Dunedin City Council is the latest local authority to receive a CouncilMARK™ report from the programme’s Independent Assessment Board (IAB), which has identified an organisation that has overcome legacy financial issues to achieve an A-rating.
The CouncilMARK™ incorporates an independent assessment system that assesses how councils are performing and is designed to support individual councils to improve the service and value they provide. Councils receive an overall performance rating, from C to AAA from the Independent Assessment Board as well as commentary on their performance.
Dunedin City Council’s development of a clear vision and strategic framework, as well as improvements in financial decision making and transparency received the highest ratings, however, the report notes that further improvements are needed to maintain the gains that have been made.
“With the support of the community, staff and businesses, the Council has an ambitious vision for Dunedin to become one of the world’s great small cities,” says CouncilMARK™ Independent Assessment Board Chair Toby Stevenson.
“Dunedin City Council’s vision is backed by strong goal setting and comprehensive financial reporting. This has undoubtedly helped with their service delivery and infrastructure planning, which is the key area where there is still room for improvement.”
“It’s apparent the council has strong links into its community. Their investment into better digital communication is reflected in strong Residents Opinion Survey results, and their Long Term Plan is easily engaged with by the public, having won a Plain English Award in the WriteMark Awards last year.”
“The council’s ongoing partnership and continued strengthening of relationships with local Runaka also shows their commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.”
“After some past financial challenges the council is now in a strong position, and has kept a close watch on the ability of its residents to meet rates demands. The council’s aim should be to turn that into even stronger service and infrastructure delivery.”
IAB Chair Toby Stevenson says the CouncilMARK™ report, which can be found here, measures indicators across leadership, finance, asset management, service delivery and community engagement.
“The report has been completed by independent assessors under the direction of the board, and offers an independent assessment of the council’s performance in key areas, providing valuable information to the council and its community. Measuring performance means councils can assess how to better deliver ongoing and increased value to ratepayers.”
“CouncilMARK™ has been 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.”
Mr Stevenson says the focus is now on the programme’s third year and participation of all remaining councils.
“The more councils that embark on CouncilMARK™, the greater its impact will be in promoting continuous improvement and a stronger reputation for the whole sector, which greatly benefits our country.”