“CCO’s are looking ‘out of control’” says Auckland Councillor for Orakei , Desley Simpson, “but we can’t blame them if Councillors are not strong in their governance direction ”says Simpson
“There are three tools Councilors have to ‘control’ the Council Controlled organizations such as Auckland Transport and ATTED( Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) and we have to use each one very carefully” says Simpson
The first is one is under Section 90 of the Local Government Auckland Council Act ( LGACA) and is the Accountability Policy. If clearly articulated, this policy clearly sets the direction elected members wish CCO’s to follow. In light of the Council’s experience over the last 6 years, the accountability policy definitelywarrants a comprehensive review. The second is via their Statement of Intent ( what the CCO’s want to do ) Councilors and the mayor, can, by way of resolution if they wish to, modify this to alignthat work programme with the strategic direction of Council. This has only been used narrowly by Council to date. Finally, one which has never been exercised, and only applies to Auckland Transport, is under section 49 of the LGACA and provides the mayor and Councillors the ability amongst other things to make rules by which the Auckland Transport must operate.
At the governing body meeting last week Councilors voted ( 19/2) for a report to be brought to the Appointments and Review Committee with an assessment of the opportunities to improve the strategic alignment, accountability and responsiveness of Council Controlled Organisations using the current suite of accountability tools for recommendation back to the governing body.
“As a member of that committee chaired by Mayor Phil Goff, I’ll be looking carefully at ensuring that the elected members of this Council very clearly use every tool they have to ensure our CCO’s work within our brief and not off on tangents of their own, as is often the perceived case” says Simpson
Neighbouring Councillor for Maungakiekie-Tamaki Denise Lee ( formerly Krum) agrees“We’ve had two terms to figure out this super-city landscape and now it’s time to quickly move ahead and capitalize on growth. We can’t do that unless all our entities march to the same tune.”
The first meeting of the Accountability and Performance Committee is on November 24