Benchmarking for greater efficiency

Bayside is the only Local Government authority taking part together with 15 other organisations in a national benchmarking study being conducted by the Australian Quality Council Other participants include Swinburne University, Toyota Australia, Centrelink and the State Revenue Office.

The study will look at how different organisations measure customer satisfaction. It will also compare systems and achievements, as well as provide a forum to discuss ways of capitalising on best practice and fostering improvement.

At Bayside, a Process Improvement Team was established to act as a steering committee coordinating Bayside's participation. Council's customer satisfaction is approached from a variety of angles. This includes widespread public consultation in the planning of new initiatives and developments.

Issuing of 'Help' Cards to residents having difficulties also enables concerns to be registered and responded to. All matters must receive a response within one month. There is also a special form for Councillor requests, if a Councillor is approached directly by a resident or ratepayer.

A new protocol for Councillor correspondence has also been developed providing a seven day turnaround. Bayside initially distributed 'Help Cards' with rates notices to encourage residents and others to voice any concerns. This resulted in 800 returns. Cards are also handed out at public meetings and are available at all Council facilities for anyone with a problem to be solved.

In February, Bayside will present its findings at a Forum in Sydney. This will enable Council to assess its level of success, look at potential for innovation and enlist the help, experience and expertise of other organisations in the private and public sectors to develop improvements.

For further information contact Chris Delbridge, telephone (03) 9599 4444.