Pol­icy aims to guide sen­si­ble de­ci­sions

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

A frame­work de­signed to guide Baw Baw Shire’s pri­ori­tis­ing of cap­i­tal works in­vest­ments has been drafted.

Coun­cil is seek­ing feed­back on its draft cap­i­tal eval­u­a­tion pol­icy that sets guide­lines for clear de­ci­sion mak­ing for cap­i­tal projects.

A re­port to coun­cil said in a fi­nan­cially con­strained and rate-capped en­vi­ron­ment, it was es­sen­tial coun­cil made sound cap­i­tal investment de­ci­sions that max­imised pub­lic value for cur­rent and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

The draft frame­work pro­vides a means of eval­u­at­ing and ap­prais­ing pro­posed in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ments, as well as set­ting pri­or­i­ties within the con­text of coun­cil’s Long Term In­fra­struc­ture Plan and an­nual cap­i­tal works pro­gram.

Cr Danny Goss said the pol­icy was stat­ing the ob­vi­ous that coun­cil should be mak­ing sen­si­ble and ra­tio­nal de­ci­sions but the pol­icy “goes a long way to ad­dress­ing those is­sues.”

“In the­ory the right project should be funded in pri­or­ity order. This pro­vides guid­ance for that de­ci­sion mak­ing,” he said.

Cr Goss said coun­cil as­sets in­cluded roads and bridges, sport­ing grounds and pavil­ions.

He said the pol­icy was about hav­ing a model for up­grad­ing and ex­pan­sion of as­sets.

“It’s about us us­ing the busi­ness case as a tool to come to the right de­ci­sions.

“This is a re­ally wel­come ad­di­tion and ini­tia­tive and will pro­vide sen­si­ble de­ci­sion guide­lines,” he said.

Cr Darren Wal­lace said this pol­icy would en­sure good gov­er­nance over coun­cil’s cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture and “en­sure our cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture is spent in the right ar­eas.”

“This pol­icy will en­hance trans­parency and will en­sure cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture is done in a fi­nan­cially sus­tain­able en­vi­ron­ment.

“This will help re­shape the project list and is good as­set plan­ning. It also will en­sure cap­i­tal money is be­ing spent wisely,” he said. If adopted, the pol­icy will: Es­tab­lish a ro­bust im­par­tial ap­praisal method­ol­ogy and pri­or­ity-based sys­tem for al­lo­cat­ing fi­nite coun­cil re­sources for investment to­wards in­fra­struc­ture as­sets;

En­sure investment in cap­i­tal is un­der­taken in a fi­nan­cially sus­tain­able man­ner and in ac­cor­dance with best prac­tice as­set man­age­ment prin­ci­ples; and

A cap­i­tal eval­u­a­tion busi­ness case is an eval­u­a­tion tool built into the pol­icy that will eval­u­ate projects against the coun­cil plan.

“The Cap­i­tal Eval­u­a­tion Frame­work in­tends to as­sist coun­cil to make fi­nan­cially sus­tain­able cap­i­tal investment de­ci­sions that pro­vide best value to the com­mu­nity.

“It rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant ad­vance­ment in the level of rigour ap­plied to the con­sid­er­a­tion of any fu­ture project.

In order to as­sess cur­rent LTIP projects as well as fu­ture project pro­pos­als, there is a rea­son­able amount of of­fi­cer time re­quired to write the busi­ness cases,” the re­port said.

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