REVIEW: Mayor Rod Fyffe [right] and city chief executive office Craig Niemann say a four-year review has saved the city money and led to a culture of positive change. The City of Greater Bendigo says a four-year independent review will bag a total of more than $4 million in savings for city coffers.

But the city’schief executive office Craig Niemann said a cultural of institutional change was the biggest outcome from the reviewundertaken in 2013.

“It’s a ‘can do’ attitude, it’s a positive approach to change, thatyou can’t be afraid of change,” MrNiemann said.

“The Local Government Act is going to change next year, there is going to be a change of council, there’ll be a whole host of different things happen so it’s about how the organisationresponds to that.”

The review was the first major initiative of the current council after it was elected in 2012. In June 2013 the Independent Review Committee gavecouncil until this October to adopt 69 recommendations.

They includeda personnel evaluation system totrackthe performance of the city’sdirectorates, units and individuals, new framework for evaluating, prioritising and funding capital works and improvements tosystems for logging, tracking and handling customer inquiries and complaints.

From July 2013 through June 2017 the costs of the process are expected to exceed $2.3 million, with $1.2 million spent on additional staff, more than $100,000 spent on staff training and more than $400,000 spent on software and communications equipment.

However, the city saidsavings in the same time periodwould exceed $6.6 million, with more than $4.8 millionshaved from expenditure on consultants, contractors and external services.

Mr Niemannsaid the city was committed to continual improvement through internal audits and service reviews, but that furtherindependent reviews would bea matter for future councillors.

“There was discussion at the time about whether this should happen every eight years, so perhaps every second term of council,” he said.

“Andyou could argue that councillors are are elected to do this, they are elected to make sure that I runthe organisation as effectively as I can.”

Mayor Rod Fyffe endorsed the review, saying the community had been brought into the process.

“The end result is that the organisation is, A,more efficient and responsive, B,better governed and, C,better equipped to engage with needs of a growing community,” Cr Fyffe said.

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