Sustainable Councils Queensland

Challenges for Queensland Councils outlined in latest Queensland Audit Office Report

CT Management Group is offering support to Queensland Councils following the recent release of the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) report Local government entities: 2017-18 results of financial audits.

The report summarises the financial audit results of the 77 Queensland local governments for the financial year ending 30 June 2018. It also summarises the financial audit results of the 83 entities they control that produced financial statements.

Three matters raised by the QAO in the report requiring urgent attention are:

  • Asset Management Data – QAO recommended that councils assess their processes for ensuring their asset registers are complete and remain current.
  • Financial Sustainability of Councils.
  • Lack of Internal Controls (Governance) and poor Risk Management.

In summary the report has found that:

  • Councils do not have information they need on assets to support Disaster Recovery Funding arrangements.
  • There is a lack of asset information to support evidence-based decision making.
  • Evidence that there is poor capital and operational planning.
  • An inconsistent use of risk information.
  • Lack of accountability for using asset information for planning and decision making.

Key recommendations are to improve asset information and integration into financial planning cycles. Staff capability, skills and training was also mentioned as a priority.

To assist Councils, CT Management Group has developed the “Sustainable Council Program” (SCP)

The Sustainable Council Program is designed to assist and provide councils a way forward to a sustainable future understanding and meeting community needs and the challenges set out within the Auditor General’s report.

The program starts with a detailed analytical view of today’s service offering and costs, including a profile of services and required capital investments, through to an agreed action plan for a sustainable future. The program provides the methodology and tools to guide affordable comparative choices between services and rationalisation where required to achieve sustainability.

With a thorough understanding of council’s sustainability and future options, the Sustainable Council Program enables council to engage the community with levels and range of services that the community wants and what the community is prepared to pay for.

CT Management Group’s Sustainable Council Program:

  • Assists councils to deliver sustainable services, aligned to community needs.
  • Invest in capital programs that aligns to council’s vision and sustainable service delivery.
  • Establishes the agenda for community consultation.
  • Facilitates Council’s capacity to make informed comparative choices between competing service demands based on community priorities.
  • Provides for a review of the governance frameworks around service, asset and financial management.
  • Provides a detailed assessment and forward plan to ensure the financial sustainability of ongoing service delivery and capital investment.
  • Identifies and addresses any existing known compliance issues reported from the Office of the Auditor General.

The four elements of the Sustainable Council Program are:

  • Service Planning
  • Asset Management
  • Data and Information
  • Financial Planning and Sustainability

These elements and their relationship are detailed in Figure 1. These are the pillars of a sustainable municipality and the foundations upon which sound community consultation can be build.

The Sustainable Council Program can be offered as a total program over a 9 – 12 month period or in separate elements.

We can assist you with your review

CT Management has extensive experience in working with councils to achieve good governance controls and financial sustainability in today’s local government environment where available revenues must be maximised by a greater emphasis on good data and diligent asset management.

The Sustainable Council Program can be provided through the Local Buy Panels of Providers for the following panels:

  • BUS 249-0115 – Business Management Services
  • BUS 252-0615 – Asset Management Consultancy Services

CT Management Group has approx. 120 experienced associates, the majority of whom have local government executive level experience available to assist councils improve services and systems. Further information on how we can assist your council can be obtained by contacting Graham Jarvis, Queensland Regional Manager 0408 166 636 or or contact CT Management Head Office on 1300 500 932.

Get in touch with us today