How was the Survey in the Program designed?
The Program was created from a series of consultations in NSW where there was an initial meeting with a group of council practitioners (LG Professionals, NSW members) back in 2013 to identify and outline the key areas of interest. LG Professionals, NSW piloted with 15 councils a subset of the survey questions and that pilot was very successful. The content was reviewed again and confirmed with its focus refined to be on purely operational and management areas. A technical sub group was formed and LG Professionals, NSW proposed the final areas for research with input from this group.
In New Zealand, SOLGM arranged for a technical working group, comprising SOLGM members including Chief Executives, to review the question set and adaptations were made for the local environment.
Who is providing this Program?
LG Professionals, NSW is providing the service to all New Zealand and Australian councils with PwC Sydney. There will be a contract for your Council's commitment with LG Professionals, NSW and PwC as all three parties have responsibilities in this process. This contract is to ensure that the project parties are clear on their roles and understand what is happening and will cover:
- Principles of the service being provided
- Payment terms
- Best endeavours requirement on all parties
- Use and ownership of the data
- If the Program does not begin or fails to be fulfilled
What is the nature of the relationships between SOLGM NZ, LG Professionals, NSW and PwC in regards to this Program?
LG Professionals, NSW and PwC worked together originally to develop this for NSW councils. SOLGM has worked to provide input and support in making sure this Program is relevant for New Zealand councils and will be the point of contact in support of developing this into a Trans-Tasman, as well as a New Zealand specific Program. SOLGM is committed to support the implementation process with councils on behalf of LG Professionals, NSW. SOLGM, in its role as a promoter and supporter of professional excellence in the sector, will ensure that the process for councils is as easy as possible.
Council's direct contractual relationship for the delivery of the Program is with both LG Professionals, NSW and PwC as service providers.
The relationships are collaborative and reflect the initial creation of the project in Sydney whereby both LG Professionals, NSW and PwC worked together voluntarily to ensure that they had a viable Program of work before rolling it out.
Should my council participate in the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program and CouncilMARK™?
Yes. SOLGM and LGNZ agree that councils are well served by participating in both the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program and LGNZ's Local Government Excellence Programme (CouncilMARK™). The Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program is operational and internally focused while LGNZ's Programme is strategic and externally focused.
CouncilMARK™ is a measure for better community value and New Zealand's local government excellence programme. The CouncilMARK™ programme is designed to improve the public's knowledge of the work councils are doing in their communities and to support individual councils to further improve the service and value they provide to all New Zealanders. The programme incorporates an independent assessment system that assesses how councils are performing and the work they're undertaking to grow the value they deliver. Councils receive an overall performance rating from a team of independent assessors and commentary on their performance.
The four priorities areas for CouncilMARK™ are:
- excellence in governance, leadership and strategy;
- excellence and transparency in financial decision-making;
- excellence of service delivery and asset management; and
- strong engagement with the public and businesses.
The programme encourages a culture of continuous improvement and assists councils to further engage with their communities on the issues that matter locally. Council ratings can be viewed here.