Waikato Announces Lowest Rise In General Rates In Decade
Waikato Regional Council Announces Lowest Rise In General Rates In Decade
The Waikato Regional Council has announced its lowest rise in general rates in a decade for the 2013/2014 year.
Waikato Regional Council’s Finance and Audit committee chairman Phillip Legg said there had been a continued steady decline in the level of rate increases to the point that this year it delivered the lowest rise in general rates since 2003.
“It is hoped that we can deliver a similar result for the next year,” said Legg.
“This reduced rate level has come about from the continued drive to identify efficiencies within the Waikato Regional Council operations.
“This has seen a range of services amalgamated, with the number of groups of activities reduced and this has allowed a stronger focus on preparation of the work programmes and identified where cost savings could be made, which has lead to better budget control,” said Legg.
“Thanks to the finance team and councilors we have not only reduced the rate of increases but continued to deliver all our work programmes to our ratepayers,” Legg said.
“During this time we have also seen the introduction of an Internal Audit programme which checks the policies and procedures of the origination to ensure they are fit for purpose and identify any areas where the council may be vulnerable to illegal activity. Having strong policies and procedures is vital for an organization of this size,” Legg said.
Legg said that the Waikato Regional Council opted to have its internal audit process conducted by an outside origination to ensure total independence and transparency.
“Along with the Internal Audit programme we have instigated a new Risk Management programme,” Legg said.
“Once again this is an important part of policy making to ensure that the organization and its staff are protected from risk not only from an administration systems point of view but also from an operations point of view.
“It is really important, as due to the nature of their work; some of our staff can be exposed to a number of potential hazards during their working day and it is our legal responsibility to reduce those risks and keep them safe,” said Legg.