Government Business Improvement Specialists

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“In my many years of researching local government reform I have not experienced as comprehensive a review process."

Professor Brian Dollery, Centre for Local Government University of New England

Service Review Kit

For further information on our Service Review Kit and File Sharing Facility please email us at info@smartgov.net.au.

SmartGov provides the complete Service Review Kit to help local governments improve services, reduce costs and generate additional income.  The kit contains everything needed to conduct reviews in-house including a guidance manual, tools and forms.

Over 200 councils have now been provided with the Service Review Kit.  The Queensland Government in Australia has also endorsed the kit for all of the State’s councils under the Local Government Capacity Building Program.

The latest updates of the kit include findings from SmartGov’s research for the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG).  It also incorporates recommendations from the ACELG service delivery review manual.  SmartGov played a major role in the development of the manual.

We have also incorporated our service review and improvement methodologies into courses presented through the Centre for Local Government at the University of Technology Sydney.

Additional reference material and documents are available in the SmartGov File Sharing Facility, including sample reviews and information on resource sharing, benchmarking, business enterprises, community engagement, outsourcing, and partnerships.

Background

There are various reasons why councils conduct service reviews:

  • - Achieve savings and income generation
  • - Review service levels & standards
  • - Explore shared services
  • - Improve service delivery methods
  • - Optimise resource usage
  • - Demonstrate strong leadership
  • - Address political and community pressures

SmartGov has responded to these needs in developing the Service Review Kit.  The reviews help to identify a mix of services and funding arrangements that best meet customers' needs.  They also assist in ensuring long-term financial sustainability.

The state-of-the-art methodology was developed by the SmartGov team based on their practical knowledge of organisational reviews and extensive experience in local government.  Information used in developing the system was also drawn from material researched internationally.

A service review can take a ‘whole of council’ approach or cover one department, service or strategic focus area.  It can address internal services such as HR, finance and IT or external services such as waste collection, childcare services and development application processing.

Service Review Phases

SmartGov’s framework for the systematic review of local government services is illustrated in the diagram below.  It identifies seven phases to an effective service review program.

Individual Reviews

Our process for reviewing each service comprises 17 key steps, including:

  • - Defining the scope of the service review
  • - Establishing and training review teams
  • - Consulting with key stakeholders including customer focus groups
  • - Gathering information such as minimum requirements, outputs, and current service levels
  • - Benchmarking with other organisations including private enterprise
  • - Reviewing service levels and standards
  • - Exploring service delivery models including service sharing, strategic relationships, community enterprises
  • - Reviewing internal operations including structure, processes, work practices
  • - Exploring methods to optimise resource usage, including rationalising and making better use of assets
  • - Exploring alternative funding arrangements including user charges and grants
  • - Arranging approvals and follow-up actions

For further information on our Service Review Kit and File Sharing Facility please email us at info@smartgov.net.au.