Are Auckland ratepayers getting value for money?

12:05 pm on 17 March 2017

The Auckland Council has launched a three-year review to see whether its delivering value for money.

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Auckland Council has launched a three-year review of services including water, marketing and communications, overseas promotion and rubbish collection. Photo: 123rf.com

The city's water, sewerage and stormwater network is the biggest item topping the review list, followed by communications and marketing, overseas promotion and rubbish collection.

Up to 32 operations carried out by the council and its agencies will be reviewed in blocks of four over the next three years.

The work is to see whether the council's goals are being well met, rather than being a detailed cost-cutting or efficiency drive.

"We need to be proactive in ensuring that we are a cost effective organisation and the first step is to assess where and how we are spending ratepayers' money," Mayor Phil Goff said.

Council staff, headed by Chief Financial Officer Sue Tindal will run the review programme along with a panel of external experts.

The first group, chosen by council staff and the mayor's office, include:

  • Three Waters - made up of water, wastewater and stormwater. This was because of its scale and likely impact any changes would have on council budgets.
  • Domestic waste including refuse, recycling, inorganics and organic services.
  • Organisational support - starting with communications and engagement services. That would be followed by accounts, payroll, finance, information systems, procurement, human resources, customer services and legal functions. This would look at the potential for more efficient co-operation between the council and its various agencies. The council earlier sought expressions of interest to handle the council's marketing needs, but suspended that exercise.
  • Investment Attractions and Global Partnerships
  • This reflected Mr Goff's public stand over the council's overseas marketing and investment programme, created by the council's economic development agency, ATEED.

    Mr Goff has taken several swipes at ATEED's work, commenting on overseas travel costs and its initial interest in backing the Joseph Parker boxing world title fight.

The council's Finance and Performance Committee, chaired by Ross Clow, will consider the three-year review programme next Tuesday.

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