16-49 – Fit for the Future Improvement Plans and Integrated Planning and Reporting

What’s new or changing?

  • In 2015, all councils prepared an Improvement Plan to demonstrate how they would become Fit for the Future.
  • As councils undertake the next cycle of Integrated Planning and Reporting, it is important that the strategies and actions identified in the Improvement Plans are reflected in the new Delivery Program and Resourcing Strategy.
  • Councils are reminded that the Office of Local Government will monitor councils’ performance against the Fit for the Future benchmarks over time.

What this will mean for your council

  • Councils should each review their Fit for the Future Improvement Plans to identify all strategies and actions planned to enable them to remain fit into the future.
  • Where these strategies and actions will have a direct community impact, it is expected that councils will use their community strategic planning engagement activities to gauge with the community the appropriateness and support for these strategies and actions. Examples include special rate variations, service reviews, asset rationalisation and similar strategies which will impact on local communities.
  • This process may result in a decision not to proceed with a strategy or to include an alternative strategy. These changes should be captured in the Long-Term Financial Plan and in the Delivery Program and Resourcing Strategy.

Key points

  • The Integrated Planning and Reporting suite of documents prepared by councils following their election should have the support of the community and clearly describe how the council will achieve financial sustainability into the future.
  • Specific strategies and actions identified in the Fit for the Future Improvement Plan should be incorporated into the new Delivery Program and Resourcing Strategy documents.
  • Variations to improvement strategies identified in Fit for the Future Improvement Plans should be explained, and similar results demonstrated through alternative strategies.

Where to go for further information

  • Council staff responsible for preparing Integrated Planning and Reporting documents are encouraged to contact their Relationship Manager in the Development Team to discuss questions arising from this Circular.

Tim Hurst

Acting Chief Executive