The Australian Local Government Performance Excellence Program FY19 – Northern Beaches Council
Northern Beaches Council participates in the Australian Local Government Performance Excellence Program. The Program, delivered by Local Government Professionals Australia and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) provides comparative data on how Northern Beaches Council compares to other participating councils across themes of workforce, finance, operations, some service delivery, corporate leadership and asset management.
The 2018/19 financial year report was released in December 2019. A total of 115 councils participated in the program across Australia and New Zealand.
Post Audit Review Report of Manly Andrew Boy Charlton Aquatic Centre
In the interest of accountability and transparency, Northern Beaches Council commissioned a Post Audit Review Report of the Manly Andrew Boy Charlton Aquatic Centre to review the procurement and construction process and provide any learnings which could be applied to similar projects.
Key findings include:
- While the project exceeded Manly Council’s original budget, the report finds Manly Andrew Boy Charlton Aquatic Centre comparable to other aquatic centre redevelopments currently being undertaken
- Project delays were due to unforeseeable contamination issues
- The contract and procurement model for the engagement of the architect and consultant panel was not optimal
- Updating the public on the actual budget was not transparent
- The working relationship between Council and the builder may have been more beneficial if a Design & Construct option was put in place
- The effort in the sizing, design and installation of the co-generation system was under-estimated. Further, the business case was based on gas prices which have significantly escalated since this time and would likely not make the installation viable should it be re-assessed today
- There was a mis-match of one of the strongest pieces of feedback from the community (the need for more car parking) with the delivery scope of the project
Council has committed to the following controls to reduce the risk of re-occurrence of some of the project issues:
- There is an established Project Management Methodology through which projects are being delivered by the Northern Beaches Council with governance controls relative to the size and risk profile of the project.
- All projects of a cost greater than $10m are required to go through Office of Local Government Capital Expenditure Review, and this process has subsequently been followed for the other major projects delivered by the Northern Beaches Council (eg: PCYC and Dee Why Car Park).
- Northern Beaches Council Community Engagement Policy and associated framework has very clear processes to ensure transparency and community involvement in major projects.
- Regular and transparent notification and exhibiting of both the Developer Contributions Plans (also previously known as Section 94 Plans) and Council’s Operational and Capital Programs are in place for the Northern Beaches Council.