Amalgamation and boundary change information
Although the outcomes of the amalgamation and boundary change models are similar, there are differences in the way in which the changes will be made. For example, whether it is an amalgamation or a boundary change, it is highly recommended that the same processes are adopted to ensure a standard approach to reform is applied so that key risks and issues are addressed. Both models will need to address the following:
- Merging of workplace cultures and sub-cultures is led and managed respectfully and effectively
- Innovation and best practice is identified and implemented
- Communities and stakeholders actively participate in the change process
- Services and service delivery is reviewed and optimised
- Staff well-being and satisfaction is not compromised
The key difference between an amalgamation model and a boundary change is the immediate need for the adjusting Local Governments (boundary change scenario) to negotiate, agree and implement a resource allocation model that will drive the transmittal of employees from one entity to another, the transfer or vesting of assets and property and address all financial implications including liabilities and grants.
These challenges are discussed in detail in the Reform Toolkit. Please refer to the Function: Financial Management - Long Term Financial Plan; Management: CEO and Executive Team - Asset ownership and transfer; and Asset Management: Impact of boundary changes.
It should be an agreed objective of the LIC that the preferred arrangement for the transfer of employees resulting from boundary changes will be developed before the new Local Governments are formed. Similarly the proposed allocation of all assets and liabilities should be prepared prior to changeover day (July 2015). Where this is not achieved in time by the outgoing local governments, then it may be necessary for these matters to be finalised through Governor’s Orders.
The primary purpose of any transfers of assets and employees must be to ensure that service delivery continues. The transfer of liabilities and property recognises the obligations attached to or related to those employees and assets. In a number of instances, employees are associated with the assets and the transferring area and although staff allocations are to occur as a priority in order to assist the change process, the allocation of assets as a result of boundary changes will often directly affect the allocation of employees and should therefore be addressed as soon as possible.
It will be important for the LIC to ensure that the apportionment of all employees, assets and liabilities are based on the future service delivery requirements of the new entity and distributed accordingly.
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