3. Delivery of road maintenance

Conclusion

Councils do not know whether they are achieving value for money in maintaining their road network. This is because they lack the data that would allow them to analyse or benchmark their performance. Even where data is available, councils do not use it to understand their efficiency. 

The audited councils are not compliant with the timeliness standards in their RMPs for planned inspections and reactive maintenance. This exposes them to legal liability and risks reducing the quality of their roads over time. 

2. Planning road maintenance

Conclusion

The audited councils are determining their planned road maintenance based on limited information, increasing the risk of waste or not meeting desired service levels. 

All audited councils use asset data and budget information to plan for road maintenance. However, gaps and inaccuracies in road condition and cost data, and a lack of understanding of community expectations for service levels, significantly reduce councils’ evidence base for decision-making.

1. Audit context

Victoria has over 132 000 kilometres of local roads, making up 87 per cent of the state’s total road network. 

Councils are responsible for maintaining these roads so that they are safe and functional.

Appendix E. Survey methodology

We conducted a survey about sexual harassment in local government. Our survey asked about:

  • individual experiences of sexual harassment
  • why respondents did or did not complain
  • sexual harassment policies and training
  • views on council communication and prevention.

To help participating councils address sexual harassment, we shared their de identified results with their mayor and CEO.

Appendix A. Submissions and comments

We have consulted with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Ararat, Corangamite, Frankston, Latrobe and Moreland, and we considered their views when reaching our audit conclusions. As required by the Audit Act 1994, we gave a draft copy of this report, or relevant extracts, to those agencies and asked for their submissions and comments. 

Responsibility for the accuracy, fairness and balance of those comments rests solely with the agency head.

4. Responding to sexual harassment

Conclusion

Councils do not always support and encourage staff to report their experiences of sexual harassment. Although they offer formal and informal complaint options, victims rarely use them.

When victims do speak out, councils do not always handle their complaints fairly or effectively. For instance, we found examples of councils excusing inappropriate behaviour when staff raised concerns about it. This reduces staff confidence in complaint handling and makes it challenging for victims to report their experiences.