BEFORE ADMINISTRATION Council previously had no established process for the development of high-level strategic business planning. This resulted in a lack of alignment between the community’s vision and expectations, and the allocation of council funding and resources. There was a lack of clarity around how to best balance council’s “business as usual” activities with the high level of growth the city is experiencing, and how this aligned strategically with Advance Ipswich, council’s community plan. There was also no regular or detailed performance reporting in place to enable the community to see how the council was actually tracking in relation to the delivery of strategic projects. WHAT WE DID A Transformation Project team developed a Strategic Business Planning Framework in six months. As part of this, the team researched many other local governments across the nation to review existing strategic business planning frameworks. Organisations such as the Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) and various staff from across all council departments were asked to share their thoughts and views. A business plan delivery schedule and a step- by-step guide on how to use the framework was created. Key roles and responsibilities across the organisation were also clarified during this process. There is still work to be done in reforming your council’s documentation templates to ensure the new framework operates as intended and that there is a consistent approach to how strategic documents are created, operational plans prepared and funding approved.
This chapter addresses the reforms undertaken in some of the key areas of how your council manages its internal operations; in other words: How your council undertakes strategic business planning; How your council sets the annual budget and long term financial forecast;
How your council prioritises major projects;
How your council deals with risk;
How your council receives reports and reports to the community;
How your council sets policies and procedures;
How your council establishes delegations;
How your council procures contractors, products and services;
How your council manages its assets;
How your council is structured;
How council manages its people;
How your council is preventing fraud and corruption; and How your council is managing ICT and corporate knowledge.
4.1 STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLANNING Strategic planning is at the core of sound decisions and governance. Council is obligated under the Local Government Act 2009 to have a five-year corporate plan that engages the community. There must also be a long-term asset management plan, a long-term financial forecast and an annual budget. All councillors have the responsibility to ensure that the local government achieves its corporate plan (see section 12(3)(a)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 ). It is therefore entirely reasonable for Ipswich residents and ratepayers to expect that council has a clear, robust and factually-based corporate plan, with direct links to annual business, operational plans and the annual setting of the budget.