Rotorua council gets clean bill of health from Auditor-General



1 November 2012

Rotorua District Council’s performance for the 2011/12 year has received a clean bill of health from the Office of the Auditor-General following a comprehensive audit of the council’s Annual Report.
The council this week adopted the Annual Report for 2011/12 which will now be prepared for printing with a copy of the 180 page document posted on the council website next week.
Annual reports are a requirement of councils under the Local Government Act. They set out in detail the financial and operational performance of councils and report on actual performance against previously set targets and objectives.
Speaking at the council meeting yesterday on behalf of the Office of the Auditor-General, auditor Ben Halford said he was pleased to be in the position of issuing an “unmodified audit opinion” for Rotorua District Council.
He explained that meant his assessment was that the council had complied with accepted New Zealand accounting practice, and the council’s annual report fairly reflected the council’s financial position and the results of its operations and cash flows for the year.
Mr Halford also said the council’s non-financial performance information fairly reflected levels of service measured against those in the Ten Year Plan, as well as variances between actual and expected service.
“We have assessed that the internal control environment was effective given the size and nature of the council.”  
He said it was fair to say that it had been a busy year for councils with preparation of 2012-2022 long term plans and the annual reporting process. 
“The demands on management in a long-term plan (LTP) year can be great. I think in your case the preparation and project management of the LTP process went well with a proactive approach being taken by the team,” he told councillors and managers at the council meeting."  
Mayor Kevin Winters said the annual report and the positive government audit showed the council to be in good shape after another challenging but successful year.
"Maintaining Rotorua's high level of services while operating within very tight budgets has not been easy. However despite continuing economic constraints the council has been substantially successful in achieving the ambitious programme we committed to for the year.
"One of the important indicators showing that the community was also generally satisfied with council services was the independent community survey carried out by the National Research Bureau. This revealed a very favourable view of most council services with a number hitting outstanding residents' approval ratings of 90 per cent or higher.
"I'm also particularly pleased that 82% of residents felt they had been able to have an influence on council decisions to some extent during the year, meaning our community engagement and consultation work must have hit the mark."
Mr Winters expressed his appreciation to elected members for their dedication to their council governance and community leadership roles, and to council management and staff for their professionalism and commitment.
Page reviewed: 01 Nov 2012 10:00am