Regional council keeps tabs
The Waikato Regional Council has announced its lowest rise in general rates in a decade for the 2013-14 year.
Council Finance and Audit Committee chairman Phillip Legg said there had been a continued steady decline in the level of rates increases to the point that this year it delivered the lowest rise in general rates since 2003.
‘‘It is hoped that we can deliver a similar result for the next year,’’ said Mr Legg.
‘‘This reduced rate level has come about from the continued drive to identify efficiencies within the Waikato Regional Council operations.
‘‘This has seen a range of services amalgamated, with the number of groups of activities reduced and this has allowed a stronger focus on preparation of the work programmes and identified where cost savings could be made, which has lead to better budget control,’’ said Mr Legg.
‘‘Thanks to the finance team and councillors we have not only reduced the rate of increases but continued to deliver all our work programmes to our ratepayers,’’ Mr Legg said.
‘‘ During this time we have also seen the introduction of an internal audit programme which checks the policies and procedures of the organisation to ensure they are fit for purpose and identify any areas where the council may be vulnerable to illegal activity.
‘‘Having strong policies and procedures is vital for an organisation of this size.’’
Mr Legg said the council opted to have its internal audit process conducted by an outside organisation to ensure total independence and transparency.