Study of Service Delivery Reviews

Study of Service Delivery Reviews
31 July 2012

ACELG has just released a new study that looks at service delivery reviews undertaken in 11 councils across Australia. The paper assesses the level of maturity of formal service review processes used in a variety of councils and the outcomes achieved, and makes recommendations on how such processes can be supported and enhanced in the future.

Councils that participated in the study were Coffs Harbour City Council, City of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie City Council, Parramatta City Council, Port Stephens Shire Council, and Rockdale City Council (all NSW); City of Playford, City of Prospect and District Council of Tumby Bay (all SA); Mackay Regional Council (QLD) and the City of Melville (WA).

This is timely research. Local government service provision has transformed significantly over recent decades, with councils now moving beyond a narrow emphasis on ‘roads, rates and rubbish’ towards broader objectives to promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of communities. At the same time community expectations of local government have increased while other levels of government have devolved various functions. The overall effect is that councils must provide a greater range of services while endeavouring to meet higher standards.

The study reveals that progressive local governments have employed a formal system for reviewing the services they provide to their communities, and such processes had achieved tangible outcomes and community benefit. The study suggests that such reviews can identify opportunities for:

* service and activity improvements;
* cost savings;
* service level adjustments;
* alternative modes of service delivery; and
* improved resource usage.

The paper makes recommendations on how such processes can be further supported and enhanced within Australian local government, such as developing a ‘service review guide’ for councils of service review models, tools and forms; a training program to support such a Guide, and; online facilities such as forums and a library of reference material relevant to service reviews.

Download Options:
Volume 1 – Report 
Volume 2 – Attachments (4MB)
Both Volumes Combined (4.29MB)

Download Summary

Short course: To support the findings, UTS-CLG will conduct a short course in Sydney between 17-19 September called ‘Reviewing and Enhancing Local Government Service Delivery’ that will incorporate the papers findings and case studies from the paper. One of the authors, Glen Walker, will teach a substantial part of the course. Download the course outline here.

The UTS-CLG is an ACELG consortium partner.

For further information about the study or course, contact Sarah Artist: sarah.artist@uts.edu.au | 02 9514 4896.

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