The FAST program was announced in the 2016-17 Victorian Government budget and was delivered in three streams by Local Government Victoria (LGV), then part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
Subject to any confidential aspects, participating councils were expected to share insights from their Stream One and/or Stream Two projects, including any improved practices. LGV facilitated this sharing with the broader sector and produced a mid-program report, including project summaries and insights, which is available below.
Stream One provided specialist accounting and finance advice and support to rural councils on a project-by-project basis. The core emphasis of Stream One projects was the internal capability development of the participating councils.
This advisory and support facility was provided by members of the FAST Panel, an expert panel of consultants. The grant program was not competitive, but responded to identified needs.
Further information is available in the guideline document (below).
Examples of projects funded under Stream One included:
- Long term financial planning
- Service delivery review processes
- Asset management assistance
- Modernising Chart of Accounts
- Decentralised procurement framework
Stream Two of the FAST program provided grants that allowed rural and regional councils to explore opportunities for shared services and collaborative procurement that were more financially sustainable or improved services.
Funding was awarded through a competitive process. This stream didn’t fund implementation of proposals; the grants were to develop a business case or feasibility study.
Joint proposals from groups of rural and regional councils that met the funding criteria were funded up to $75,000 to develop the business case or feasibility study. The group was required to match 50 per cent of the total project budget by in-kind services or financial contribution.
The Stream Two assessment criteria are available below.
Based on the learnings from Streams One and Two, and analysis and research by Local Government Victoria, Stream Three developed and revised policy in local government finance for the whole sector. The products of this stream included better practice guidance documents and other practice notes.
The better practice guidance documents are available at Sector guidance: planning and reporting.
For further information regarding the FAST program please contact: