Bob Dey Reports on Council Trying to Sharpen Its Pencil

Governing Body to look at streamlining the Committees

One thing that drives me nuts (or bored stupid) as it does others is the inefficiency of Committee meetings and Councillors acting like (to be blunt) kiddies in the sandpit at school. Believe me when I say ‘when sitting alongside the Main Stream Media and fellow bloggers on the Media Table at Council and we all want to do the below when the following happens: length of meetings (9:30 hours of the September Auckland Development Committee last year), the relitigation of issues, or just the plain waffle.’

Bean Head desking

The Mayor, and the Council CEO have obviously picked up on the above and are looking at sharpening the conduct and efficiencies of the Council Committees.

An extract from Bob Dey:

Council to sharpen how its committees operate

Auckland Council will shake up the way its politicians do business when they meet in the former North Shore council chamber in Takapuna on Thursday.

On the agenda are the recommendations from a working party on committee terms of reference, delegations to the chief executive and standing orders for the conduct of meetings, including attempts to relitigate issues and provision for public & local board input.

The mayor’s principal finance & governance advisor, Theresa Stratton, has set out councillors’ concerns voiced at 2 days of informal discussions, starting with the effectiveness of current governance arrangements: “Issues raised included: insufficient time to workshop key issues, constituency time being eroded by the demand for additional workshops & meetings, inefficient committee meetings, uncontrolled expansion of the organisation’s work programme and behaviours in meetings not always being conducive to good decision-making.”

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Even the new structure proposed for committee agendas is a major advance – separating items for decision from items of information, hopefully, shifting the focus from waffle to a determined eye on advancing the work of the council. Ms Stratton said in her report councillors complained that meetings were inefficient because they spent too much time on items not requiring a decision, while decision-making items were either deferred or had insufficient time spent on them.

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The new standing orders will enable the chair to decline an application for public input and, for extraordinary meetings, to confine public input to matters on the agenda.

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Full post and source: http://www.propbd.co.nz/council-to-sharpen-how-its-committees-operate/

Can’t happen soon enough although with some it might be time for some new blood injected into the Governing Body to really help get things moving into the 21st Century!