The Non-residential Register and Rolls Program Update that was provided to Councillors via the CEO Update noted that the staged Program Plan has progressed since August in accordance with the endorsed Methodology and Program Plan.
The update noted that focus group findings identified a need for a soft introduction to the new requirements to ensure a higher response rate.
When was this focus group research conducted?
Were there other outcomes of the focus group research that are relevant to the success of the registration program?
Are the wider findings of the focus group research available for review?
Answer by the Lord Mayor
Following a tender process conducted in September 2015, the appointed agency, Taverner Research, conducted 3 Focus Groups across three nights – Monday 28, Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 September 2015.
Key findings were that awareness of the legislative changes in regard to the nonresidential register and rolls was essentially non-existent and that responding to the requirements was complex and challenging. Taverner made recommendations which it believed would increase general awareness of the legislative requirements and registration program as well as improving the overall reception to the mail-out, including improving the quality and number of responses.
In addition to recommending that the City should send out an introductory notice to all potential non-residents in advance of the general mailing of the formal registration package to let them know what to expect, Taverner also recommended that:
- All communication should refer people to the City of Sydney website or the Customer Care Centre.
- The letter in the formal registration pack should reiterate the points made in the introductory notice, provide simple and easy instructions on how to proceed through the registration process and also provide a timeline to help increase immediate compliance.
- That functionality of the eligibility website allow non-residents to fill out their forms online, then print, sign and send them back in the post.