Local Government New Zealand is pleased to announce that the Independent Assessment Board (IAB) will release the first reports for the new CouncilMARK™ local government excellence programme this week.
Release of the first assessment reports will be today, Thursday 13 July 2017 via the CouncilMARK™ website with an accompanying media release from the IAB.
Eighteen Foundation Member councils have signed up to the programme. A number have completed an independent assessment across four priority areas and have received an overall assessment rating and commentary on how they are performing.
The first reports to be released are:
- Horowhenua District Council
- Matamata- Piako District Council
- Napier City Council
- Queenstown Lakes District Council
- Ruapehu District Council
The IAB will now consider the draft reports and ratings for further Foundation Member councils in August and September.
LGNZ congratulates these councils for participating in the programme and taking the lead within the sector to show and grow the value of local government in New Zealand.
The CouncilMARK™ programme is designed to help our members show and grow council performance and the delivery of value to our communities and was established in response to reputation research which showed an opportunity for improvement, to highlight both the good and the areas for progress, and chart a way forward for the local government sector.
As outlined in prior communications, CouncilMARK™ involves an independent assessment of councils across four priority areas, and has been specifically tailored for New Zealand councils. Each participating council receives an assessment rating and commentary on how they are performing, as well as support to lift this rating over time. CouncilMARK™ has significant sector support.
While each report accounts for the individual circumstances of different councils, a number of common themes emerged across each of the four focus areas. Under governance, most councils’ vision documents were clear and easily understood. Financial decision making is generally conservative and prudent. Under the service delivery and asset management priority area, services were mainly found to be aligned with council vision and goals. Most councils performed well on communicating and engaging with the public and business. Councils keep their constituents regularly informed and are accessible to the community.
On the other hand the reports show councils could see improvement in a number of ways across the focus areas. For governance councils could look to embed stronger risk management regimes. Financial decision making could be improved by strengthening audit and risk committees by including an independent member. Some councils have an opportunity to improve their service delivery by increasing councillor focus on asset management. Several councils had created considerable investment in various ways to communicate, but some channels such as social media were under used.
LGNZ will release its own supporting media release. You can view more information about CouncilMARK™ at its website.
Councils are being encouraged to distribute their own media releases and engagement with their community on the results and develop action plans for improvements.
A call for a second intake of participating councils will be announced later in 2017.