Organisational Review - CCO’s Back in House
To: All Media
From: Jo Blick
Date: Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Subject: Organisational Review - CCO’s Back in House
The Queenstown Lakes District Council today formally resolved to disestablish its two Council controlled organisations – Lakes Environmental Limited and Lakes Leisure Limited, QLDC Mayor Vanessa van Uden announced.
“We have accelerated this particular part of the wider Council review to provide for a more efficient and effective integration of Council activities in anticipation of the draft report which will be issued to staff on 2 April,” Mayor van Uden said.
The Mayor said that while the two CCO’s - which delivered regulatory, planning and recreational services - would have their functions transferred into QLDC, it was anticipated that the staff resources within the two CCO’s would also largely be transferred to Council.
“The first stage in this process is to ensure there is a smooth integration of Council functions and that Council services, including those provided by the CCO’s, continue with minimal disruption. Anyone currently engaged in transactions with the CCO’s can assume business as usual, “she said.
The Council had come to its decision after an extensive briefing from the Organisational Review Team lead by chair Peter Winder.
The team had considered a number of factors as to whether the functions sat better within a CCO model or as core Council functions.
These included considerations such as fragmentation of Council services; the need for public accountability to the community; the need to avoid unnecessary governance and administration costs; and whether the services performed were true commercial activities or simply core local government activities.
“The case for re-integration for both organisations was compelling. We are the only local authority to have these core functions sitting in a CCO model,” Mayor van Uden said.
The Mayor noted that the decisions were a reflection of changing circumstances, rather than any criticism of past decisions.
“In both cases, aligning the two CCO’s with Councils Planning Services and Community Service, respectively, will provide a more integrated service for the community while also delivering cost-efficiencies.”
Mayor van Uden said the two Boards had steered their organisations through numerous challenges over the past years and should be thanked for their dedication and hard work.
“This decision is in no way a reflection on the staff or the governing bodies of these two organisations. I can only reiterate that the case for re-integration could not be overlooked by a Council hell-bent on finding efficiencies and improving service,” she said.
Once the integration process had been completed, it is expected that there will be efficiencies in the medium term which will deliver operational savings.
Also, we can improve overall Council services. There will be no unnecessary overlap and a consistent approach to everything we do,” she said.
The final and perhaps most significant benefit would be giving residents a single point of service for all the functions which were the responsibility of a local authority. “You want something done, you go to one place,” Mayor van Uden said.
With the decision made to transfer all the CCO functions back to Council, the organisational review report would now make recommendations on a single organisational structure on 2 April.
“There remain numerous operational challenges ahead of Council. The review team will be recommending changes on these in its draft report on 2 April, which will then be the subject of consultation with staff,” Mayor van Uden said.
Until all staff could be briefed on the draft report Council could not be drawn on further details.
“As I have said it is clearly business as usual in the short term. The public will be dealing with the same staff at the same locations until we can finalise the changes over coming months, and they will be kept well-informed as the transition occurs,” Mayor van Uden said.