ECan’s Finance & Audit Committee to take more acti
September 11, 2006
ECan’s Finance & Audit Committee to take more active role
The new chair of Environment Canterbury’s Finance and Audit Committee, Prof. Bob Kirk, has indicated that the committee, under his leadership, will take on a more active role in the organisation’s financial planning.
He says a new role awaits the committee in working with the full council, ECan staff and the public in the development and the implementation of the Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP). “The debates and discussions surrounding the LTCCP have made it clear to councillors that the Finance and Audit Committee should play a bigger role when it comes to long term financial planning. In the past attention tended to be focused on planning for the year ahead. With the LTCCP we have to look a decade ahead. That requires much more strategic planning.” He says as a result it was decided that the committee would have a more extensive central role in the annual budget process in particular.
Prof Kirk points out that the LTCCP sets out an overall increase in expenditure of about 3.8 percent for the next (2007/2008) financial year. “It will be the task of the Finance and Audit Committee to examine opportunities for efficiencies, the creation of new income streams, and alternative funding mechanisms,” he says. “For example, Council signaled in the LTCCP that it would investigate the use of Uniform Annual General Charges, charging for water management services, and a return to equalisation to address concerns about rate fluctuations. The Finance and Audit Committee has a strong role to play in making these decisions.”
In addition to that, Prof Kirk says, the Finance and Audit Committee will be working closely with the various portfolio committees within Environment Canterbury as they review and plan their activities in light of the LTCCP.
He says the committee will continue to be involved on behalf of Council with Target Pest Enterprises Ltd as it enters a new partnership phase of its corporate identity and operations.
“Of course our core responsibility still remains to oversee and scrutinise the financial operations and health of the organisation on behalf of the public,” Prof Kirk says.