Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council achieves a 15% bottom line improvement with SurePact

By using the SurePact solution to identify, mitigate and manage risks, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council reduced cost, time and scope blowouts, and realised a 15 per cent bottom line improvement in their first year.

The client

Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council (ASC) is an Indigenous Council in Far North Queensland. Yarrabah ASC has five elected Councillors, and is the major employer in the region.

The Council has an annual budget of $23.5 million, with an asset value of $135 million. The 2018-19 financial year saw $7.1 million in asset additions, all requiring high ongoing maintenance costs.

As a non-rate payer-based community, the majority of funds for Yarrabah ASC’s development and operations are provided by Commonwealth and State Government funding bodies. It is important for the Council to be successful in grant applications and to work towards achieving bottom-line improvements which can be redirected to additional projects for the local community.

Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council

The problem

CapEx and OpEx overruns present a significant challenge for the community, cutting into grant funds and reducing the potential future development.

With limited visibility of tracking funding from receipt to the delivery of contracts and projects, the Council was aware of the potential for less-than-optimal audit trails to affect grant applications.

The Council recognised a need for risk management in grant, contract and project deliveries; consistent data and reporting capabilities; and workflows to support compliance, in order to increase accessibility, visibility and transparency and minimise the potential of cost, time and scope blowouts.

The solution

Yarrabah ASC made the decision to implement SurePact’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution to identify, mitigate and manage the risks of deliveries from concept, or before the tender stage, to closeout.

The Council began implementing the SurePact system in February 2019, with an initial set-up and training period of one week to deploy SurePact’s Project Management and Contract Delivery modules. The system can be deployed independent of integration with other platforms initially, and without the need to import historical data.

The main team involved in the roll-out included 3 key super users, supporting a release to 20 staff and external contractors. All were trained and mentored in the use of the modules, and are now proficient in administering the solution with the support of the executive leadership team and improved business improvement processes.

The solution tracks the Council’s entire program delivery, with risk identification and automated workflow approval processes at each gateway.

The document management and governance of the SurePact system provides a fully transparent audit trail, allowing full accessibility and visibility for Council leadership and stronger probity outcomes for Councillors.

The results

The SurePact solution provides Yarrabah ASC with a 360-degree line of sight of all revenue received, delivery costs and management of risks in the delivery of all grants, projects and contracts across the organisation.

Real-time analytics and custom reporting metrics are now available organisation-wide as required in real-time. As a result, Council leadership has reported stronger team engagement and ownership of deliveries and significantly improved opportunities.

Michael Geoghegan, Director of Northern Civil Solutions, says the SurePact system has helped Council achieve stronger transparency for both internal and external delivery teams.

“The SurePact system facilitates communication,” he says, “and ensures that everyone is working for the same issues and solutions, in real-time, both back in the office and in the field, saving time and shortening turnaround of issue resolution.”

In the first eight months after implementing the SurePact solution, Council was able to achieve a 15 per cent bottom line improvement, with cost and time blowouts significantly reduced.

Leon Yeatman, CEO of Yarrabah ASC, says the SurePact solution has helped the Council to mitigate and manage risks and deliver projects with complete transparency, accessibility and visibility.

“SurePact has identified operational and planning gaps applicable to our sector from their executive level experience working in Council,” Mr Yeatman says.

“I am impressed with the ease of application, level of engagement with my team and the 15 per cent savings realised within 8 months.”