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Reviews of NSW councils

About Promoting Better Practice reviews

Promoting Better Practice Reviews of individual councils aim to assist in strengthening the local government sector by assessing performance and promoting continuous improvement. The reviews are designed to act as a ‘health check’ which examines the extent to which there are appropriate strategies, policies, systems and procedures in place in the following areas:

  • Strategic planning focusses on a council’s Integrated Planning and Reporting arrangements including how well it engages its community in planning, how well it delivers against its Community Strategic Plan and Delivery Program, and how it reports to the community. Land use planning matters are also considered.

  • Financial sustainability is indicated through an assessment of a council’s current financial position as well as its long-term financial planning  and asset management.

  • Governance examines all the means by which a council is directed and controlled to ensure effective decision making and ensure the organisation is meeting its legal and ethical obligations. The council’s regulatory framework is also considered as part of this area.

  • Service delivery effectiveness and efficiency is measured through a consideration of customer satisfaction, service standards, and the council’s performance in achieving community outcomes through the implementation of its Delivery Program.

The reviews are normally conducted by a team from the Office of Local Government, and the resulting report reflects the findings of the review at the time of the review: it is a ‘snapshot’ in time.  A risk-based approach is taken, targeting resources to areas identified as core matters for examination, and those matters considered to be important having regard to the local circumstances of an individual council. In other words, a review does not examine every aspect of a council’s operations.

Reviews are also informed by the Principles for Service Reviews proposed by the Local Government Independent Review Panel.

Click on the links below for more information:




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