Council looks to cut deficit
STRATEGIES used by Brisbane City Council will be put in place here to help Bundaberg Regional Council kill off its deficit more quickly.
Bundaberg mayor Lorraine Pyefinch, finance portfolio holder Greg Barnes and finance director John Clerke visited Brisbane this week to study the way consultancies and strategic procurement are managed.
Cr Pyefinch said she asked for a meeting with Brisbane City Council officials after hearing a talk by Lord Mayor Campbell Newman in which he outlined some reforms that had been introduced.
“I thought it was well worth understanding a little more about how they do things,” she said.
Cr Pyefinch said the delegation was impressed with the level of detail submitted to the councillors when it came to making their decisions.
Cr Barnes said if a council officer wanted to engage a consultant, they had to put up a detailed business plan to justify it.
“We’ve come back with some templates we can adapt to our system, and that has saved us quite a bit of money,” he said.
“We’ve used the local government network to get something for nothing.”
Cr Pyefinch said the meeting was very successful.
“Brisbane City Council has a very stringent process for approving new expenditure, which we would like to adopt in our region,” Cr Pyefinch said.
“Implementation of some of their strategies has seen more than 12% savings in expenditure, so it’s well worth us considering some of these processes as the council continues to refine its post-amalgamation operations.”
Cr Barnes was equally impressed.
“Our council engages a number of the processes adopted by Brisbane City, but the extent and manner in which they have implemented and refined these are something that we can and should implement,” Cr Barnes said.