CCOs merger will save $67 million for Auckland Council

CCOs merger will save $67 million for Auckland Council
Phil Goff

Auckland, August 12, 2020

I welcome an independent review which includes a recommendation to merge two of Auckland’s Council-Controlled Organisations (CCOs) into one.

The review, which I had promised during the 2019 Mayoral elections, has recommended that Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic development (ATEED) be merged to form one entity to oversee Auckland’s events, stadiums and cultural assets, and economic development.

The Report contains 64 recommendations and has suggested that a merger could save up to $67 million over the next decade.

Councillors will now consider the Report before making decisions on which recommendations will be adopted as part of the 10-year Budget.

Performance improvement demanded

Ten years on from the formation of the Super City, there are many things that are right and many things that need improving.

Aucklanders have expressed the need to improve the performance of the CCOs, which is why an independent review of their structure and performance was one of my election promises.

I welcome the Report from the independent panel for its unvarnished look at what we need to improve and change so that we have a more efficient city that works better for Aucklanders.

Particularly important is the Report’s recommendations on the need for strengthening the Council’s ability to give strategic direction to the CCOs and to improve monitoring of their activities.

The CCOs manage two-thirds of Auckland Council’s assets and spend half of its operational budget, so a strong focus on these areas is critical.”

Deputy Mayor and Chair of the CCO Oversight Committee Bill Cashmore has said that the review is something the City needs to ensure we are doing the best job we can.

The Report has drawn from submissions and interviews with hundreds of stakeholders as well as council and CCOs themselves to make recommendations for improvements.

These recommendations will now be discussed by councillors before a final decision is made on which recommendations to adopt. Part of that work will feed into the 10-year Budget as we look to make long-term decisions that will improve the way the council works for Aucklanders.

Other recommendations

Other recommendations include (a) Developing Statements of Expectation for CCOs, with reference to Chief Executive remuneration (b) Establishing a common set of Council-CCO KPIs, including customer complaint resolution (c) Developing a group policy to identify areas where services can be shared by the council and CCOs, reducing duplication and costs and (d) Strengthening the CCO-local boards relationship.

Public consultation
Our Staff Reporter adds:

The CCOs review focused on three key areas – the CCO model, roles and responsibilities, the mechanisms of accountability between CCO boards, the Council and the public, and the culture of CCOs responsiveness to the Council and Aucklanders.

During the first three months of this year, the independent panel consulted with Aucklanders to seek their input into the review. Auckland Council staff supported the Panel to complete its work and its engagement with Aucklanders.

According to an earlier press note, the Panel was to provide a draft report outlining key issues and the feedback from Aucklanders in May 2020, with their final report and recommendations expected by the end of July 2020.

Phil Goff is Mayor of Auckland. He writes a regular column in Indian Newslink.

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