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Fast city WiFi in slow lane as council misses own deadlines

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The city council is six months to two years behind schedule on a range of smart city, eco-friendly and forward-planning projects, a staff report has revealed.

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While the majority of the projects in the council’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan are expected to be delivered on time, six key “deliverables” that were due to be completed by June 2017 have been delayed.

A report from the council’s administration, to be presented to a council meeting tonight, asks councillors to approve a new set of deadlines, under which it would:

The report blames policy change, an increase in its workload and revelations projects were more complex than originally thought for the delays.

In a line that could have been written for the ABC TV series Utopia, council staff explain: “Delays are attributable to initial timelines being re-estimated as the administration gathers an enhanced understanding of complexity and evolving scope of some deliverables.

“In addition, there have been some changes in positions on some matters.

“There has also been a marked increase from 70 to 108 motions, with or without notice, from 2015/16 to 2016/17, which [has] influenced delivery timeframes.”

However, the council’s director of services, Steve Mathewson, told InDaily the vast majority of the actions in the Strategic Plan were on track.

“Our Strategic Plan contains 110 actions – of these, a total of 104 actions, or 95 per cent, are on track,” he said.

“We have amended the delivery dates for the remaining six actions (amounting to just 5 per cent) for a variety of reasons, as the report notes.

“Administration does not expect these delays to affect delivery of these actions within the four-year period but we will continue to monitor and publicly report their progress.”

The report also says some “deliverables” have been completed early, while others have been abandoned or merged.

“Due to the realignment of the priorities and the completion of deliverables in year one, there are approximately 100 fewer deliverables going forward for 2017-18,” it says.

“Several deliverables have also been merged to reflect a more streamlined way of conducting council business and delivery of council services.

“A number of business-as-usual deliverables have been removed to refocus reporting at a more strategic level.”

A full summary of progress on council projects is available here.

Lord Mayor Martin Haese and council CEO Mark Goldstone were both unavailable for comment this morning.

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