An independent body that audits NSW government departments released its assessment of the state’s 134 councils, and 11 joint organisations, on Friday.
The NSW Auditor-General’s report says, ‘The number of high-risk issues reported in our management letters has decreased.’
‘[Yet there are] five councils without an asset management strategy, policy and plan. This has improved compared with the prior year.’
Auditor-General Margaret Crawford says in the report that there are ‘very pleasing indicators of the gradual strengthening of governance and financial oversight of the sector.’
Information technology was the largest issue raised by the audit (41 per cent).
As for Byron Council, it was considered ‘unmodified’ from previous assessments, and they submitted their financial statements by the statutory deadline.
Four NSW councils were listed as a ‘modified opinion: qualified opinion, an adverse opinion, or a disclaimer of opinion’. They are Bayside Council (Botany Bay), Hilltops Council (South West Slopes), Mid-Coast Council and Murrumbidgee Council (Riverina area).