An accessible, transparent and responsive organisation is willing to share what it has done and why it has done it with people who need to know. It acts in a professional, timely manner and ensures the community can feel a sense of pride in its operations.
As an organisation, the City of Melbourne strives to improve opportunities for the community to participate in and engage with our decision-making. We seek to share information about our decisions and performance with our community. Ensuring we are an ‘accessible, transparent and responsive organisation’ is about increasing public disclosure of and access to information to become one of the most transparent councils in Australia, fostering a more involved community as well as a better informed community.
A framework to improve the way we commission, implement, and evaluate organisational strategies has been developed and tested but not yet fully embedded. The production of a public year-end media report, is in progress and scheduled for delivery in August 2016. We invited the community to refresh the Future Melbourne Community Plan that guides all aspects of the city’s development, prosperity and liveability. A Citizen’s Jury also worked together to refresh the Plan. As part of this work we commissioned an independent review of the Future Melbourne engagement process, which has pushed back project timing slightly. This Plan is now due for completion in early August 2016.
A major initiative in the coming year will be to broaden the quarterly services dashboard to include measures on customer experience and organisational performance.
To become an ‘accessible, transparent and responsive organisation’ we continue to look for ways to achieve this in every facet of what we do. Find out more on how we apply this approach in different areas of our business in these sections:
As part of the digital transformation program, consolidate and redevelop the corporate website; redevelop the service directory
Our redeveloped corporate website is fully operational, and has been well received by the community. We consolidated 13 subsites into a single site, resulting in a more streamlined user experience. A mobile-first approach has been implemented and the site is fully responsive. More than 6000 pages of content were reviewed, redeveloped and reduced to 2500. We are undertaking regular user experience research to make sure the content and design is clear, easy to find and helpful for our customers and users. See melbourne.vic.gov.au.
MAV technology awards for excellence
The City of Melbourne CityLab team won two Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) Technology Awards for Excellence. The awards, one for collaboration of the year and the other an exemplar award, were for a project to expand the number of open data sets available for GovHack2015. The Cities of Greater Geelong, Melbourne and Ballarat worked together with three Code for Australia fellows on the project.
New smoke-free areas
QV Melbourne, Goldsbrough Lane and City Square all became smoke-free as of 1 October 2015 after a thorough community consultation. All areas have a 24-hour smoking ban except for City Square, which has a smoking ban imposed only during the hours of 6am to 8pm. In May 2016, the Future Melbourne Committee endorsed popular running tracks The Tan and Princes Park to be the next smoke-free areas, with community surveys revealing strong public support for the proposal.
Melbourne is constantly growing and evolving so it’s important to plan ahead to ensure we remain a prosperous, resilient and liveable city. To prepare for the next decade, the City of Melbourne invited the community to refresh Future Melbourne, the strategic plan for our city that guides all aspects of the city’s development, prosperity and liveability. We asked the community to share their ideas for the city’s future in a range of face-to-face workshops, forums, seminars, and online. A Citizen’s Jury of 50 people who live and work in the municipality were then invited to work together to refresh Future Melbourne using the ideas shared in phase one. Six Future Melbourne ambassadors were appointed to represent the community for the duration of the project and to ensure the Plan reflects the community’s aspirations and priorities. More information can be found in the Involving the community in our decisions section of this report and at Future Melbourne.
How we’re performing against our indicators of progress
The City of Melbourne aims for several outcomes over the four years of its Council Plan 2013–17. We measure progress by the indicators below.
Increased public disclosure and access to information to become one of the most transparent councils in Australia
A decrease in the proportion of Future Melbourne Committee and Council agenda items dealt with in confidential session, per year.
Proportion of items handled in confidential session:
An increase in the level of online publication of data and information about the Council’s decision-making.
Number of registers online:
An increase in the number of visits to webpages where Council registers and decisions made under delegation under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 are published, per year.
Total visits to webpages:
The number and proportion of items handled in confidential session (which include subsidiary company reports and grants, funding and sponsorship applications) decreased slightly this year. No publications have been added to our public website in the past two years. Visits to webpages with Council registers and Council decisions made under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 increased 31 per cent (4424 more visits). On 16 December 2015 some of our webpage addresses changed with the transition to the new City of Melbourne website. Particular registers were located at different webpages so it is difficult to measure whether visits to each webpage were to view registers or other information located on the same webpage.
An increase in community awareness of the Council’s community engagement processes.
Residents who are aware of our community engagement processes:
An increase in participation in the Council’s community engagement processes.
Residents who participated in our community engagement processes:
An increase in satisfaction with the Council’s community engagement processes.
Residents who rated our community engagement processes ‘good’ or ‘very good’:
The proportion of residents surveyed who are aware of our community engagement processes this year is 56 per cent, down only one per cent from last year. Thirty-four per cent of residents surveyed participated in at least one City of Melbourne community engagement activity in the past 12 months, down seven per cent from last year.
The percentage of residents reporting satisfaction with our community engagement processes (i.e. as ‘good’ or ‘very good’) was 41 per cent, down slightly from last year. This decline of five percentage points is not statistically significant.
A total of three actions and activities were completed under Goal 8, an accessible, transparent and responsive organisation. Three actions not completed in 2015–16 will continue to be delivered in the 2016–17 financial year. Some relate to projects that span multiple years and some were delayed due to unforeseeable external factors.
Our 4-year priorities are…
Our 2015–16 focus was…
Over the next year we will…
Improve transparency by increasing accessibility to information, advice or consultation we consider when making decisions
Test and embed a framework to improve the way we commission, develop, implement, report and evaluate organisational strategies