
(d) Estate plan and the geographical shape of the University (Recommendations XIII and XIV). Publication of the 2005 Estate Plan (except for commercially confidential aspects) is desirable. An enquiry about the assumptions and options for the geographical shape of the University has been initiated with Schools, Institutions, and Colleges as part of the planning process.
(e) Maintenance (Recommendation XV). The condition of the Estate will be kept under review by the new Buildings Committee, and the maintenance programme will be determined against value for money criteria.
(f) Governance (Recommendation XVI). No major new proposals are expected to be put forward in the near future.
(g) Delegation to individuals (Recommendation XVII). Clearer statutory provision for this is indeed desirable.
(h) Revision of the Statutes and Ordinances (Recommendation XVIII). The Council will consider this suggestion.
(i) An Office of General Counsel (Recommendation XIX). A review of the provision of legal services and legal advice is already under way.
(j) The work of the Council (Recommendation XX). The Board may not be aware that significant changes have been made to the working methods of the Council since late 2003. Further information will be included in the Council's Annual Report, to be published in the Michaelmas Term.

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Cambridge University Reporter 11 August 2004
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