Council improvements drive $5 million in savings

Ipswich City Council has saved $5 million for future projects, 12-months on from the establishment of a central procurement branch.

The savings in contract management, negotiation and procurement practices come after a significant push to reduce costs in recent years.

Operating expenses have fallen by $6 million, driven by stronger financial management, rationalised spending and streamlined processes.

Governance and Transparency Committee Chair Cr Jacob Madsen said council is committed to providing the best value for ratepayers’ money.

“Every decision and every dollar that comes before council is an opportunity to deliver better outcomes,” Cr Madsen said.

“This means working closely with council officers to reduce waste and improve efficiencies as our city grows.

“A great deal of scrutiny has been applied by all councillors to this year’s budget through an extended budget process which reviewed at length both the capital program and individual department budgets.

“Last year, the new centralised procurement branch identified savings on a number of regular recurring contracts that council puts out to tender.

“These savings are an example of how extra value can be created for the people of Ipswich through maintaining an ongoing focus on improving internal business processes.”

Council has forecast a small deficit for 2021-2022 of 0.6 per cent or about $1.8 million — down from the previous forecast deficit of $4.6 million.

On current forecasts, council will deliver small surpluses in the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 financial years.

Recent changes to council’s governance process are resulting in improved outcomes in many areas, including:

  • Council’s audit issues have seen a significant drop in volume since their peak in 2017.
  • Council officers have mapped almost 1,700 internal processes which is leading to improved ways we communicate, interact and service council’s customers including our 88,000 ratepayers.

There have also been significant ICT initiatives which have helped save ratepayer dollars, including:

  • Implementing the data management strategy.
  • Implementing the Enterprise GIS platform.
  • Completing the delivery of all components of the ICT business case for change.
  • Delivering and optimising the ICT cloud and disaster recovery initiative.

“Through the work of the Governance and Transparency Committee, council is committed to building public trust by driving improvements in how it conducts its core business,” Cr Madsen said.

Also read:

>> Council delivers strong and strategic budget

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