How we work

Here we explain how we are striving to improve how we work. Find out how we make sure we offer you best value.

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The Local Government Act 1989 requires all councils meet high quality and cost standards. We also must be responsive to community needs.

Councils need to keep improving their operations. They must consult with the community on service levels. We also must ensure high levels of accessibility.

These are called best value principles.

Each year we must to report to you on what we have done to ensure we have followed these principles.

Annual service planning and budgeting

We have continued our work to improve our planning and budgeting process.

We used an online budget simulator to engage with the community. This helped us ensure the budget would meet community expectations.

We performed quarterly reviews of our budget.

Service reviews

During the year we reviewed several of our services. We did this to ensure they provide best value in how they operate.

We reviewed the following areas:

  • Risk, insurance and audit: we reviewed these to strengthen our approach to risk management.
  • City strategy and design: we reviewed these areas to better plan for Merri-bek’s growing population. We ensured our planning is informed by evidence and research.
  • Information technology: we centralised and standardised our approach to reporting on key metrics. We improved decision making through better business intelligence.
  • Environmental health: we improved communication with our customers.
  • Building services: we streamlined workflows and digitised the service. This allowed us to maintain our service throughout the pandemic.
  • Planning enforcement: we improved systems and processes. We are meeting all targets for monitoring developments to ensure they follow planning approvals.
  • Urban planning: we trialled our Design Excellence Scorecard. This sets an aspirational benchmark for design excellence.

Continuous improvement

We continued to streamline and improve processes to ensure we work more efficiently. This has led to better outcomes for the community.

We delivered key improvements in our customer service, including:

  • keeping our Customer Service team informed of breaking news
  • an improved approach to how we handle phone messages from the community
  • ensuring managers are kept informed on the customer service performance of their team.

We have supported our staff to come up with ideas to improve the services they offer. This has resulted in the automation or streamlining of many processes. We have more time to focus on servicing the community.

You can read more about all our work in ensuring we deliver best value for you in our full report


pop up engagement sessions on the budget



phone-in sessions