Auckland Council’s Governing Body today agreed unanimously to progress all 64 recommendations made by an independent review of its council-controlled organisations (CCOs).
This includes agreeing to the merger of two CCOs—Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED)—into a single entity to be established by 1 December 2020, which the CCO Review suggests could save up to $67 million over the next decade.
The council and CCOs will now work together to progress investigation and implementation of the recommendations considering any further developments and improvements as needed.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, who promised the CCO Review during the 2019 mayoral election, said he was pleased that the Governing Body had agreed to advance the recommendations.
“While the CCOs have achieved much since the formation of the Super City 10 years ago, the independent review established that there was significant room for improving the council’s relationship with and oversight of the CCOs,” he said.
“Progressing the review’s recommendations will help increase council’s oversight and strategic direction of the CCOs, improve their performance on behalf of Aucklanders and ensure they are operating effectively and efficiently to help create a world-class city.
“The merger of ATEED and RFA will save up to $67 million for ratepayers over the next decade through economies of scale and increased efficiencies, with the combined agency able to work more effectively to make Auckland the preferred city in which to live, work, visit, invest and play.
“Now that the Governing Body has agreed the recommendations, significant work needs to be done on the best way to progressively implement them.”
Deputy Mayor and Chair of the CCO Oversight Committee Bill Cashmore agrees.
“The independent review provides a clear set of recommendations and a framework for how we can improve the way the council group works to deliver great outcomes for Aucklanders and make our city a better place,” he says.
CCO Oversight Committee deputy chair, Councillor Angela Dalton, says, “I’m looking forward to getting this process underway. Of the 64 recommendations put forward by the review, 25 will be progressed now over the next 6 months, while others will require further analysis and progression through the 10-year Budget process, and input from CCOs, local boards and Aucklanders.”
A detailed work programme for implementing the recommendations will be completed within three months. This will be reported back to the council’s CCO Oversight Committee, which will continue to monitor progress with regular reporting made by the council and CCOs.
The merger of RFA and ATEED will create one entity to oversee Auckland’s events, stadiums and cultural assets, and economic development. The proposed cost savings of between $5 - $7 million per year will offset the establishment costs of the merger.
This new entity will be established by 1 December 2020. It will continue to deliver all the functions and activities currently provided by the two CCOs with their existing budgets combined.
Any further decisions on funding, potential changes to service levels and functions will be considered as part of the council’s 10-year Budget process.
The ATEED and RFA boards will now be directed to undertake the merger, which both Boards have already agreed will produce better outcomes for Auckland and for the council.
The council will agree a new name, appointment of a single board of directors and interim chair, and a new Statement of Intent prior to 1 December.
More details on implementing the CCO Review recommendations, including a detailed analysis of the merger proposal, is available in the meeting agenda.