WHAT WE DO
Review Today Pty Ltd provides policy, management and financial advice on local government.
Its services cover:
- Independent financial sustainability reviews of a council, including:
- A Desktop Review, or
- A Comprehensive Review.
- An independent organisational capacity and performance review of a local council.
- Independent research reports on local government policy, management and financial topics.
- Assisting organisations to prepare submissions where the organisation takes responsibility for its own views.
Review Today investigates and reports on the financial sustainability of local government councils in the context of the growing infrastructure crisis highlighted by the independent Allan Inquiry into the financial sustainability of local government in NSW (2006). (http://www.lgnsw.org.au/files/imce-uploads/35/final-report-findings-and-recommendations.pdf).
Our integrated consulting package independently and objectively ascertains, clearly documents and effectively communicates the condition of a local council’s infrastructure and finances as well as identifies its funding needs. The company was established in response to requests by councils for Professor Percy Allan AM to investigate and report on their financial sustainability in the context of a growing infrastructure crisis.
The company brings together and manages a unique alliance of leading consulting practices with expertise in asset management (GHD - see www.ghd.com.au) and economic and financial analysis (TreEnt Advisory Services - see www.treent.com.au) with Professor Allan coordinating and preparing a single consolidated report on the findings in respect of each council. The report is in a format which is suitable for submission to Councillors, local residents and the relevant Minister for Local Government.
Review Today can also review and rate a Council’s organisational capacity and performance using a methodology developed by Professor Allan when he was Chair of the NSW Premier’s Council on the Cost and Quality of Government (1999-2007). This methodology has been applied by the NSW Premier’s Department to dozens of NSW state government agencies.
Review Today prepares independent research reports on local government policy, management and financial topics for a variety of public and private organisations. It can also assist an organisation to draft a submission on a local government matter where the organisation takes public responsibility for its own views.
Review Today also helps Councils to prepare Special Rate Variation applications to the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). Woollahra Municipal Council used Review Today to assist with its SRV submission which resulted in an increase its general income by 9.82% in 2011/12 and 10.41% in 2012/13. To be successful such an application must put a persuasive business case for why a Special Rate Variation (SRV) is needed; how it would affect a council’s community plan, delivery plan, capital program and financial plan; why other sources of funding (e.g. extra fees and charges, borrowings or cost savings) could not be used instead; how additional revenue raised from a SRV would be applied to recurrent activities and/or capital projects; how a SRV would impact a council’s financial sustainability ratios under different policy scenarios; how a SRV would affect council’s rating structure and different classes of ratepayers; how community feelings about a SRV application were gauged; how well council has implemented the integrated planning and reporting framework (IPRF); and how it would use that framework to transparently report a SRV approval to its community.
WHO WE ARE
The Chairman of Review Today is Professor Allan who chaired the 2005/06 independent inquiry titled "Are Councils Sustainable?" which examined the sustainability of NSW local government. Professor Allan is also the Research Director for Review Today and authors the final report for each Council integrating the work of GHD and TreEnt Advisory Services.
The Managing Director of Review Today is Bob Gaussen who has worked with local government for many years. His company, Adjudicate Today (see www.adjudicate.com.au), is Australia's largest provided of dispute resolution services to the building and construction industry. Bob is the Project Director coordinating all the non-research issues and, together with Professor Allan, presents the review findings and recommendations to Council executives and councillors.