A TRANSFORMATION Task Force will hold its first meeting next week to begin a major restructure of Shoalhaven City Council staffing.
Comprising Mayor Joanna Gash, deputy mayor John Wells, general manager Russ Pigg and a consultant, the task force will implement the report and recommendations provided by management consulting firm Blackadder Associates.
Council engaged the firm to undertake an organisational review as part of a strategy to make a 5 per cent saving on operational costs.
Council announced on Wednesday afternoon that it has embarked on a major restructure that will see jobs go in a raft of new cost saving initiatives.
The restructure will see council’s six groups, Assistant General Manager, City Services and Operations, Strategic Planning, Development and Environmental Services, Finance and Corporate Services and Shoalhaven Water reduced to four groups.
The new groups will be Finance and Corporate Services, Development and Environment, Works and Operations and Shoalhaven Water.
The job descriptions for the affected directors will be re-written and their positions subject to an open recruitment process.
The directorship of Shoalhaven Water under Carmel Krogh will remain unchanged.
Council is aiming to have the new director positions put in place by June 1.
The reduction in the number of groups will see cuts to personal assistant and section manager positions available under the new structure.
Redundancies will be the last resort if changes are not able to be made using existing vacancies, general staff turnover or retirements.
Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash said the organisational review had been undertaken in a bid to streamline services and produce ongoing cost savings.
“Prior to the election the community told us they wanted a leaner and meaner council, to get the organisation’s finances in place and to undertake the backlog of capital works,” Cr Gash said.
“This is exactly what we are doing after having engaged an independent consultant to totally transform the way council was operating.
“These changes are about positioning ourselves for the future and ensuring council’s long-term financial sustainability.”
“Council is also looking at ways to spend ratepayers’ money more effectively while also providing the community with the services they expect,” she said.
General manager Russ Pigg said the restructure was being undertaken to ensure the organisation remained able to deliver a high level of services to the local community.
“All levels of government are undertaking cost reduction measures after being faced with deficit budgets,” Mr Pigg said.
“Shoalhaven City Council is not alone in facing a situation in which increasing expenditure is greater than the organisation’s revenue.
“The operational savings reform initiatives council has implemented have been designed to deliver annual net savings of $6.5 million.”
“While this may not be achievable within the first year, I’m extremely optimistic of reaching these saving targets by years two or three.”
Council will also complete an organisational restructure for each group below section manager level, review procurement practices, investigate delivery methods and potential outsourcing, review its motor vehicle fleet, undertake service reviews, consider shared services opportunities and review fees and charges.