Matters arising from our audits of the 2018-28 long-term plans.

We recommend:

  1. that councils prioritise collecting condition and performance information of critical assets and, in the meantime, take a precautionary approach for significant services where the condition information of critical assets is unknown;
  2. that the Department of Internal Affairs and the local government sector review the required content for long-term plans to ensure that they remain fit for purpose, particularly:
    • the current suite of mandatory performance measures;
    • the disclosure requirements for financial and infrastructure strategies;
    • disclosures required under the Local Government (Financial Reporting and Prudence) Regulations 2014; and
    • how assumptions are disclosed in long-term plans;
  3. that the Productivity Commission, in its review into the adequacy and efficiency of the existing funding and financing options for councils, consider the trends arising in the 2018-28 long-term plans, particularly the trends and concerns we have raised about increasing debt; and
  4. that central government and local government continue to consider how increased leadership can be provided for climate change matters, particularly:
    • what data is needed and who collects this;
    • the quality of this data; and
    • how councils should consider this in future accountability documents, including the long-term plan.