Bigger is not necessarily better, particularly with municipal governments.  This Commentary based on remarks by AIMS acting president Charles Cirtwill shows that amalgamation does not provide the most efficient local government.

He explains that local governments are much better off if there is competition, cooperation and accountability, or the three ‘C’s. In this Commentary, A New Golden Rule, Cirtwill provides a number of tips on how to tell whether your local government is applying these principles.

More importantly he suggests local governments could follow the lead of the law in New Zeland.

“Here there are laws obliging local governments to use compulsory competitive tendering for all services. Local governments undergo regular audits, where service levels and taxation levels are compared. This permits the publication of league tables and other instruments of accountability that grant to local voters much greater insight into the performance of their local government and hence more means to hold them accountable.”

Cirtwill explains, “It is this broad based, easily understood, comprehensive and readily available data that is the backbone of the local government reform movement in New Zealand. No longer is it possible for solutions to be based on the apparent logic or reasonableness of an idea. Reformers have to prove that an experiment has worked and that a new idea is worthy of broader application.”

To read the complete Commentary, click here.