Coun­cil short­falls un­cov­ered

Au­di­tor-Gen­eral probe to aid ef­fi­cient ser­vice de­liv­ery

Wangaratta Chronicle - - RURAL ROUND UP -

A VIC­TO­RIAN Au­di­tor-Gen­eral’s re­port that aims to en­sure ser­vice de­liv­ery of coun­cils meets the needs of the com­mu­ni­ties they serve has un­cov­ered short­falls among five of the state’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas.

The re­port shows that the five coun­cils ex­am­ined lack com­pre­hen­sive re­view and plan­ning pro­ce­dures in their ser­vices that spread across so­cial wel­fare, waste, re­cre­ation, in­fra­struc­ture, plan­ning and emer­gency man­age­ment.

Bay­side, Wodonga and Wyn­d­ham city coun­cils along with Indigo and Moira shires were put un­der the mi­cro­scope.

The au­di­tor-gen­eral’s of­fice also ex­am­ined the role of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Victo- ria (LGV) - part of the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning (DELWP) - in pro­vid­ing sup­port and guid­ance to coun­cils on ef­fi­cient ser­vice de­liv­ery.

“Al­though all the au­dited coun­cils can demon­strate some el­e­ments of good prac­tice, none have a com­pre­hen- sive ap­proach to both plan­ning and re­view­ing ser­vices,” the re­port notes.

“With­out plan­ning and re­view­ing their ser­vices in a sys­tem­atic way, coun­cils risk not de­liv­er­ing best value and may fail to align their ser­vices with com­mu­nity ex­pec­ta­tions.”

The re­port an­a­lysed corpo- rate ser­vices and the cost of ser­vice de­liv­ery as well and it notes that all au­dited coun­cils did iden­tify and act on some lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of cor­po­rate ser­vices.

“How­ever, these ef­forts usu­ally oc­cur on an ad hoc ba­sis, and coun­cils risk miss­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to achieve sav- ings - for ex­am­ple, the use of shared ser­vices - which could be redi­rected to im­prov­ing or ex­pand­ing front­line ser­vice de­liv­ery,” the re­port reads.

The re­port con­cluded that more needs to be done to bet­ter un­der­stand and con­trib­ute full costs to front­line ser­vices, in par­tic­u­lar the in­di­rect costs or overheads nec­es­sar­ily in­curred in sup­port­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery.

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