These changes were set against a frozen budget and licence fee so that new activities had to be funded from savings achieved elsewhere. On the staffing side, 41 staff left the ITC under the provisions of the redundancy scheme whilst a further 20 were recruited to bring in new skills to the organisation.
Following Breakthrough, attention moved to strengthening the organisation. Considerable efforts were put into improving the internal management processes of the ITC. The strategic planning process was reviewed and a strategy event with Commission Members was introduced along with the creation of an Annual Business Plan and associated Key Performance Indicators which are now published on the web site. Work has also taken place on improving quality management, financial management and performance management as we have focused on building greater resilience throughout the organisation.
Major changes took place to ensure that the ITCs remuneration practices were market-competitive. The old grading structure was replaced by broad salary bands, salary progression moved from in-crements to being performance-related. In order to retain staff during a period of uncertainty a retention bonus was introduced which appears to be having positive effects as underlying turnover for the year was 11 per cent. During the year, all the changes were introduced in consultation with BECTU as we moved increasingly to partnership working.
The need to build our capabilities was pursued through the continuing commitment to staff development. Funding at 2.5 per cent of payroll provided resources to deliver a wide range of initiatives designed to build professional expertise, managerial capabilities and IT skills which underpin our ability to deliver excellence. We began preparations for the transition to OFCOM with seminars from the other regulators and workshops on change management.
Diversity is an increasingly important issue within the industry and to be an effective advocate the ITC recognised that it needed to address its own internal concerns. A representative staff group, formed under the Chairmanship of Richard Peel, Director of Public Affairs, Nations and Regions, developed an action plan which has resulted in a number of initiatives, including: the benchmarking of internal practices, the articulation of the case for diversity, reviewing recruitment practices, the reporting of data on workforce composition, the establishment of aspirational targets on gender, ethnicity and disability, the introduction of a disabled work placement position, diversity training for managers and the appointment of a Diversity Advisor. The ITC has strengthened its links with a number of key bodies, including the cultural Diversity Network, the Employer’s Forum on Disability and Opportunity Now. Collectively, these changes will ensure that the ITC is well placed to meet its obligations under the new provisions of both the Race Relations (Amendment) Act and Equal Pay guidelines whilst embracing the spirit of diversity.
With the Breakthrough Project completed, the organisation was able to engage in preparations for OFCOM. Earlier in the year, a steering group had been constituted by the Chief Executives of the five agencies which would become OFCOM. Agreement was reached to cooperate more closely in areas of mutual interest and where regulatory activities overlapped. The ITC built on this initiative to collaborate with the other regulators in various areas of work, including complaints handling and audience research with the BSC, and on engineering research with the Radiocommunications Agency. As the preparations took on greater certainty a senior member of the ITC’s staff was seconded to form the central team managing the process of transition. We then contributed actively to the consultancy ‘scoping project’ commissioned by the Chief Executives, which reported in the autumn. As a result, ITC staff in a number of the key professional areas have now begun working with colleagues from the other agencies to identify practical steps towards formulating OFCOM. This activity will inform the second stage of the consultancy work which will focus on the detailed design and transition considerations for OFCOM.
Despite a year of considerable change resulting both from reorganisation and the preparations for OFCOM we were pleased to have retained our Investors’ in People recognition and register high levels of satisfaction and improving confidence in the ITC reported in the Staff Attitude Survey conducted at the end of 2001.