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Review of organisation development complete

Auckland City Council
Media release

13 May 2008

Review of organisation development programme complete

The leaders of the council have today received a report they requested to look into Auckland City Council’s programme to improve the performance of the organisation.

The review, conducted by Doug Martin of Martin Jenkins Consulting, found that Auckland City Council’s development programme offers a sound suite of initiatives directed at improving organisational culture and leadership.

The organisation development programme was created by chief executive, David Rankin (then designate) in 2005 based on feedback from customers, stakeholders and the then council to improve the organisation's service to Auckland city customers and citizens including ratepayers.

Auckland city’s Mayor John Banks says: “At Auckland City Council we clearly understand the need to lift our game. Much work has been done but more progress is needed.”

“This report is part of this council’s efforts to ensure that the operations of the council are efficient and cost effective.

“I am committed to giving Aucklanders prompt and hassle free service from their council,” said Mr Banks.

“Recommendations that are set out in the report will be carefully evaluated line by line and necessary changes will be implemented. This is a useful working document,” he said.

The review found that the programme had helped achieve significant improvements in the operations of the organisation over the last three years including:

• A lift in managerial performance

• improved stakeholder relationships

• improved prioritisation of resources

• the organisation works towards a common mission

• a good mix of new recruits and retention of institutional knowledge.

It identified areas for improvement including:

• That the organisation needs to recognise and address that it is trying to do too much across too many fronts, and that it needs to prioritise if it is going to do more

• a need for more consistent performance in dealings with customers

• better prioritisation of operating expenditure that rewards savings and efficiencies.

Chief executive David Rankin welcomes the report findings.

“The recommendations support the direction of our organisational development programme and suggest additional actions suggested will be considered to improve our effectiveness and customer service,” he said.

The review cost $20,000.

The review findings and recommendations will be reported to two committees. Those relating to organisation development will be reported to the Performance Monitoring Committee and financial recommendations will be reported to Finance and Strategy Committee.

Deputy Mayor David Hay, chair of the Performance Monitoring Committee says: “There are some good recommendations in the report for both staff and councillors to consider. Excellent work is being done but there is always room for improvement.”

Councillor Douglas Armstrong, chair of the Finance and Strategy Committee says: “The review has been a very constructive exercise, and necessary if the council is going to keep rates increases affordable.

“It provides a number of challenging recommendations that will need to be addressed by the chief executive and the council.”

The review took place in late January and early February this year. Doug Martin is one of New Zealand's most experienced and respected advisers on public sector organisational performance.

As part of his review, Mr Martin interviewed a number of internal and external stakeholders about the organisational development programme, particularly in the areas of organisation culture and leadership, process and systems development, and operational efficiency and prioritisation.



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