Auckland Regional Council

Auditing the Future: 2009

Auckland Regional Council (ARC) is a large organisation operating in a complex and rapidly growing environment. The ARC services almost one-third of New Zealand’s population in one of the smallest geographical regions in the country. The ARC has significant responsibilities for regional land transport, which it manages through its subsidiary Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA). The ARC also has other responsibilities in infrastructure management, which it manages through Auckland Regional Holdings (ARH). The complexity of the funding flows of these entities adds significantly to the complexity of the planning environment for this council. It also adds to the complexity of the LTCCP document. The ARC has managed and explained this issue well, increasing the reader’s understanding of the LTCCP.

ARC’s LTCCP contains a summary that has two parts. One part sets out the financial issues, and the second parts provides details of the major decisions the ARC requires the community to make through the LTCCP process. Four issues are set out in this section. The funding of public transport improvements dominates and is clearly the most significant issue. There is a good integration between these issues and the need to resolve them to achieve community outcomes.

The financial overview section of the summary is also a positive aspect of ARC’s LTCCP. It clearly and concisely explains the relationships between the members of the ARC group and the funding flows. The ARC explains the assumptions and parameters on which the LTCCP has been based. This part includes the underlying relationships and interdependencies within the ARC group. Therefore, it provides an important context for the reader.

The summary covers many aspects of ARC’s financial strategy and includes a number of charts. The charts explain, for example, how rates are spent and the activities where capital expenditure is targeted. The summary also explains the fact that the LTCCP does not allow for full funding of ARTA’s public transport programme over the next 10 years.

Unfunded activities are discussed in the detailed activity sections of the LTCCP, where this is relevant.

ARC’s LTCCP represents a reasonable standard of performance reporting. ARC’s performance reporting shows its strength in applying its performance framework consistently across all groups of activities and in the credibility of the framework. Each section of the framework is explained in-depth, but not in overly technical terms. The framework effectively displays the links between the ARC’s community outcomes and the rationale for the activities. These links continue through to the performance measures.

The framework is generally presented in a coherent manner and allows the reader to understand what the ARC is trying to achieve and why. The ARC is working on significant changes to the transport activity during the period of the LTCCP. The discussion about changes in levels of service is supported by a timeline. The use of this graphical tool highlights the programme to the reader.

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