AGENDA


Finance and Governance Committee

 

Monday, 07 December 2020

6.00pm

 

Dragon Room (Level 1,Georges River Civic Centre,

Hurstville)

and

Skype Online Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                    Page 3

 

          Finance and Governance Committee

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

1.      OPENING

2.      ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

3.      APOLOGIES / LEAVE OF ABSENCE

4.      NOTICE OF WEBCASTING

5.      DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

6.      PUBLIC FORUM

7.      CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

FIN062-20         Confirmation of the Minutes of the Finance and Governance Committee meeting held on 9 November 2020

(Report by Executive Services Officer)....................................................................... 3  

8.      COMMITTEE REPORTS

FIN063-20         Administrative Matter - Execution of Documents Under Delegated Authority (1 November 2020 to 30 November 2020)

(Report by Manager, Office of the General Manager)........................................... 12

FIN064-20         Investment Report as at 31 October 2020

(Report by Senior Financial Accountant - Reporting)........................................... 14

FIN065-20         New Rates 2021 Application - Amendments to IPR Documents

(Report by Chief Financial Officer)........................................................................... 29

FIN066-20         Draft 2021/22 Budget - Consideration of Establishment of Additional FTE Position

(Report by Manager, Office of the General Manager)........................................... 33

FIN067-20         Quarterly Budget Review for Quarter Ended 30 September 2020

(Report by Chief Financial Officer)........................................................................... 36  

 

 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                    Page 4

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

 

Item:                   FIN062-20     Confirmation of the Minutes of the Finance and Governance Committee meeting held on 9 November 2020 

Author:              Executive Services Officer

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Previous Minutes

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

That the Minutes of the Finance and Governance Committee Meeting held on 9 November 2020 be confirmed.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Finance and Governance Committee Meeting 09 November 2020


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Monday, 7 December 2020

FIN062-20              Confirmation of the minutes of the previous meeting held on 9 November 2020

[Appendix 1]          Unconfirmed Minutes of the Finance and Governance Committee Meeting 09 November 2020

 

 

Page 6

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                    Page 13

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Item:                   FIN063-20          Administrative Matter - Execution of Documents Under Delegated Authority (1 November 2020 to 30 November 2020) 

Author:              Manager, Office of the General Manager

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

Recommendation:

That Council note, for the period 1 November 2020 to 30 November 2020, there were two (2) documents executed by the General Manager under delegation.

 

Executive Summary

At its meeting on 24 February 2020, Council resolved that the General Manager report to Council any lease, contract or hire agreement (excluding staff contracts) executed under delegation.

REPORT

Council at its meeting on 24 September 2018, delegated to the General Manager the General Manager’s Delegations (Instrument of Delegation).

During the period 1 November 2020 to 30 November 2020 the following documents have been executed by the General Manager under Delegation.

Community Leases

Date Executed

Document Type

Premises

NIL

 

 

Premium Facilities

Date Executed

Document Type

Premises

9 November 2020

Venue Hire Agreement

-    Football Federation of Australia (FFA) – exhibition match

Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

Commercial Leases

Date Executed

Document Type

Premises

NIL

 

 

Contracts

Date Executed

Document Type

Premises

9 November 2020

Contract

-     Emergency Replacement and Repair of Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre Roof Structure

Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre

Financial Implications

No budget impact for this report.

Risk Implications

No risks identified.

File Reference

D20/289573

 

 

 

  


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                    Page 20

Item:                   FIN064-20     Investment Report as at 31 October 2020 

Author:              Senior Financial Accountant - Reporting

Directorate:      Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

Recommendation:

That Council receives and notes the contents of the Investment Report as at 31 October 2020.

 

Executive Summary

1.      This report details Council’s performance of its investment portfolio as at 31 October 2020 and compares it against key benchmarks.

2.      This report also includes the estimated market valuation of Council’s investment portfolio, loan liabilities and any required update on Council’s legal action against various parties.

3.      Council’s annualised rate of return is 1.70% which is 1.19% above benchmark. Income from interest on investments totals $646,375 which is $32,291 lower than the 2020/21 year-to-date adopted budget.

Background

4.      Council’s Responsible Accounting Officer is required to report monthly on Council’s Investment Portfolio and certify that the Investments are held in accordance with Council’s Investment Policy, Section 625 of the Local Government Act (NSW) 1993 and Local Government (General) Regulation 2005.

Investment Performance Commentary

5.      Council’s performance against the benchmark for returns of its investment portfolio for October 2020, are as follows:

 

1 Month

3 Month

12 Month

Portfolio Performance

0.13%

0.33%

1.70%

Performance Index

0.01%

0.03%

0.51%

Excess

0.12%

0.30%

1.19%

Notes:                                                      

(a)     Portfolio performance is the rate of return of the portfolio over the specified period.

(b)     The Performance Index is the rate of return of the market (comparable securities) over the specified period.        

(c)     Excess performance is the rate of return of the portfolio in excess of the Performance Index.

6.      Council’s investment portfolio as at the end of October was as follows:

Security Type

Market Value $000's

% Total Value

At Call Deposit

25,489

17.38%

Consolidated Cash Fund

5,577

3.80%

Covered Floating Bond

1,007

0.69%

Flexi Deposit (Fix/Float)

6,000

4.09%

Floating Rate Deposit

7,000

4.77%

Floating Rate Note

33,188

22.63%

Term Deposit

62,000

   42.29%

Managed Funds Trust

6,379

4.35%

Total Cash and Investments

146,640

100.00%

7.      At the end of September 2020, Total Cash and Investments were $151 million and have decreased by $4 million at the end of October 2020.

8.      Council continues to utilise the Federal Government’s current guarantee ($250,000) investing in Term Deposits with a range of Authorised Deposit Taking Institutions (ADI’s) on short to medium term investments (generally 30 days to 180 days maturity).

Legal Matters

9.      Georges River Council is participating in a Group Class Action against Fitch Ratings Inc., in respect to losses suffered on the Corsair (Cayman Islands) No.4 Ltd Series 6 Kakadu Collateralised Debt Obligation (CDO) notes. Council suffered a capital loss of $214,812 on these investments dating back to December 2006 and will seek damages of the capital loss, including lost interest, as part of the action.

Banton Group are the legal firm working on the matter and have continued to confer with counsel to be in a position to commence proceedings against Fitch Ratings Inc. in the near term. Further updates will be presented to Council as they are received.

Borrowings

10.    Council’s loan liability, as at 31 October 2020 was $1 million, which represents the balance of a $5 million/10 year loan drawn down on 16 November 2012 for the Jubilee Park upgrade in Mortdale. The next repayment of $125,000 is due on 24 December 2020.

11.    The outstanding balance on this facility is at a variable interest rate of 195 basis points above the three month BBSW. At the current three month BBSW rate, the interest rate payable is 2.02% pa.

12.    Council receives a 4% p.a. interest subsidy under the NSW Government’s Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme funding agreement for the Jubilee Park upgrade facility. It is intended to continue this financially advantageous arrangement through to full term in 2022.

Policy Limits

13.    The graph below shows the Investment Rating limits, as a percentage of total cash investments, which are allowed under Council’s Investment policy. It also compares them to the amounts invested, as a percentage of the total cash investments. It shows that the funds invested are within the limits set in the Investment Policy.

 

Investment Income

14.    Income from interest on investments to 31 October 2020 is $646k which is $32k lower than the 2020/21 year-to-date adopted budget.

15.    Investments have been made in accordance with the Local Government Act (1993), Minister’s Guidelines, Regulations and Council’s Investment Policy.

Analysis of Investments

Investment Duration

Investment Term

Market Value ‘000

% Total Value

Policy Limits

0 to < 1 Year

102,332

69.78%

100%

1 to < 3 Years

37,843

25.81%

70%

3 to < 5 Years

6,465

4.41%

50%

Portfolio Total

146,640

100.00%

 

 

16.    Council’s portfolio is liquid, with 69.78% of assets maturing within 12 months. FRNs, At-Call Funds and Fixed Bonds also provide additional liquidity in an emergency.

17.    The following graphs show analysis of the total cash investment by institution:    


 

Type of Investments

 

18.    The majority of Council’s investment portfolio is made up of fixed term deposits, which account for approximately 42% of total investments.

19.    Bank Floating Rate Notes (FRN) offer liquidity and a higher rate of income accrual, which is highly recommended by our Investment Advisors (CPG Research & Advisory).

20.    The following are the types of investments held by Council:

a)      Cash and Call Accounts refer to funds held at a financial institution and can be recalled by Council either same day or on an overnight basis.

b)      An FRN is a debt security issued by a company with a variable interest rate. This can either be issued as Certificates of Deposit (CD) or as Medium Term Notes (MTN). The interest rate can be either fixed or floating, where the adjustments to the interest rate are usually made quarterly and are tied to a certain money market index such as the Bank Bill Swap Rate.

c)      A Fixed Term Deposit is a debt security issued by a company with a fixed interest rate over the term of the deposit.

d)      A managed fund is a professionally managed investment portfolio that individual investors can buy into, purchasing 'units' rather than shares. Each managed fund has a specific investment objective. This is usually based around the different asset classes (cash, fixed interest, property and shares). The money you invest is used to buy assets in line with this investment objective. When you invest in a managed fund, you are allocated a number of 'units'. The value of your units is calculated on a daily basis and changes as the market value of the assets in the fund rises and falls.

* These managed funds have been grandfathered since the NSW State Government changed the list of Approved Investments as a result of the Cole enquiry (which was reflected in the Ministerial Order dated 31/7/2008).

 

Credit Rating

21.    Credit ratings are generally a statement as to an institution’s credit quality. Council’s Investment Advisors (CPG Research & Advisory) use Standard & Poor’s Credit ratings to classify the investments held by Council. Ratings ranging from AA to BBB (Short Term) & AA to BBB (long term) are considered investment grade.

22.    A general guide as to the meaning of each credit rating that Council deals with is as follows:

Short-term

AA:            The best quality companies, reliable and stable. An obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is very strong.

A:               The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is still strong but is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions.

BBB:          Adequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments.

Unrated:   This category includes unrated Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions (ADI’s) such as some Credit Unions and Building Societies to the extent not Commonwealth-guaranteed. No rating has been requested, or there is insufficient information on which to base a rating.         

Long-term

AA:            Quality companies, a bit higher risk than AAA. An obligor has very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments. It differs from the highest-rated obligors only to a small degree.

A:               Economic situation can affect finance. An obligor has strong capacity to meet its financial commitments but is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligors in higher-rated categories.

BBB:          Medium class companies, which are satisfactory at the moment. An obligor has adequate capacity to meet its financial commitments. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitments.

Unrated:  This category includes unrated Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions (ADI’s) such as some Credit Unions and Building Societies to the extent not Commonwealth-guaranteed. No rating has been requested, or there is insufficient information on which to base a rating.

23.    The credit quality of Council’s portfolio is relatively high with approximately 86% of assets rated ‘A’ or higher. The ‘AAA’ assets represent the deposit investments covered by the Federal Government’s Financial Claims Scheme (FCS).

24.    The remaining 14% rated ‘BBB’ or ‘unrated’ reflects the deposit and FRN investments with the regional and unrated ADIs.

Council’s Investment Powers

25.    Council’s investment powers are regulated by Section 625 of the NSW Local Government Act (1993), which states:

·        A council may invest money that is not, for the time being, required by the council for any other purpose.

·        Money may be invested only in a form of investment notified by order of the Minister published in the Gazette.

·        An order of the Minister notifying a form of investment for the purposes of this section must not be made without the approval of the Treasurer.

·        The acquisition, in accordance with Section 358, of a controlling interest in a corporation or an entity within the meaning of that section is not an investment for the purposes of this section.

26.    Council’s investment policy and strategy requires that all investments are to be made in accordance with:

·        Local Government Act 1993 - Section 625.

·        Local Government Act 1993 - Order (of the Minister) dated 12 January 2011.

·        The Trustee Amendment (Discretionary Investments) Act 1997 - Sections 14A (2), 14C (1) & (2).

·        Local Government (Financial Management) Regulation 1993.

·        Investment Guidelines issued by the Department of Local Government.

Financial Implications

27.    Income from interest on investments totals $646,375 which is $32,291 lower than the 2020/21 year-to-date adopted budget.

Risk Implications

28.    Enterprise risk/s identified, and management process applied.

29.    Council’s enterprise risk identified was ‘poor financial management adversely impacts Council’s long-term financial sustainability’. The risk has been managed by Council’s management of investments in accordance with the relevant act and regulations, along with Council adopted Investment Policy. To further minimise the risk, Council will progressively move towards the placement of investments only in investments rated A or above.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

30.    No community consultation is required as a result of this report. Members of the community can attend and address Council at the Council meeting in relation to this matter in accordance with Council’s Code of Meeting Practice.

File Reference

D20/277007

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Investment Report as at 31 October 2020

 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Monday, 7 December 2020

FIN064-20              Investment Report as at 31 October 2020

[Appendix 1]          Investment Report as at 31 October 2020

 

 

Page 24

 


 


 


 



 


 


 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                    Page 30

Item:                   FIN065-20     New Rates 2021 Application - Amendments to IPR Documents 

Author:              Chief Financial Officer

Directorate:      Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

Recommendation:

(a)     That Council endorse for the purposes of public exhibition the amended Draft Integrated Planning and Reporting document, being the Long Term Financial Plan within the Resourcing Strategy.

(b)     That the amended Draft Long Term Financial Plan within the Resourcing Strategy be approved for public exhibition for a period of not less than 28 days allowing the community to comment on the amended content of these documents relating to the New Rates 2021 proposal. 

(c)     That the General Manager be delegated authority to make formatting and minor editorial adjustments to the amended Draft Long Term Financial Plan within the Resourcing Strategy during the public exhibition period.

(d)     That submissions received as part of the public exhibition of the amended Draft Long Term Financial Plan within the Resourcing Strategy be reported to a future Council meeting for consideration as part of the adoption of the final document.

(e)     That submissions received as part of the public exhibition of the amended Draft Long Term Financial Plan within the Resourcing Strategy, be collated into the community engagement feedback report as part of the rate restructure application.

 

EXecutive Summary

1.      Based on Council’s adoption of the New Rates 2021 proposal on 24 August 2020, there is a requirement within the special rate variation community engagement guidelines for the relevant Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) documents to be updated to clearly illustrate the special rate variation (SRV) proposal.

2.      The new revised Long Term Financial Plan includes three models, they are as follows:

·    Model 1: Current situation - forecast outlook is no action is taken to resolve council’s operating deficits. Note: this forecast does not include COVID-19 impact.

·    Model 2: Special Rate Variation (SRV) of 5.8% each year over a 5 year period commencing in  2021/22

·    Model 3: This model includes the model 2 SRV and $12 million savings target to be identified over a number of years.

Background

3.      Council resolved in 2018/2019 to develop a program for the preparation of a new residential and business rates structure for the Georges River Council Local Government area (LGA), which was also to include options that would strengthen Council’s financial sustainability and replace the cessation of the former Hurstville City Council’s SRV from July 2021.

4.      During 2019/20 Council undertook extensive community consultation on a number of SRV options and a preferred rate structure model. 2019/20 Community consultation results were based on more than 6,000 responses received from the community. The consultation found that 78% of respondents were supportive of introducing a consistent minimum rate across the city and 66% supported a minimum rate increase to $965.80.  Additionally, 54% of respondents were supportive of Council applying to IPART for a SRV of 8.1% plus a rate peg of 2.5%.

5.      At the Extraordinary Council Meeting held on Monday 10 February 2020, Council considered the community consultation results and whether to proceed with an application to IPART to introduce in 2020/21 a harmonised minimum rate, harmonised rate in the dollar and also a new SRV to its rates to improve Council’s financial sustainability and replace the expiration of the former Hurstville Council SRV.  Council resolved not to proceed with the application for the SRV or the harmonisation of rates in 2020/21 and instead to investigate staff reductions and salary savings as part of future cost saving measures.

6.      A subsequent Council resolution in April 2020, resolved not to investigate staff reduction and salary savings and instead introduce the efficiency items proposed in the draft application to IPART presented at the February 2020 Extraordinary Council Meeting.

7.      Council resolved at its meeting held on 24 August 2020, to commence community consultation on a new multi-year SRV proposal and equitable and harmonised minimum rates across the LGA. As per the resolution, community engagement has commenced and Council’s Long Term Financial Plan has been updated.

8.      Community engagement on the new rates 2021 commenced on 19 October 2021 with the commencement of the on-line survey on the Council website.  The period for submissions closed on the 30 November 2020.  During this period there has been:

a.      Direct mail out to all ratepayers

b.      Comprehensive information, including videos, FAQs, recorded webinars and rates calculator, on Council’s website

c.       4 webinars

d.      Advertisements, notices and social media posts to promote the engagement

e.      Telephone survey.

 

9.   Councillors will be briefed on the outcome of this engagement shortly.

 

Integrated Planning and Reporting

10.    Like all Councils, Georges River Council operates under the Local Government Act 1993. The Act requires Council to produce a suite of documents as part of an Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework.

11.    The Framework brings together Council's various plans, giving both Council and the community a clear understanding of how each of the plans interacts. This process maximises Council efforts to strategically and holistically plan for the future.

12.    This Resourcing Strategy has been developed alongside Council’s first-ever Community Strategic Plan, which is based on extensive community engagement during 2017. The Community Strategic Plan 2018-2028 contains the community’s priorities and aspirations as well as the strategies for achieving these goals.

13.    Council’s Delivery Program sets out the proposed actions to achieve the goals and strategies in the Community Strategic Plan. Normally, the Delivery Program runs for four years; however as a recently merged Council, Georges River Council’s first Delivery Program was for three years to align with the local government election cycle.

14.    The Resourcing Strategy details the overall plan on how Council will resource its’ planned activities over the next decade through the use of its money, people and assets, to meet the community’s needs and desires.

15.    The Long Term Financial Plan forecasts Council’s financial position for the next 10 years based on its Delivery Program and Operational Plan. These projections form a roadmap of the operations and give Council an opportunity to assess different courses of corrective action and quantify the potential outcomes to ensure sustainability, positive net results and the structure of the operations, based on affordability.

Financial Implications

16.    No budget impact for this report.

Risk Implications

17.    Councillors have been made aware during the past two financial years of Council’s poor and deteriorating financial outlook over the next 10 year period of the Long Term Financial Plan. Failure to address the unsustainable financial position places Council in contravention of S.8b of the Local Government Act 1993 and will compel Council to cut and/or reduce services to ease the unfavourable gap between income and expenditure.

18.    Council’s Long Term Financial Plan highlights declining operating results, which informs Council’s need to take corrective action, to ensure financial sustainability.

19.    The forecast operating financial sustainability issues have accelerated from original estimates due to the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the 2019/20 financial results.

20.    In July 2020 the Audit Risk and Improvement Committee (ARIC) expressed concern over the projected operating and cash flow deficits and that the estimates indicate that Council will not be financially sustainable and this will expose Council to significant risks to service delivery, governance and reputation.

21.    The ARIC recommended that Council consider measures to immediately address the key financial sustainability risk, particularly in regard to increasing revenues to secure Council’s immediate and long term future. 

Community Engagement

22.    Community engagement will be conducted, including public review and exhibition, for a period of at least 28 days.  Appropriate media releases and on-line notifications will alert the community to the opportunity to comment.

23.    Community engagement was conducted on the original 2019/20 Resourcing Strategy for 28 days prior, with submissions outlined for Council adoption at the June 2020 Council meeting.

24.    In November 2019, Council adopted the updated IP&R documents, which included the three SRV options and placed on public exhibition for 28 days. There were no submissions received during last year’s public exhibition and this is an extension of that process to ensure the inclusion of the 5 year SRV proposal.

File Reference

SF19/2333

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Resourcing Strategy - FINAL DRAFT FOR COUNCIL REPORT Edits November 2020 pdf - published in separate document

 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                    Page 34

Item:                   FIN066-20     Draft 2021/22 Budget - Consideration of Establishment of Additional FTE Position 

Author:              Manager, Office of the General Manager

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

That as part of the 2021/22 Budget process, Council consider:

(a)     the establishment of an additional permanent Full Time Equivalent (FTE) position within the Office of the General Manager, being a Correspondence and Liaison Officer;

(b)     the allocation of additional employee costs of approximately $90,000 (salary and on costs)  within the 2021/22 Budget to reflect the additional position and salary.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.      This report seeks Council approval to:

i.    Establish a permanent Full Time Equivalent (FTE) position within the Office of the General Manager, being a Correspondence and Liaison Officer; and

ii.   Allocate funds within Council’s 2021/22 Budget to provide for the additional position and salary.

2.      This report provides statistical information regarding correspondence volumes since amalgamation.

3.      If Council does not support the establishment of the recommended position, options have been provided for Council’s consideration to determine how to address the volume of incoming correspondence.

BACKGROUND

4.      Council’s established service standard is to provide a response to correspondence within 10 working days (14 days, including weekends).

5.      Since amalgamation (May 2016), there have been approximately 1,100 working days or 220 working weeks and Council has completed more than 190,000 items of correspondence.

6.      More recently, enquiries from Local Members, residents and community groups have become more complex in nature and the overall volume has increased to levels that have resulted in service standards not being achieved.

7.      Since December 2019, over 50,000 items of actionable correspondence have been completed (excluding phone calls and meetings).

8.      Of the 50,000 correspondence items completed since December 2019, a large proportion is attributable to a small number of community members and community groups.

9.      There are a significant number of major projects and community matters generating high volume/complex enquiries, such as;

New Rates 2021 program, Regional Aquatic Facility investigations/studies, closure of Kogarah War Memorial Pool, COVID-19 pandemic, draft Local Environmental Plan 2020 and 2021, draft Development Control Plans, Plans of Management, land valuations, Capital Works Program, etc.

10.   

Top Ten Correspondents

Number of Correspondence Items (since May 2016)

(1,100 working days / 220 working weeks)

Correspondent 1 (MP)

3,541

Correspondent 2 (MP)

2,874

Correspondent 3

1,788

Correspondent 4

786

Correspondent 5

684

Correspondent 6 (MP)

446

Correspondent 7

416

Correspondent 8

406

Correspondent 9

368

Correspondent 10

322

*   This table excludes correspondence from community groups

11.    As can be seen above, a single resident correspondent can generate up to 8 items of correspondence per week.  The correspondence can often be complex and contain up to 20 separate lines of enquiry in a single submission.

12.    In the process of completing a single, complex correspondence item, there can be multiple interactions with the author and in some instances up to 10 Council officers can be involved in the collation and preparation of a response.  A recent survey revealed that some items of complex correspondence can involve more than 20 hours of staff time to resolve.

13.    This disproportionate amount of correspondence generated by a small number of correspondents affects the standard of service that can be delivered to other members of the community, not only in terms of replies to their correspondence but also in the delivery of a range of Council services and operational matters as staff are diverted away from those activities.

14.    Due to the large volume and complexity of correspondence, Council is failing to meet the service standard of a response being provided within 14 days. As reported in the General Manager’s 2019/20 Performance Review, only 89% of correspondence is completed within this timeframe.

RISK IMPLICATIONS

15.    If Council continues to fail to meet the service standard of 10 days to reply to incoming correspondence, there is potential for reputational damage.

OPTIONS

16.    There are several options available to Council;

OPTION 1: Maintain Service Standards

·    Establishment of an additional FTE, namely a Correspondence and Liaison Officer.

·    The proposed position will be responsible for preparing and editing accurate and timely responses to the community. They will ensure written responses are high quality, consistent, comprehensive, relevant and accurate.

·    This option allows the continuation of the current service standard of a 10 working day response period.

·    This is the option recommended by staff.

OPTION 2: Reduce Service Standards

·    No change to staff resourcing.

·    Amend the current service standard, from a 10 working day response period to a 20 working day response period.

·    This option does not reduce the volume of incoming correspondence, it merely allows additional time for staff to compile and issue responses.

          OPTION 3: Place restrictions on incoming correspondence

·    No change to staff resourcing.

·    Apply restrictions on correspondents who are currently raising a disproportionally high number of enquiries or a high number of repeat enquiries on the same matter/issue (eg: some correspondents have submitted more than 50 items of correspondence on the same topic).  This approach could involve limiting the total number of enquiries that can be submitted on a single matter/issue.

·    This option will reduce the volume of incoming correspondence.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

17.    Council officers have written and evaluated a Position Description for the proposed position of Correspondence and Liaison Officer and determined a market salary range from $72,500 to $84,000.

18.    If endorsed by Council, a budget bid will be submitted for Council’s draft 2021/22 Budget to cover the salary costs of the position.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

19.    Community engagement is not required.

 

FILE REFERENCE

D20/289446

 

 

 

  


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                    Page 36

Item:                   FIN067-20     Quarterly Budget Review for Quarter Ended 30 September 2020 

Author:              Chief Financial Officer

Directorate:      Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

Recommendation:

That Council receive and note the addendum to the Quarterly Budget Review for quarter ended 30 September 2020.

 

Executive Summary

1.      The attachment to this report contains contracts awarded over $50,000 for the quarter ended 30 September 2020.

Background

2.      Council was provided with the Quarterly Budget Review for quarter ended 30 September 2020 at the 9 November 2020 Finance and Governance Standing Committee meeting. Following adoption by Council it was identified that an error had occurred in the upload of the report attachment, resulting in the omission of the attachment for contracts awarded over $50,000 for the quarter ended 30 September 2020. 

 

Financial Implications

3.      No budget impact for this report.

 

Risk Implications

4.     No risks identified.

 

File Reference

D20/292255

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Addendum - Contracts over $50,000 - Q1 30 September 2020 PDF

 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Monday, 7 December 2020

FIN067-20              Quarterly Budget Review for Quarter Ended 30 September 2020

[Appendix 1]          Addendum - Contracts over $50,000 - Q1 30 September 2020 PDF

 

 

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