The Greater Bendigo City Council has completed the full implementation of the 69 recommendations arising from the Independent Review undertaken in 2013 to explore ways to improve the City’s operations and services.
Implementation was completed ahead of schedule when Council signed off on the final five recommendations in June 2016.
The final report on the implementation finds that the Independent Review has created a more efficient and responsive, better-governed organisation equipped to engage with and meet the needs of Greater Bendigo's growing community.
Savings and other benefits
Action on the review’s findings and recommendations has resulted in:
- Net savings predicted to reach more than $4.2 million for the four years to June 30, 2017
- Significant improvements to the annual budget process including improved expenditure scrutiny measures resulting in the removal of $3.67 million of expenditure items from the 2016-2017 budget
- The retention and ‘refreshment’ of the City Futures Directorate as the City’s primary vehicle for driving Greater Bendigo’s economic development and jobs growth
- Substantially increased support for small business
- An overhaul of asset management resulting in:
- An increase of approximately $5 million in annual spending on asset renewal
- An estimated $60 million reduction in the forecast asset renewal funding gap over the next 10 years (Source: City of Greater Bendigo: Asset Management: Projected 10 Year Renewal Funding Profile, 2016.)
Lasting culture change
The implementation of the Independent Review has also embedded many new practices and approaches that will be of lasting benefit:
The introduction of a new Performance Evaluation System will track, benchmark and continuously improve the performance and output of Directorates, Units and individuals. This system is the key ingredient to lasting culture change where high performance is valued and encouraged
- The ongoing Service Review Program will reach all parts of the organisation to ensure Council invests in the right services at the right standard and in the right way to get the best value
- Significant improvements to the annual budget deliberation processes will provide ongoing savings through more rigorous assessment of expenditure items
- The new framework for evaluating, prioritising and funding capital works will ensure limited funds go only to chosen projects to best reflect the needs and priorities of the community
- Improved systems for logging, tracking and handling customer inquiries and complaints will ensure faster, more informative, more reliable responses and help the organisation learn from customer feedback
- New asset management arrangements predicted to drastically reduce the funding gap for asset renewal over the next 10 years