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Victoria's 79 local councils deliver wide-ranging services, such as health, social welfare, waste, recreation, infrastructure, planning and emergency management. Services vary across councils, depending on the demographics, size, location and priorities of each community. Councils also have corporate services—such as finance, payroll, human resources and IT—to support their frontline service delivery.

Since the introduction of rate capping in 2015, it is vital that councils have robust service planning and review processes to ensure the services they provide are both cost effective and meeting community needs.

In this audit, we assessed whether selected councils effectively plan for and deliver cost efficient frontline services that meet community needs. We also benchmarked corporate services expenditure and examined how councils look for and achieve efficiencies in their corporate services.

We audited Bayside City Council, City of Wodonga, Indigo Shire Council, Moira Shire Council, and Wyndham City Council. We also examined the role of Local Government Victoria (LGV)—part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)—in providing support and guidance to councils on efficient service delivery.

We made nine recommendations in total—four for all Victorian councils and five for DELWP.

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