HORSHAM Rural City Council's chief executive says the council will work on reaching key performance indicators after it was audited by the Victorian Auditor-General's Office.
The council was assessed on key performance indicators set by the Local Government Performance Reporting Framework for an independent assurance report to the parliament.
It was assessed on the service areas of maternal and child health, statutory planning and waste collection.
The Auditor-General's Office found that Horsham council did not set its own performance indicators for any of the three services examined.
Four other councils were also assessed during the audit and were found to use additional indicators for some of the services.
In his letter to the Auditor-General's Office, Horsham council's chief executive Sunil Bhalla said the council was supportive of the need to measure performance of its services.
"Council has a detailed reporting framework that seeks to extend the service performance measures beyond those in the LGPRF but has found resourcing this challenging in the current fiscal environment, but continues to work on that goal," he said.
See the full report below:
The LGVRF recommends that councils report against indicators quarterly. However, the report found that none of the audited councils did this for all indicators. Horsham reports to councillors every six months.
The report also found that the councils did not interpret reporting rules consistently, reducing the accuracy and consistency of LGPRF data. It found Horsham did not document how it calculated the reported results.
Furthermore, the report found Horsham did not have targets for any LGPRF indicators.
Case study: kerbside collection bins missed in Horsham
For all four reporting years of the LGPRF, Horsham's results on the 'kerbside collection bins missed' indicator shows that the council missed far fewer bins than similar councils. However, the report found that this was because Horsham used a manual log of missed bins, provided by its internal waste and recycling team.
A more accurate source of data for this indicator is the council's customer request management system, which records all missed bin requests from residents. For example, in 2017-18, the council reported zero bins as missed using the manual log.
For the same reporting period, the CRM recorded that the contractor had missed 57 bins. The report found that the four other audited councils used a similar CRM system for this indicator.
As a result, Horsham has not accurately reported the performance of its waste collection services. Having an appropriate quality assurance process would have helped to identify the most appropriate data source for reporting purposes. The council is planning to use the CRM system for this indicator for LGPRF reporting from 2018-19.
Mr Bhalla said the council would address specific recommendations from the report.
"The audit undertaken and the recommendations for councils are sound advice as to the direction that councils should be heading, and the report will help guide council to improve in this area," he said.
While youre with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure youre up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.