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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Measuring Tasmanian Local Government Performance

Continuous improvement framework

At its May 2015 meeting, the Premier’s Local Government Council agreed to the development of a Continuous Improvement Framework (CIF). The aim of the CIF is to provide councils with tools to promote continuous improvement. The CIF as proposed will entail performance reports along with new and targeted resources such as case studies, best practice guides, templates, and training to support performance improvements. 

The CIF concept was developed following a 2014 evaluation of the PLGC’s Sustainability Objectives and Indicators (SOI) project. The evaluation found that:

  1. There is strong support for a performance assessment system for local government in Tasmania.
  2. The SOI report in its current form is a useful tool for some but there are opportunities to improve performance reporting in Tasmania. 
  • The indicators measured through the SOI report are valuable but there would be benefits in reconsidering what the indicators currently measure and identify indicators that are meaningful to a wider audience.
  • There is scope to improve the way that performance information is presented – a concise summary of selected indicators would be useful as an overview of performance to the community, and detailed analysis would be useful to councils as a planning and decision making tool.
  1. The SOI report does not drive continuous improvement. Performance reporting needs to be supported by other tools and mechanisms to promote continuous improvement.

discussion paper has been developed to guide consultation on the development of the proposed CIF.          

Sustainability and objectives indicators

The 17 indicators were established by the Premier's Local Government Council (PLGC) in December 2011 after extensive consultation with the local government sector and stakeholders to measure local government performance in the following four key local government areas:

  • financial management;
  • asset management;
  • land-use planning; and
  • community satisfaction.

Five of the indicators have associated benchmarks against which council performance can be assessed.  For the remaining 12 indicators, targets or benchmarks may be set in the future, of performance will be assessed in terms of trends over time.

A detailed summary of the indicators (PDF)  is available to download, as well as further information on the background to the development of the indicators (PDF)

The PLGC has overseen the development of the indicators with the view that measuring council performance against indicators will:

  1. improve performance management at the local council level;
  2. develop a culture of continuous improvement in the local government sector; and
  3. provide a tool to build a sustainable local government Sector.

The Sustainability Objectives and Indicators project was reviewed in 2014.  An review report made a series of recommendations to improve the project going forward.  An advisory group has been established to assist with the implementation of the recommendations in the report.

Local Government Performance Report for 2013-14 Financial year

The Local Government Performance Report for 2013-14 Financial year provides a summary of the performance of Tasmania's councils in terms of financial and asset management and planning and development for the 2013-14 financial year.

Local Government Performance Report for 2012-13 Financial year

The Local Government Performance Report for 2012-13 Financial Year provides a summary of the performance of Tasmania's councils against 17 sustainability and objectives indicators for the 2012-13 financial year.

2011 -12 Sustainability Objectives and Indicators Report 

The 2011-12 Sustainability Objectives and Indicators Report on Tasmanian councils was noted by the PLGC at its May 2013 meeting. The Report provides a summary of Tasmanian councils' performance in terms of financial management, asset management and planning and development.  

State of the local government sector

In May 2012 a series of presentations were held on the last 10 years of local government data collected from the Local Government Division data collection process.  A copy of the State of the Sector Presentation can be downloaded.

Data management

Data for the sustainability indicators and the state of the local government presentation is collected through the annual consolidated data collection and the bi-annual Local Government Association of Tasmania Statewide Community Survey.  The Local Government Division has developed a Data Management Plan (PDF, 530KB) to formalise arrangements, policies, procedures and rules governing the collection, management and use of data collected through the consolidated data collection.