WA celebrates best practice

The Western Australian Municipal Association held its second annual Best Practice Awards in Local Government at a gala function in November. The awards aim to foster and encourage best practice principles in Local Government in Western Australia.

They assist Councils to develop management strategies leading to better decision making, greater accountability, more community participation and greater efficiency and effectiveness.

Judges included representatives from State and Local Government, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and private sector. Chairman of the Panel, Dr Ken Michael, said the Best Practice Awards create an opportunity for Councils to be recognised for their achievements in seeking to improve the way they do business.

"This recognition is not only about the Award itself but also about the journey to get there," he said. "The journey is the learning process and, in itself, achieves benefits through improved systems and procedures, empowerment of staff and job satisfaction in general."

The City of Melville took out the prestigious Alcoa Leadership in Local Government Award for demonstrating excellence in business management with a community focus and for assisting other Councils in developing best practice work processes and concepts.

Chief Executive Officer John McNally said that the Award represented the culmination of a year's hard work by the organisation to improve its customer focus and pursue best practice in the way that the City of Melville is run.

"Over the last 12 months we have taken a hard look at the way we do business and sought to improve our management processes," he said. "We have put a lot of time and energy into focussing on improving our performance and it is nice to have that effort, through this Award recognised by our peers."

As an instance, he cited Melville's Focus on Performance and Recognition System which uses a Balanced Score Card to provide a catalyst for workplace change. This is considered to be at the forefront of Local Government performance management. "In a Western Australian context, this award means we are, quite simply, the best," he said.