Update on review of Council's budget

Date

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Release

Since reporting the serious financial issues facing Central Coast Council, CEO, Gary Murphy, and senior executives have been undertaking meetings and conferences with key stakeholders over the past two days to build a roadmap to recovery.

These discussions have included the Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock, and the Office of Local Government.

Councillors and staff have been kept informed of the process moving forward, which includes:

The establishment of a 100-Day Action Plan to Recovery

The Office of Local Government has been instructed to provide an independent financial expert and Human Resources adviser to review Council’s financial position and identify possible options as quickly as possible

  • A forensic audit undertaken of Council’s finances
  • Changes to management spending delegations
  • Council working group established to identify potential savings in capital works and operational services programs
  • There is no change to our full-time equivalent staff, but a review of contracted and temporary workforce is underway.

The financial issues came to light after reviews commissioned by the CEO, despite previous audits and reports indicating that the Council was being prudent in its financial planning, and have led to investigations into:

  • whether there are appropriate financial controls and structures in relation to cashflow management, the absence of which may have contributed to the current financial situation
  • whether the amalgamation in mid-2016 has caused significant and ongoing impacts which we estimate could be in excess of $100M
  • The impact of the recent IPART determination will have cost Council close to $100M over three years
  • Cost-shifting has cost the Council an estimated $45M or more per year

While expenditure is under review and measures will be implemented to wind back the deficit, there will be no change to essential services.

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Last updated : Thu 22 Oct 2020