Source: Far North District Council – Press Release/Statement:
Headline: ‘B’ performance rating for Council
Local government experts have given the Far North District Council a B rating for performance in a report released yesterday.
The Council is one of 18 local authorities that agreed to be assessed under Local Government New Zealand’s inaugural CouncilMARK™ excellence programme, which is designed to give communities an unbiased view of how well their council is performing.
Independent assessors assessed the Far North District Council’s performance across four areas and concluded that:
- Communications and engagement with the public and business was ‘better than competent’
- Financial decision-making and transparency was ‘competent’
- Governance, leadership and strategy was ‘variable’
- Service delivery and asset management was ‘variable’
The assessors gave the Council an overall B rating on a nine-level AAA to C rating scale, putting it at the low end of mid-range ratings of BBB, BB and B.
Assessors said the Council had good capability in most operational areas and a comprehensive financial strategy. Its fundamental problem was whether its rates, expenditure and borrowings were sustainable, given its income. Project delivery was also weak and the Council would benefit from a having a more focused vision and affordable and achievable goals.
Mayor John Carter says the report confirms his view of how the Council has been performing.
“We have always said there is room for improvement and this assessment confirms that. However, it also shows that we improved our performance in key areas and are on the right track.”
Elected members and council staff will use the report to guide improvements to governance and management practices. They hope to see an improvement when independent assessors review the Council’s performance again in three years.
“It was courageous of the Council to put itself forward for this scrutiny, but we wanted to be transparent and upfront about our performance.”
The report is available on the Council’s website at www.fndc.govt.nz