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Information and Communications Technology Strategic Plan, 2005-06 to 2009-10


Appendix B: Terms of Reference of the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee Sub-Committee Structure

This appendix describes a new governance structure for ICT in the collegiate University. The principles have been introduced in Section 6.

The structure is shown in the following Figure:

Representation of the proposed committee structure
              for ICT governance.
Representation of the proposed committee structure for ICT governance.

The PRAC ICT Sub-Committee has ‘Strategy’ and ‘Implementation’ Arms; membership and terms of references are given below. It is expected that the Implementation Arm will evolve once the ICT Strategic Plan has been implemented fully.

The governance accountability of the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee is achieved in two ways. It is accountable through its membership (Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Heads of Division, Conference of Colleges, Registrar), and also through its connection to structures in the University (via the horizontal arrows in the Figure) which currently, or will in the future, address ICT strategy and policy issues. It is, therefore, the collective responsibility of the collegiate University to govern ICT and to set ICT priorities through the respective structures within divisions, faculties, departments, colleges and Central Administration - these are all brought to a focus through the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee.

Where suitable structures do not exist across the collegiate University to connect with the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee, then these will need to be created in order for ICT governance to operate correctly within the devolved ICT structure. Within a devolved ICT Framework, all components must share the responsibility for ICT governance.

In addition, the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee has an horizontal advisory connection to structures across the collegiate University (for example: to the ICT Forum, Libraries ICT Committee, IT Committee representing Central Administration, Faculty and Departmental ICT Committees and the Web Strategy Group).

The governance structure is designed to be as streamlined as possible. When a new ICT project is commissioned a Project Board will be created which is accountable for good governance, project delivery, budget planning and risk management. In general, Boards will be chaired by a senior academic representing a part of the collegiate University that sponsors the project (explained in detail in Appendix D).

In common with other universities, there will be an ICT Architecture Group (AG), comprised of staff from across Oxford. When a new ICT project is proposed, the AG will make sure that the project adheres to Oxford’s ICT principles (interoperability, coherence – as discussed in Section 4). The AG will only meet when required to by the PRAC ICT S/c, and is discussed further in a sub-section below.

All ICT governance structures must enable the views of the user community to be expressed. The new User Forum facilitates this; its Terms of Reference are given a sub-section below.

There will be a review point for the ICT governance structure at the end of the 2008/9 academic year. It will consider: the efficacy of the structure, the Strategy and Implementation arms, and also whether it remains appropriate for the ICT governance structure to report into PRAC. It is proposed that the Review is undertaken by PRAC, and membership of the Panel should include the Chairperson of EPSC, principal users of the system, and external experts.

Strategy Arm of PRAC ICT Sub-Committee

The Strategy arm of the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee will meet termly, and is responsible to PRAC for:

The Strategy Arm of the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee will consist of:

(1) a Chairperson, appointed by Council, who preferably will be the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Academic Services and University Collections);

(2) the Registrar/or representative;

(3) the Chairperson of the Conference of Colleges/or representative;

(4) the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education)/or representative;

(5-9) one person appointed by each of the divisional boards77 (Head of Division/or representative);

(10-11) an undergraduate and postgraduate representative (possibly OUSU President and OUSU Vice-President);

(12) the Director of Finance;

(13) the Academic Registrar;

(14) the Director of University Library Services and Bodley’s Librarian;

(15) the Director of ICT – Chairperson of the ‘Implementation Arm’;

(16-18) as required, in attendance:– the heads of the central ICT Service Providers, including Computing Services, Business Services and Projects and Library Services.

The Sub-Committee may co-opt up to two additional members from within or outside the University to advise on ICT matters.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellors represent their respective communities. If the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and ASUC) is not Chairperson then he/she should be a member in his/her own right.

It will be essential for the Chairperson of the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee to receive strong support from the Director of ICT. Without a considerable amount of preparation and work being done on behalf of the Chairperson, the task would be far too onerous.

Implementation Arm of the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee

The Implementation arm of the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee will meet monthly, report to the Strategy Arm of the PRAC Sub-Committee, and be responsible for:-

The Implementation arm of the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee will consist of:

(1) the Director of ICT as Chairperson;

(2) - (4) the heads of each of the central ICT providers;

(5) - (9) one person appointed by each of the divisional boards (e.g. Chairman of Divisional ICT Committees);

(10) one person appointed by the conference of colleges (e.g. Chairman Colleges ICT Group);

(11) Chairperson of User Forum;

(12) Chairman of ICT Forum.

The Implementation arm of the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee may co-opt up to two additional members from within or outside the University to advise on ICT matters.

For the first time, a single body will be responsibility for the delivery of enterprise services from the central service provider through to the desktop. In the implementation phase of the ICT Strategic Plan, ITIL78 will be explored as a framework for ensuring quality of service.

User Forum

The User Forum will report to the Implementation arm of the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee, of which the Chairperson of the User Forum will be a member.

The User Forum will represent the views of the ICT user community across the departments, faculties and colleges, and will ensure that users are provided with a persistent mechanism by which to input to the ICT strategic planning process.

The ICT User Forum will play a crucially important role in ensuring that ICT projects are developed according to the needs of the user community and that the user community has ownership over the development, delivery and review of ICT services.

The membership criteria and terms of reference will be agreed by the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee but it is expected that members will be drawn from across the research, teaching, learning and administration constituencies of Oxford.

It may be appropriate, for example, that whilst the Chairperson serves for a specified period, the membership of the Forum is more dynamic, with members at any one meeting partly determined by the agenda of the meeting.

The User Forum will meet approximately once a term. The agenda for each meeting may, for example, include an agreed theme with one or more presentations, as well as an opportunity for members to raise issues of importance to their respective constituencies.

The Director of ICT and Directors of central ICT providers will be in attendance at each meeting.

Architecture Group

The Architecture Group will be established by the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee.

The Architecture Group is responsible for ensuring coherence within the overall ICT infrastructure and adherence to the fundamental principle that the provision of common ICT services must be based on the use of agreed standards, in order to reduce replication and improve productivity through interoperation with local services; and to encourage the application of local choice and implementation where desirable. Interoperability in this context encompasses not only technical interoperability but also semantic interoperability (shared understanding of the meaning of information) and organisational interoperability (agreed business processes and ensuring collaboration between organisational units). The principles for interoperability will be determined by the collegiate University and will be agreed by consensus.

The Architecture Group will:

The membership of the Architecture Group will be determined by the PRAC ICT Sub-Committee. It will include members expert in organisational and technical interoperability drawn from across Oxford, senior technical experts from the ICT Forum, and external representation.

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Notes
75.
ICT’ is defined as Information and Communication Systems, Processes and Technology which is within the scope of the ICT Strategic Plan. This encompasses ICT across the collegiate University, including ICT provided by the central providers (Computing Services, Library Services and Business Services and Projects), ICT for research, ICT for teaching, ICT for administration, the ICT fabric extending across divisions and colleges, and ICT training.
76.
‘Business continuity’ focus varies through the academic year. Student information provision, for example, is crucially important at admissions time. Accordingly, particular attention will be focused on specific areas through the year.
77.
Continuing Education are considered as a ‘Division’.
78.
IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), http://www.itil.co.uk/. ITIL is a framework for process focused activities, a further explanation is provided in the Programme Record.

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Maintained by: OUCS Webmaster (webmaster@rt.oucs.ox.ac.uk) Submitted for consideration by PRAC, March 2007. ICT Strategy Programme Consultation Sub-Group.
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