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Section 17A service reviews – what we have learned…

October 2016

In August we passed the 12 month countdown for when the first round of Section 17A service delivery reviews are required to be completed under the Local Government Act…how on track are you?

Since our webinar we have had a great response to our review templates and we have been assisting a number of Councils with their section 17A reviews including:

  • providing advice for how to get started
  • leading the prioritisation of service reviews exercise
  • working through the first review (utilising our templates) and building capability of the council teams
  • undertaking one or more service reviews for the more complex services that require specialist knowledge or independent impartial assistance
  • independent peer review advice


From this recent work we have found that:

  • choosing a smaller and less complex service to work through first is the best way to start the programme, enabling you to get familiar with the templates and process while building up internal capability to review other more complex services in the future
  • a phased approach may be required to enable you to reach your preferred option. This may mean the retention of an enhanced status quo for a period of time, moving to an interim option and then realising the preferred option over a specified timeframe
  • in-house service providers tend to be more reluctant to look at alternative service delivery options. While there may be many reasons for this, it can be because the review is seen as a threat to jobs, and so you need to be mindful of the sensitivities to staff as a result of looking at the other service delivery options
  • The spirit of regional collaboration is alive and well in some parts of the country and we have seen some great information and knowledge sharing amongst councils

We did hear that some councils were looking to postpone doing their reviews because of the potential changes to the LGA. Now that those changes have been delayed, elections are just around the corner and August 2017 is looming, where are you at with your section 17A reviews? Contact us if you:

  • Don’t know where to start; or
  • Have hit a road block and need a hand to move in the right direction; or
  • Want to work through a service and develop in-house capability for other reviews; or
  • Would you like an independent eye run over what you have done.

Project Contacts: Ewen SkinnerAlice Grace