Best Value and continuous improvement
The Local Government (Best Value Principles) Act 1999 requires the six Best Value principles be applied to all Council services since 31 December 2005. Best Value Victoria aims to ensure Local Government services are the best available and that they meet the needs of the community.
Glen Eira City Council has developed an organisation-wide approach to the Best Value Principles to ensure they are embedded in the culture and evident in all services. The Best Value Principles are applied universally in strategic and service planning and service reviews. The principles are:
- Best quality and value-for-money.
- Responsiveness to community needs.
- Accessibility of services to those who need them.
- Continuous improvement of all services.
- Community consultation on all services and activities.
- Regular community reporting on Council achievements.
A schedule of strategic service reviews is Council’s ongoing commitment to continuous improvement and providing best value for the community. The purpose of each review is to take into account the Best Value Principles in section 208C of the Local Government Act and ensure services:
- remain relevant and aligned with community needs and wants, now and in the future;
- are effective in achieving planned outcomes that meet the community’s needs and wants;
- operate efficiently and are delivered at an affordable cost to the community. The service reviews aim to optimise the use of Council’s human resources, systems, materials, plant and equipment, infrastructure and facilities; and
- deliver long-term sustainable financial viability.
In 2017–18 some of the benefits achieved include:
- Planning applications digitised to improve customer experience and workflow efficiencies with a 14 day reduction for decisions and a direct cost saving by eliminating paper costs.
- Improved engagement with permit applicants to resolve issues raised in planning applications resulted in improved outcomes for all parties, with 104 fewer VCAT appeals.
- Land information certificates fully digitised and the digital transition helped reduce waiting time by approximately 50 per cent.
- The option to lodge the hard rubbish requests online increasing online bookings from 37 per cent in June 2017 to 45 per cent in June 2018. The estimated cost saving for this transaction is $82,608.
- Change of address, general enquiries, reporting dumped rubbish and derelict vehicles can be undertaken online 24/7 resulting in greater access to Council services.
- A new approach to the Council’s building and property works contract to improve efficiency, response times, quality of work and customer satisfaction.
- A second care crew team introduced to keep activity centres and shopping strips clean and in order seven days a week.
- A street art program for local artists to decorate 20 traffic signal boxes with two already complete in Bentleigh and Carnegie.
Significant achievements for this year include:
- The new Community Engagement Framework published in May 2018 to ensure a consistent approach to engaging the community.
- Design for a new customer focused website will improve accessibility and provide better opportunities for community engagement.
- 13,844 requests received on CityWatch — Council’s new mobile app that encourages residents to access Council services. The average overall experience rating from customers using the app is 7.8 out of 10.
- 42,000 digital transactions that were previously completed face-to-face, over the phone, via email or on paper.
- A project to map the customer’s journey with Council including timeframes, pain points and emotions. This information will be used to redesign processes for a better customer experience.
- Customer Service Operating Framework developed to deliver accessible, timely, and consistent customer experiences.
- 2,600 call backs were requested between April and June 2018 following the introduction of automated call backs resulting in reduction in customer wait time during busy periods.
- Livestreaming of Council Meetings through Council’s website.
- Received the Infor Public Sector User Forum 2018 Award for Innovation Excellence for our project that automatically emails customers to provide information on the progress of their requests.
New initiatives for next year include:
- The launch of a new customer centric Glen Eira City Council website.
- Continuation of the digitisation of high use paper transactions.
- A tool to monitor Urban Planning activity so residents have online, up-to-date planning information.
- Community consultation on concept plans for the redevelopment of Carnegie Swim Centre and improvements to Bentleigh Library and Youth Hub.
- Development of an online chat platform We asked — You said — We did to strengthen community engagement.
- Seamless online processes that automatically connect new residents, businesses and parents to Council services.
- Improvements to Glen Eira Leisure and Home Care customer experiences through updates to customer systems.
- Replacement of street lights on major Council roads with energy efficient lighting.
Reporting to the Community
Further information on Council’s service improvements is available in Council’s Best Value Report.
Regular, transparent reporting on Council’s performance can be found in the Quarterly Service Performance Report and further performance and benchmarking information is available on Local Government Victoria’s website Know Your Council.