Administrators table second progress report

Friday, 20 January 2017

The City’s Administrators’ second report to the Victorian Government highlights their progress in developing a 30-year vision for Greater Geelong, the transformation of culture at the City, and a review of the organisation’s finances and budget process.

The Quarterly Report to the Minister for Local Government, released this week, details the Administrators’ work and activities from September 2016.

Following commencement at the City, the Administrators have prioritised the Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations into a plan of work that would run until October 2017.

Progress highlights in the last four months include:

People and culture:

Addressing cultural issues identified in the Commission of Inquiry report, including bullying, by setting new behaviour expectations, initiating training programs for all staff, providing new systems to ensure employees feel comfortable with raising issues, implementing regular independent staff surveys and creating a program of leadership development.

Continuing to support the City’s Chief Executive Officer in his work to champion cultural change within the organisation through the support of an independent panel, appointed for two years, to deal with staff and community complaints of bullying and harassment. The panel has resolved 38 matters, is currently working through seven investigations and is overseeing the resolution of another 19 issues.

Finances and budget:

Creating a new contemporary budget process for 2017-18. This will involve planning for a single community grants program, which will include transparent criteria aligned to strategic goals for Geelong, and a panel of expert independent assessors, who will recommend grants to Council.

Our Future:

Progressing Our Future engagement to the decision stage, in which the community will be provided with an opportunity to develop, test and vote on preferred future scenarios and priorities created from data received during the initial stage of engagement.

Forming a successful Our Future Partnership Group with Geelong Chamber of Commerce, Gordon Institute of TAFE, Geelong Football Club, Deakin University, Department of Health and Human Services, Geelong Authority, Geelong Chamber of Commerce, Geelong Environment Council, Geelong Sustainability Group, Give Where You Live, G21 Agribusiness Forum, G21 Geelong Regional Alliance, National Trust of Australia Geelong and Region Branch, Tourism Greater Geelong and Bellarine and Urban Development Institute of Australia. These agencies and organisations have committed to backing the City’s Our Future strategy and are constructively participating in the development of this long-term vision for greater Geelong.

Governance:

Beginning the development of a strong governance and financial framework, consistent with the requirements of State Government legislation and other governance organisations such as AICD, within which consecutive councils will operate.

City accommodation: 

Addressing a key recommendation of the Commission of Inquiry to consolidate the City’s administration in order to increase efficiency and productivity, and release surplus assets for more economic uses. Consultants have shortlisted two Council-owned sites and are currently undertaking financial modelling.



Dr Kathy Alexander - Administrator Chair

“We (the City’s Administrators) have been particularly encouraged by the level of community engagement in Our Future, and with attendance at our monthly community forums.
We appreciate the commitment from other organisations and agencies in partnering with the City in the Our Future project, a long-term vision and strategic direction for Greater Geelong.
In particular, the importance of strong partnerships is significant as we work towards revitalising Central Geelong with the Geelong Authority and the Victorian Government.
We’ve also been genuinely impressed with the dedication of the City’s staff to assisting us in addressing Commission of Inquiry recommendations.”