In today’s changing, competitive and customer centric environment, LGs are facing a host of challenges including service delivery , lack of finance, forming new partnerships, depletion of revenue, adopting of the international standard sets of performance measures , managing staff and rapidly involving & evolving technology and social economic demographics.
For decades, successive governments have ingeniously pursued an approach to formulate policy that centralised power and decision making to the detriment of local people, communities, local government and public services. This resulted in a breakdown of trust between the governors and the governed, and eventually to a decline in personal and social responsibilities.
The sudden drastic increase in the operational expenses radically affected the financial performance of LG’s businesses. Today, the local governments are encased with intense pressure owing to competitors, regulators and to provide better service for their own customers, whereas shareholders are demanding better financial performance.
How well did the Local Governments tackle the impediment they confronted from insufficient resources to financial crisis? Will the local governments continue to face the same issues in the near future? Will it continue to see an erosion of council authority, accountability, service delivery, capacity and financial performance? Or will we see a reassertion of the importance of local governments, with new models for regional integration, public finance and services that emphasize a public role?
In spite of the coalition government’s rush towards privatization of public goods and services, the profit-driven model will prove insufficient to tackle the complexity of problems and services required. Government must find ways to establish a long-term, profitable relationship with existing customers and develop innovative ways to captivate new customers. This can be accomplished by transforming systems and processes to enable a vying customer-centric approach, where the customer becomes the hub of the entire business.
The challenges are immense; however our hope lies in a sector that encourages and supports active citizenship, teaches us to engage across our differences and helps us build communities and bridge cultures.
Please share your experience and views in this regards.