FinPro Member Update October 2020 (Edition 4)October 30, 2020
FinPro Member Update October 2020 (Edition 4)
Good morning to all our members.
I hope that you have had a great week!!! There has been some signs of some great weather and our metro colleagues have finally had some of the restrictions eased, helping to make this week feel a bit more ‘normal’. Hopefully you might have been able to get out to your favourite café, pub or just physically catch up with some family or friends ???? Lots more smiles this week!
Like many organisations, FinPro has also taken on some iso projects, and we are pleased to be able to launch our new look website – https://www.finpro.org.au We are really pleased at how it now looks – fresher, cleaner and hopefully a little easier to navigate too. Remember we are always looking for resources (policies etc.) or job advertisements to post and if you have anything you think would be of value to include on our website please email Gab.
Last week we held our virtual mini-conference. Of course, it wasn’t as good as our annual conference, but it was a great way to hear from a number of speakers! Thanks to everyone who attended, well over 200 individuals across the sessions. The recording of the sessions is now available on our website and a summary of the event is includes in today’s Member Update – page 6.
We are planning to hold a webinar in November on LG Budgets! Things to look at as part of the development, how best to engage with the organisation, Councillors and the Community, what will a LG budget look like post COVID. If you have any ideas of what to cover, or a speaker you would like to hear from please email Gab with any ideas.
I know many of you will turn this weekend into a super long weekend. I hope you have lots of fun and enjoy the break – and good luck tipping a winner in the cup! I’ll be following ‘Verry Elleegant’ around the track on Tuesday!!
Bradley Thomas – FinPro President
Director Community and Corporate Services – Hepburn Shire
FinPro Virtual Gallery
GO TO OUR WEBSITE and see what FinPro members have been up to outside of work during COVID!
With Council’s updating and renewing their membership for the coming year, we welcome a number of new members to FinPro. Thank-you for your continued support and connection.
We welcome the following new members to FinPro:
- Sue Hobart, Strategic Finance Projects Manager, Wangaratta Rural City Council
- Megan Gough, Management Accountant, Mitchell Shire Council
And we congratulate the following on their new roles:
- Claire Barnes has been appointed Manager Finance at Wangaratta Rural City Council. Claire was formerly with Greater Shepparton Council, and
- Yanthi Nilam has been appointed to the role of Manager Finance and Monash City Council. Yanthi was Co-ordinator Management Accountant and has been with Monash in various Finance roles since 2002.
If you have any news to share with the FinPro membership please forward this to Gab.
Membership Renewal information available here
FinPro Technical Committee News / Updates
Local Government Act Implementation
The FinPro Local Government Act 2020 Working Group is meeting for the third session next Friday 6 November 2020.
The Working Group has been working closely with LGV, to best establish how the Working Group can assist LGV in guidance and more specifically items such as:
- Budget Document
- Finance Plan
- Other Finance Related Documents – such as the Rating and Revenue Plan
All of this will be considered in context of an Integrated Framework view, the new Act requirements and the recently gazetted regulations which came into operation on the 24 October 2020.
ESC Rate Cap Compliance Returns
A reminder that these returns are due today, 30 October 2020.
Ombudsman Investigation into council responses to ratepayers in financial hardship.
A reminder that this survey is due today, 30 October 2020.
Update from Local Government Victoria
The following information was distributed by Local Government Victoria via Bulletin 71/2020 on Thursday 22 October 2020
LOCAL GOVERNMENT (PLANNING AND REPORTING) REGULATIONS 2020, AND
LOCAL GOVERNMENT (GOVERNANCE AND INTEGRITY) REGULATIONS 2020 MADE AND GAZETTED
Two sets of regulations to support the commencement of the third stage of the Local Government Act 2020 have been gazetted.
The Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2020 and Local Government (Governance and Integrity) Regulations 2020 were made and gazetted on 20 October 2020 and come into operation on 24 October 2020.
Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2020
These Regulations will apply from the financial year beginning 1 July 2021. They replicate the Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2014, and prescribe the information needed in council strategic plans and continue to provide a mandatory system of performance reporting. The 2014 Regulations will be repealed on 24 October 2020.
The only variation in the Regulations reflects the new four-year budget and 10-year Financial Plan introduced by the 2020 Act.
More substantial reforms for these Regulations will be considered in 2021, after ongoing co-design work on the integrated planning and reporting framework is complete.
Local Government (Governance and Integrity) Regulations 2020
These Regulations set out a number of governance and integrity matters. This includes how the oath or affirmation will be taken by persons elected to be councillors, councillor induction training, exemptions from conflicts of interest, details to be disclosed in interest returns, and new standards of conduct for councillors.
A summary of how these Regulations have developed following consultation can be found at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/local-government-act-2020/consult-governance-and-integrity-regulations
Oath / Affirmation and Councillor Induction Training can be taken remotely
Under the new Local Government (Governance and Integrity) Regulations 2020:
- the oath or affirmation of office can be taken in person, or with the approval of the Chief Executive Office, by means of audio-visual link;
- the manner for conducting the councillor induction training must be either in person or by electronic means.
Local Government Victoria continues to release supporting material to assist the sector to comply with the new requirements arising from the commencement of the third stage of the 2020 Act and Regulations. These materials can be found at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/local-government-act-2020
Further information on both Regulations can also be found at: : https://www.localgovernment.vic.gov.au/council-governance/acts-and-legislation
A copy of the Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2020 can be found at: https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/as-made/statutory-rules/local-government-planning-and-reporting-regulations-2020
A copy of the Local Government (Governance and Integrity) Regulations 2020 can be found at: https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/as-made/statutory-rules/local-government-governance-and-integrity-regulations-2020
Thank you to all those who provided valuable feedback during consultation for both of these Regulations.
Colin Morrison, Acting Executive Director
Local Government Victoria
Update – Liability Mutual Insurance Scheme Reform Consultation
The MAV distributed a letter to Councils on Wednesday 21 October 2020 relating to the Liability Mutual Insurance Scheme Reform Consultation.
A summary of the letter is as follows:
- CEOs at all Councils would have received an email with a letter from the MAV. The MAV is looking to consult with Councils on a structural reform of the MAV Liability Mutual Insurance Scheme (LMI).
- The proposed reform is partly as a result of audit by VAGO to ensure the most optimum model is adopted
- In short, the MAV noted that in undertaking the reform, they are committed to the following points:
- ensuring our member councils are properly protected against public liability and professional indemnity claims and risks,
- delivering a scheme structure that supports the prudent management of financial and regulatory risks, and
- running an open tender process to select a scheme service provider at the conclusion of the current contract with JLT in 2022.
The letter and information provide five possible reformed options for Councils to consider.
Of five options, the MAV’s preferred option, is option 1, which is a compulsory position, where Victorian Councils will be required to source LMI via the MAV.
Councils are required to respond on their preferred option by Friday 20 November 2020.
Update from VAGO
The following monthly update was distributed by VAGO last Friday, and is shared again now as this is important information for all our members and we know that sometimes, emails get missed, and so too does information!
Please note that there was also an attachment to this update from VAGO – for a copy please contact Sanchu at [email protected]
I hope you are safe and well.
Find below the local government sector update for your reference.
2019-20 Roads to Recovery acquittal is due by 31 October 2020:
- We are on track to release all outstanding R2R audit opinions that are with us this week to meet your 31 October deadline. If not already done, do provide R2R supporting information asap to facilitate opinion release.
VAGO performance audit and other integrity bodies October 2020 update is attached for your reference:
- The NSW ICAC has produced a paper to help guide audit and risk committees on their role in dealing with corruption and fraud. Refer https://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/prevention/corruption-prevention-publications/latest-corruption-prevention-publications/dealing-with-corruption-fraud-and-the-icac-the-role-of-public-sector-audit-and-risk-committees for a copy.
- Refer link to guidance released by OCAG (Ireland) for management and audit committees in considering the impact of COVID 19 on the entity’s control environment and some issues you may find useful when engaging with the external auditor during the annual audit process. https://www.audit.gov.ie/en/Audit-Insights/Updates%20and%20Presentations/Audit-insights-impact-of-Covid-19-on-the-control-environment.pdf
- VAGO Annual Report was tabled on 14 October 2020. Refer https://www.audit.vic.gov.au/report/annual-report-2019-20 for a copy.
If you have any queries, please feel free to reach out.
This email is sent to audit committee members, senior management in local government sector and LGV. This email with some additional audit related matters will also be forwarded to VAGO audit service providers. Feel free to pass this information to anyone who will benefit from it.
Kind regards, Sanchu
Acting Sector Director, Local Government
Victorian Auditor-General’s Office
Level 31, 35 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
0472 838 905|(03) 8601 1636 | [email protected]
Long Term Financial Plans.
One of the key changes for Finance professionals in Local Government coming out of the new Local Government Act 2020 is a legislated 10-year Financial Plan.
The Financial Plan (s 91) is developed and adopted by Council to provide a long-term view of the resources that are expected to be available to Council and the proposed/predicted application/use of those resources over a 10-year period. The Financial Plan should cover all aspects of the Council’s role including services/operations and capital investment/assets. It should also describe the proposed sources of funds it proposes to have access to and include all the high-level assumptions under-pinning the Plan.
Council’s may already have a model or product which helps with long term planning… but what else is out there? These sessions gave four providers a half-hour each to present their current solutions.
Session 1: LTFP – CT Management and TechnologyOne 21.10.20 LISTEN TO THE RECORDING
COPIES OF PRESENTATIONS:
Session 2: LTFP – LG Solutions and MAGIQ – 21.10.20 LISTEN TO THE RECORDING
COPIES OF PRESENTATIONS:
VAGO – Emerging risks and audits – 22.10.20
Should we have seen it coming? This is a question that we often ask ourselves when something unexpected happens. It forces us to reassess our current environment and increases our focus on the probability of future events. It makes us reconsider our approach to risk and risk management. Our Councils will now be moving from a response to a recovery phase, managing the risks and leveraging the opportunities for change resulting from this pandemic. Robust governance frameworks will be critical as we look to deliver our services in more agile and innovative ways – always mindful of future uncertainty.
During this session the Auditor General – Andrew Greaves presented his views and insights into the topic of Emerging Risks and Audit focus. Andrew then handed over to Sanchu Chummar who spoke about this year’s audit process, as it reaches its completion.
COPIES OF PRESENTATIONS:
- Andrew Greaves, Victorian Auditor-General
- Sanchu Chummar, Acting sector Director, Local Government VAGO
Rebuilding our Communities – 22.10.20 LISTEN TO THE RECORDING
The current health and economic crisis have been traumatic for our communities. Local Councils have responded quickly with a range of initiatives to support business, jobs and communities. As we emerge from the immediate emergency responses, our attention needs to shift quickly to building resilient communities in a post COVID-19 environment.
Today we will hear from two speakers who will step us through their thinking and approach in leading the recovery and rebuild. This is an important conversation for us as a finance community as we also rethink our approach to budgetary settings required to enable these community visions.
Presenters: Ludo Campbell-Reid, Director of City Design & Liveability, Wyndham City Council
John McLinden, CEO Swan Hill Rural City Council
Challenges facing the councils in 2020 and beyond: CEO Panel LISTEN TO THE RECORDING
Danny Wain interviewed 2 highly regarded CEOs about their recent experiences in the year we all want to forget and how this will shape not only the coming year, but also further into the future.
Tammi was part of the CEO panel at the 2019 Conference and Danny will review some of the questions he asked at the time about shaping the future of Yarra Ranges. How much of what she planned was able to be delivered? How were plans modified along the way to still achieve key outcomes?
Craigs experience spans both large and small councils and will share his learnings of how to deal with situations that “just arise” like Covid and natural disasters. With some councils in the state experiencing both in the same financial year, is the sector becoming more able to adapt readily to changing circumstances?
Presenters: Tammi Rose, CEO Yarra Ranges Shire Council
Craig Neimann, CEO City of Greater Bendigo
Facilitator: Danny Wain, CFO Monash City Council, FinPro Exec
Councillor Onboarding (with a finance theme) – 1.10.20
Councillors will soon be back in the office. Are you ready to assist them in their transition?
Bradley Thomas, President FinPro facilitated this session which was presented by Marc Giglio, Director Corporate Services at Banyule City Council.
FinPro is happy to place advertisements on our website for any finance related positions our members councils are advertising. Please send the following details through to Gab
- Independent Member Audit & Risk Committee
- West Wimmera Shire Council
- Position description & information pack can be viewed at https://www.westwimmera.vic.gov.au/Council/Employment
- For further information, please contact Ashley Roberts on 03 5392 7702
- Applications close 6 November 2020
- Assets and Systems Officer
- East Gippsland Shire
- Further details available at https://eastgippslandshire.jobs.subscribe-hr.com/jobs/549-bairnsdale-assets-and-systems-officer
- For a confidential discussion, please contact Liz Collins, Manager Finance on (03) 5153 9500.
- Applications close at 11.59pm on 4 November 2020.
- Systems Accountant
- City of Ballarat
- Further details available at https://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/careers/systems-accountant
- For further information, view the attached position description in the link above or contact Luke Wheeler on 03 5320 5626
- Applications close Sunday, November 8, 2020 – 11:59pm
- Revenue Coordinator
- Southern Grampians Shire
- Information about the role is available on the Southern Grampians Shire Website
- Further information can be obtained by contacting Belinda Johnson, Manager Finance via email [email protected]
- Applications close 9am on Monday 9 November 2020
Other Learning and connecting opportunities
CPA Virtual Congress – 10 – 12 November 2020
CPA Congress is going virtual and we’re tackling change in the accounting and finance industry head on, with engaging content, practical case stories and updates on emerging trends and innovations.
Not just another webinar or online workshop, Virtual Congress 2020 is a fully immersive online experience. Tickets to Virtual Congress are at the low price of $250 AUD including GST for members, and $350 AUD including GST for non-members. Organisations registering 30 or more staff together will have access to a further 10% discount on the member and non-member rate.
MEMBER PRICE | NON-MEMBER PRICE
$250 AUD INCL. GST | $350 AUD INCL. GST
FinPro Executive Members
President – Bradley Thomas (Hepburn Shire Council)
Executive Officer – Gab Gordon
Vice-President: Chair Technical Committee – Tony Rocca (Maroondah City Council)
Technical Committee members:
- Danny Wain (Monash City Council)
- Kristy Stephens (Bass Coast Shire)
- Liz Rowland (Western Water)
- Mark Montague (Yarra City Council)
- Nathan Morsillo (Greater Bendigo City Council)
- Vishantri Perera (Yarra Ranges Shire Council)
Vice-President: Chair Professional Development committee – Binda Gokhale (Wyndham CC)
Professional Development Committee members:
- Belinda Johnson (Southern Grampians Shire)
- Charles Nganga (Casey City Council)
- John Brockway (Surf Coast Shire) – also leads the FinPro Mentoring Program
- Kim Jaensch (Frankston City Council) – leads the FinPro Leadership Program
We thank our 2020 Corporate Partners
- Commonwealth Bank
- CT Management
- MAGIQ Software
Corporate Partnership is available to all businesses and is an opportunity to support FinPro, our members and the sector as we journey through COVID and are unable to provide face-to-face Professional Development and live sponsorship opportunities.
For further information please contact Gabrielle Gordon – details as listed below.
To Contact FinPro:
Gabrielle Gordon – Executive Officer
M: 0400 114 015
To get a copy of this article, click here.