SA Government releases new website to view local councils’ performance
South Australians will soon have access to unprecedented levels of information on their local council’s performance with the new website “Councils in Focus”.
The government-established website “Councils in Focus” was launched to help people understand their council’s expenditures, revenues and how it will benefit them.
“Councils spend billions of dollars each year on a variety of services, including roads, transport, environment, recreation, economic development and libraries,” Minister for Planning and Local Government Vickie Chapman said.
“This way, information on where the money comes from and where it goes will be available to the public for the first time through one simple, easy-to-access portal.”
The new website is seen as an invaluable resource for many South Australians as it ensures a greater level of transparency and accountability in local government.
Minister Chapman revealed that the new website would provide information to the public on the following:
- Details on rates individual councils charge, grants they receive and other sources of funding;
- Where councils spend money and how much; and
- Each council’s financial position and performance.
The website also allows ratepayers to see how their council has changed over a five-year period and compare their council to other councils and to the State average.
The website’s information can also be compared by a range of different measures, such as population, number of ratepayers, or kilometres of roads. This allows meaningful comparisons across councils despite their size or nature.
Individual councils can also make comments about the information that relates to them, to include more context about the data. All the data will be pulled in from existing sources so it’s not diverting council resources.
“We’ve been working closely with both individual councils and the Local Government Association to develop these resources, so they best meet the needs of all involved,” Minister Chapman said.
“The Councils in Focus website implements a key recommendation of the South Australian Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Local Government costs and efficiency,” she said.
SOURCE: PREMIER OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA MEDIA RELEASE