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Review of the council Communications

Auckland City Council Media release

8 April 2008

Review of the council's Communications and Marketing group

An independent report released today shows that Auckland City Council's Communications and Marketing group serves Aucklanders with significant skills and has a wide range of expertise. However, it also states that there is potential for improvement and greater efficiencies.

The report was requested by councillors to ascertain the value for money provided to Aucklanders by the group.

Deputy Mayor David Hay says the report contains a number of positive recommendations for how expenditure in this area can be made more effective.

"It's important to make sure we're doing the right things for Aucklanders. Telling people what is happening in their community and listening to their feedback is critical for transparency."

The report has been passed to the chief executive for his consideration and will be discussed at the Finance and Strategy Committee meeting in May where any next steps required will be confirmed.

The report observes that although the cost of the group and its activities is $5.4 million annually, the same amount again is spent by the council, but outside the control of the group.

A key recommendation is that the group be given greater control over this expenditure to ensure quality and consistency of communications and to seek greater efficiencies.

The report says the group has the best detailed overview of the council's complex activities but requires more control and authority to fully take advantage of this.

The report contained other recommendations including:

* reviewing the weekly publication City Scene to ensure it continues to meet its objectives

* greater focus on the council's web site

* streamlining processes involved in working with the media

* reviewing salaries and contractor payments to ensure they are in line with the private sector.

The report cost $15,000 to produce.


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