Policy aims to guide sensible decisions
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.