Status Report on PlatformRV Project (Governce KPI Dev)

In December 2016, team members were identified and approach to form a project team. They met in early Jan 2017, and preliminary requirement research followed.

The following is a summary of the research highlights (click here for the detailed report) so far:

  • Good governance is meant to be a conduct and practice integrated performance management framework for governments and their agencies, including down to the lowest level of municipal councils and their peak bodies.
  • It is part of a bigger corporate governance framework, already defined in DTPLI’s Council Governance webpage, comprising of the following sections, categorised and re-organised as follows, for deeper gap analysis.

  • A gap analysis of the above corporate governance framework reveals the following:

Good Governance Framework

Operational Control Framework

1) There are no state-wide community engagementguidelines for councils:

2)  Operational control areas have not been structurally designed and aligned to the core operational functions of a council3) State directed service provisioning controls are missing, a major gap when municipal service provisioning is the core business of councils.

4)  Integration of these state corporate governance areas in councils’ frameworks is discretionally translated by each council. This has resulted in the growing prevalence of good governance and operational performance quality issues in and across councils, including varying and often lacking compliance policing intensities and offence handling.


These findings have lead the project team to focus on defining the governance KPI for supporting council decision making and community engagement. The next step is to interview several stakeholders from selected council, state agencies and peak bodies, and MPs who have contributed and/or supported to developing past and present LGPRF versions.  Interviewees will be carefully selected to avoid politicized influencers and reputed good governance offenders, to choose people who are committed to improve the LG system and attain its highest governance integrity.

For full details of the findings, click here.

Alas relief to today’s madness in Council land!!!

John Masanauskas reported in a 17 November 2015 Herald Sun’s article:

Image result for scrutiny“Services and finances scrutinised on Victoria’s Know Your Council website

A new website will detail rubbish collections among a list of council performance indicators.

RESIDENTS will be able to check how many rubbish bins are missed by their local council during collections by going to a new website detailing municipal performance.

Similar to the My School website, the Know Your Council site will feature dozens of service and financial indicators to enable comparisons across suburban and regional areas.

As well as rubbish collection, it will include data on rates, council expenses, road construction, library costs, food safety assessments, animal management prosecutions, satisfaction with council decisions and safety incidents at public schools.

The Andrews Government will launch the website on ­November 27, following moves by the former Coalition ­government to introduce the initiative.

It will display performance levels for 2014-15, and next year more indicators will be added, such as time taken to act on food complaints and cost of domestic care service.

Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins said: “The Andrews Labor Government wants local councils to be as open and transparent as possible when it comes to the way they are spending ratepayers’ money. The Know Your Council website will lift the lid on local government budgets and operations, giving ratepayers more insight.”

Other performance indicators will include governance issues, such as the number of decisions made at closed council meetings and attendance at meetings.

Ratepayers Victoria president Jack Davis said his group supported the Know Your Council site.

“The Local Government Act is broken and in order to fix it we need to know the weaknesses of councils,” he said.Image result for broken system'

Municipal Association of Victoria president Bill McArthur said the MAV supported transparency and accountability in measuring councils’ ­performance.

“The State Government made an election commitment to work with councils to reduce the number of performance measures to make the data more meaningful, and we look forward to that occurring,” he said.”

Most Victorians want their councils to focus on the three Rs – roads, rubbish and lower rates.

The final 2013 message for Councils is

  • Better roads,
  • Continue to collect rubbish and
  • Be brave to lower rates.

The evidence is in this Sept 2103 Herald Sun Article:

Darebin Council spent $34,000 to remove potentially dangerous street art on a Northcote median street. Source: News Limited

COUNCILS have been told to get back to basics after a major survey revealed that many residents are unhappy with the management of core services.

The State Government study of nearly 30,000 people found that most Victorians want their councils to focus on the three Rs – roads, rubbish and lower rates.

It comes after strong criticism of councils for running political campaigns, such as using ratepayers’ funds for the failed referendum bid to include local government in the federal Constitution.

More than 90 per cent of survey respondents said their municipalities could improve, with low scores given for management of roads, population growth, planning policy, parking facilities and footpaths.

Only about half of all Victorians believed that overall municipal performance was good or very good, while 35 per cent said it was average and 14 per cent rated it as poor or very poor, according to the Statewide Local Government Services Report June 2013.

“As in 2012, Victorian councils tended to score lower than their overall performance rating on community consultation and engagement, advocacy and particularly, overall council direction,” said the report……..

………….The report found that most ratepayers expected councils to live within their means – those preferring a rate rise in exchange for better services fell from 40 per cent in 2012 to 36 per cent this year.

On the positive side, the proportion of residents who believed their council was heading in the right direction rose slightly to 69 per cent this year, while those who thought it was going the wrong way fell from 23 per cent to 20 per cent.

On a scale of zero to 100, inner Melbourne councils rated best for overall performance with a score of 66, outer metro councils scored 62, regional centre councils got 60, small rural shires scored 59 and larger ones got 57.

Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell said the survey results were important and the Government was working to introduce a mandatory reporting system in which similar councils could be compared on a range of factors.

“In an effort to try and keep rates down and contains costs, my department is working with councils so they can have better purchasing power through the sharing of services,” she said.

The survey found that residents were most happy with public art centres and libraries, with a score of 73, followed by appearance of public areas and waste management (71), emergency and disaster management and recreational facilities (70), then elderly support, community and cultural services (69).

But there was significant dissatisfaction with management of unsealed roads (44), population growth (54), planning and building permits (55), slashing and weed control (56), parking facilities (57) and local streets and footpaths (58).

Municipal Association of Victoria president Bill McArthur said there were no real surprises in the survey but there was always room for improvement.

For the full report – click here



MAV’s Defined Benefits Super Accountability – the shits starting to hit the fan!

A Ballarat Councillor is saying “Councils around the state have been hit by a shortfall due to liabilities to the former Local Authorities Superannuation Fund defined benefit scheme.

Cr Harris slammed operating fund Vision Super and the Municipal Association of Victoria for underestimating the liability in what he called an “incompetent process ……………

…….I have talked openly with Councillors about withdrawing from the MAV, as I think this has been an incompetent process and I still don’t have any concept we are being represented effectively……….

…………..Council might take the decision to downscale the organisation, but there’s no way to mitigate the need for the one per cent rise.”

The Municipal Association of Victoria was not available for comment yesterday.

To read the full article, click here

Another good article to read, click here

Share your budget review experience …

We encourage ratepayers to log their budget review experiences and leave an audit trail of transparency and accountability issues. We will publish this audit trail in this website – the information will be used as evidence to assist RPV’s discussions with the Minister of Local Government and also to help the Auditor General Office access case studies for their on-going audit reviews of Local Government functions. The first audit trail is the Monash case.

Being ripped off with rate hikes?

Rate hikes are happening in many Councils across the country. We review a few budgets in several cities and are finding a common pattern – there is no transparent sound justification underpinning annual rate hikes. Some Councils are also misleading ratepayers in budget review – Councillors already agreed on rate increases and consequent budgets when Council allow the process of public review to occur. The process is not democratic nor is transparent and is most misleading.

16 May Press Release – Review Findings: Councils’ Financial Management & Rating Practices

Press Release has been issued to highlight the major concerns discovered in the review of several councils’ financial management and rating practices. A recent April 2012 audit report on council’s performance reporting practices is currently available on the VAGO webpage  and the issues reported also impact rate pricing and confirm some of our investigation findings. Also see pages inquiry projects and election matters.