Charter Letter frequently asked questions
What is Future Directions for Local Land Services?
In the past two years, Local Land Services has undergone audits and reviews across a broad range of areas, including:
- organisation structure
- governance arrangements
- business processes
- customer service
- organisation culture
- stakeholder engagement and communications
- financial sustainability.
Future Directions is the coordinated response to these audits and reviews, which has identified opportunities for improvement to the organisation and its service delivery.
The Minister for Primary Industries has developed a Charter Letter, which is central to the Future Directions. It outlines the Government’s expectations of Local Land Services and the priorities it is required to deliver over the coming three years, arising from the audits and reviews.
What is the Charter Letter?
The Charter Letter is a legal instrument that outlines the Government’s expectations of Local Land Services.
It will be used as the basis for performance agreements between the Chair of Local Land Services and the 11 regional chairs, in a move that signals a significant level of accountability.
It will also guide the day-to-day operations of Local Land Services staff and regions.
What does the Charter Letter contain?
The Charter Letter defines a set of strategic priorities linked to the State Strategic Plan and 11 local strategic plans. It includes priorities across governance, communications, stakeholder engagement, customer focus, financial sustainability, people, systems and operations and service delivery.
What reviews and audits are being published?
As part of the Future Directions process, the results of two audits by the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) and the NSW Government’s responses to these audits have been published. The following documents are now available:
- NRC Audit of Local Land Services’ Governance
- NSW Government response to the recommendations in the NRC Governance Audit
- NRC Audit of Local Land Services’ Communications
- NSW Government response to the recommendations in the NRC Communications Audit.
These documents show the specific actions Local Land Services will take to improve governance, strategic management, communications, stakeholder engagement and branding.
Other relevant documents that are already available include:
What changes will be made?
Changes will be made across Local Land Services to address the reviews and audits and the priorities outlined in the Charter Letter.
Some of the main changes include:
- Improvements to the governance framework, including a new structure for the central Board to improve strategic focus, tighter board processes and improved communications about roles, responsibilities and decisions.
- Development of strategies to ensure a consistent approach to branding, communications and stakeholder engagement across Local Land Services.
- A new delivery model to strengthen and modernise customer service.
- A culture change project, responding to the outcomes of the 2016 People Matter survey and other identified areas for improvement.
- A range of strategies to improve financial sustainability including new sources of revenue, more efficient ways of operating and delivering services, and attracting funding.
- In partnership with the Department of Primary Industries, design and delivery of new and improved programs and services across biodiversity, biosecurity and agricultural production.
There will be some legislative amendments in response to recommendations from the NRC relating to governance. These will ensure our governance model matches best practice approaches and that roles and responsibilities are clear.
When will the changes be implemented?
Many of the changes are already underway, especially those related to delivery of new biosecurity, biodiversity and agricultural production services, and culture change.
By mid-2017, new boards will be fully in place and strategies for communications and stakeholder engagement will be finalised.
By the end of 2017 a broad range of financial sustainability initiatives will be implemented. Communications about these initiatives will roll out across the year.
The new customer service delivery model is expected to be implemented during 2018.
What are the changes aiming to achieve?
As a result of Future Directions, Local Land Services will be better positioned to meet the needs of landholders, stakeholders and the community and deliver on the goals of the state and local strategic plans. Future Directions is designed to:
- strengthen the Local Land Services model
- remove barriers for farmers and communities to engage with Local Land Services
- provide clarification for staff in doing their jobs
- position the organisation to deliver on state priorities and Government reforms.
How will these changes impact ratepayers?
The changes will result in a streamlined Local Land Services, which will remove barriers for landholders and communities to engage with the organisation.
The reforms will also create a more efficient organisation and allow its board and staff to provide locally-responsive and innovative services to its customers.
The changes will guarantee that gaps, which were identified in service delivery, governance and communications, are filled and that the organisation can deliver on its goals and primary functions.
Will the public be consulted on the changes?
This year, there have been a number of opportunities for public feedback into initiatives impacting on Local Land Services and there will be more in the future.
These include public feedback processes on biodiversity and biosecurity legislation, the submission process for the NRC’s Pest Animal Review, and Local Land Services consultations on regional Weeds Plans in February 2017.
Any other comments can be emailed direct to Local Land Services: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does this mean for the regional model of service delivery?
The Local Land Services model is based on regional service delivery, and this will not change under the new arrangements.