Local Government Magazine
LG Magazine

Comparative information for council budgets and services

To meet financial challenges councils are being asked to re-examine their budget processes and content and improved levels of performance. Larry Mitchell says this can be achieved through his CPR lifeSaver services, which benchmarks what other councils have already been able to achieve.

“For example, if council A has run consistently much lower expenditures per ratepayer on, say, library overheads including payroll, then a peer council B might set a similar benchmark as a desirable future budget outcome,” he says.

“This would involve field research into library comparative operations and staff levels, and many councils might not have the economic means and the tools to do this. Through CPR LifeSaver they can benefit from a benchmark package that provides relevant evidence-based data-numbers to set up a measurement process.”

The CPR LifeSaver programme reports on all TLA councils of a comparable size and character and presented on a ‘per ratepayer’ basis and is coupled to client-driven judgments and adjustments, he adds.

“These are made after making allowance for councils experiencing similar ‘difficulties’ over service delivery factors, including allowances for varying population densities, distances of roading networks, and varying levels of service and so on.”

Upgrades in Version II 2021 of the programme includes five years of comparative data for all 75 of the CPR LifeSaver economic and financial measures, he says, and includes council revenues, expenditures, debt, payroll, rates and charges – plus a number of composite indices for difficulty and affordability of service delivery.

Other improvements include drop-down, web-based menus of council’s data that is enabled on mobile phones and other devices. Enquiries to Larry Mitchell, 0274 792 328.


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