Road Safety Discussion

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  • 1.  Road Safety Auditors

    Posted 26-04-2012 12:48

    Like all consultants, road safety auditors need care in selection and management.  Your brief needs to be crystal clear, and you should not select any consultant primarily on price.  At one council I worked at, every external auditor was accompanied by a council officer who was working towards getting their auditor accreditation.  This meant that an officer had a deep understanding of what the auditor saw, and why they made their comments, and could also ensure that the audit addressed the issues satisfactorily.  This could be argued as an expensive doubling up of resources, but had advantages when the auditor might otherwise have misssed the point (as seems to be the case you are describing).  I am not suggesting auditor "shopping", but you need to appoint on the basis of more than price.

    Currently my organisation takes great care in not only writing the brief, but discussing it in detail with the auditor.  They need to know the background; be it community directed, management process directed, or some other reason.  Knowing who the audience of the report is, is very important - is it part of a funding submission? part of a design review process? or in response to a crash?  The more info you provide to the auditor, the more likely you are to get a satisfactory and usable report.

    Auditors are not the last word, it is after all their opinion, and a different auditor may form a quite different view. 

    Like all consultants, they can sometimes be wrong, and we should not mistake their service as a way of avoiding or laying off risk.  They provide advice, but ultimately the decisions on what and when something is done comes back to the officers.

    Jane Waldock
    Yarra City Council