Opting for affordable business systems

Somerset Regional Council based at Esk in Queensland’s southeast, has a vision of delivering affordable rates and effective services.

The philosophy is applied throughout the organisation with Somerset Council having the lowest ratio of employees to population of any Queensland local government area with fewer than 50,000 people.

Somerset chooses to use Civica’s Practical Plus program as its business system. Practical Plus, a low fixed cost solution customised for smaller councils, has been successfully adapted by Somerset to produce repeated clean sweeps of green lights across all the Queensland Audit Office’s financial management and sustainability criteria for local government.

Somerset Regional Council is one of only eight councils in Queensland to achieve this mark.

With a population of 25,000, Somerset is the largest Practical Plus user in Queensland. A wide suite of modules is employed including financial management, rates, payroll and development applications.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said Council was constantly looking at ways to deliver services that are effective and affordable.
“Council considers carefully the costs and benefits of getting and using information and there is a point where getting the information may not be worth the extra cost.

“We also weigh up the potential benefits of process changes that can come with changing business systems versus the costs.
“We think we have an affordable solution that matches our affordable rates and effective services vision.”