The Victorian Auditor General’s Office has released a report on the Orgnisational Sustainability of Small Councils, tabled 12th June 2013.

Find the report to read at this url http://www.audit.vic.gov.au/reports_and_publications/latest_reports/2012-13/20130612-small-councils.aspx

Findings included advice around:

  • Financial trends
  • Effective financial planning and asset management
  • Effective and efficient service delivery
  • Recruiting and retaining qualified and skilled staff
  • Population ageing and/or population changes
  • Defined benefits superannuation shortfall
  • Support and guidance

The 7 Recommendations made:

  1. Councils should clearly identify and publicly report their sustainability challenges and associated strategies and actions, including how they will monitor, report and evaluate their effectiveness, using relevant and appropriate performance indicators.
  2. Yarriambiack Shire Council should develop a long-term financial plan and all councils should update their existing plans in accordance with better practice.
  3. Councils should review service planning and delivery in accordance with Best Value Principles as a priority, including:
  • assessing overall service delivery levels to determine appropriate levels and provide the rationale for their decision
  • consulting with their communities on their ability and willingness to pay for desired services in the development of the council plan
  • developing a plan to regularly review all services over time.

The Department of Planning and Community Development should:

  1. review and update its asset management guidance
  2. consider making the development of a long-term financial plan mandatory and provide support and guidance in the development of these
  3. routinely review the guidance and support it provides so that it is aligned with areas of highest need and addresses gaps in councils’ capability and capacity
  4. expedite implementation of the planned local government performance reporting framework and make sure it includes appropriate sustainability indicators.

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