Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Consultation Over Proposal to Outsource Network Maintenance

Consultation Underway Over Proposal to Outsource Network Maintenance

Dunedin (Monday, 6 May 2013) – The Dunedin City Council is consulting with staff over a proposal to outsource its water and wastewater network maintenance.

A review of the Water and Waste Services business unit (WWS) has been carried out to look at ways to reduce costs to ratepayers while maintaining or improving service levels.

Key points of the proposal are:

• The DCC retains full ownership and control over the water and waste services network. The proposal would not affect service delivery or public accountability.

• The proposal to contract out network maintenance is in line with most other councils. About 75% of New Zealand’s water maintenance work is either contracted out or carried out by a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO).

• Annual savings of $300,000 to $550,000 are expected if all of the water and wastewater network maintenance is contracted out.

The outsourcing proposal was presented to affected staff last week. A consultation period with staff and unions is underway, closing on 4 June.

DCC Water and Waste Services Manager Dr Laura McElhone says, “I am aware this is a difficult time for staff, but the DCC has to consider whether there are better ways to deliver the services.”

Under the proposal, 30 staff would be transferred to the contractor on their existing terms and conditions of employment. The roles of two other staff would change, with redeployment options to be discussed. No redundancies are anticipated as a result of the proposed outsourcing.

In proposing an outsourcing model, the DCC is confident there will be interested contractors who can deliver the same or better service at lower costs, for reasons such as economies of scale. To ensure there would be sufficient interest from suitably experienced contractors, expressions of interest will be sought at the same time as staff are being consulted.

Dr McElhone says seeking expressions of interest at the same time does not mean a decision has already been made on the proposal. Rather it means the DCC Executive Management Team will have all the necessary information before making a final decision in June.

In September last year, the Council decided not to create a CCO for water, wastewater and stormwater. Following that decision, all elements of water and wastewater services were reviewed to identify opportunities for improvement. The review was carried out by the WWS management team, with support from an external industry expert.

Key findings included that the DCC was delivering required levels of service, but that costs were high compared to other New Zealand cities. Following on from the review, an overall process for change has been put forward. The proposal to contract out network maintenance is the first stage and a decision will be made in late June.

Water and wastewater services receive $44 million of rates funding annually and employ 98.2 FTEs.

What would remain in-house are all aspects of the network that ensure residents receive good quality drinking water. This includes operation and maintenance of the treatment plants and pumping stations, and all asset planning and investment decisions.

The only work to be outsourced would be maintenance relating to the water and wastewater pipes.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Q+A: Labour's Michael Wood Wins Mt Roskill

Labour’s Michael Wood, who last night won a 6,000 vote majority in the Mt Roskill by-election, says the reason for the win was simple, clear messaging...

“We talked about the core issues that people cared about around affordable housing, around decent transport and crime,” he told Jessica Mutch on TVNZ’s Q+A. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Anne Tolley’s Callous Folly

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

ALSO:

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Housing MPs: New Building(s) For Parliament

A new building will be erected on Parliament grounds to house Members of Parliament and their staff who currently work in leased accommodation in Bowen House. The plan has cross-Party support, apart from NZ First, said Parliament’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news