Wodonga Council
Governance update - proposed policies

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Governance update - proposed policies

 /  Have Your SayConsultationsGovernance update - proposed policies

Governance update - proposed policies


Closing
05
Aug
Under the new Local Government Act 2020, the council must adopt Governance Rules, including an Election Period Policy, a Public Transparency Policy and a Council Expenses Policy by September 1, 2020. The Act provides the minimum requirements for inclusion in these documents.

These draft policies are now out for community feedback before further consideration and adoption at the August council meeting.

Draft Public Transparency Policy

Under section 57 of the Act, the council must adopt a Public Transparency Policy.

A key tenet of the Public Transparency Principles is that council information must be publicly available unless it is confidential by virtue of legislation or making it available would be contrary to the public interest.

The policy describes which council information is publicly available and how to access this information. It also explains when council information may be confidential or when making it available may be contrary to the public interest.

Draft Council Expenses Policy

Under section 41 of the Act, the council must adopt and maintain a Councillor Expenses Policy in relation to the reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses for Councillors and members of delegated committees that:
  • Specifies procedures to be followed in applying for reimbursement and in reimbursing expenses;
  • Provides for the reimbursement of child care costs where the provision of child care is reasonably required for a Councillor or member of a delegated committee to perform their role; and,
  • Has particular regard to expenses incurred by a Councillor who is a carer in a care relationship within the meaning of section 4 of the Carers Recognition Act 2012.

While the draft policy closely resembles the current policy that was required under the Local Government Act 1989, it has been amended in order to comply with the legislative changes introduced by the 2020 Act.

Draft Election Period Policy

One of the requirements of the Act is the council must adopt an Election Period Policy and that the policy form part of the Governance Rules (sections 60(1)(e) and 69(1)).

This policy sets out the protocols the council will observe during the election period.

While the draft policy closely resembles the current policy that was required under the Local Government Act 1989, it has been amended in order to comply with the legislative changes introduced by the 2020 Act.

Draft Governance Rules

Under section 60 of LGA 2020 is that the council adopt a set of Governance Rules.

The Governance Rules must address (or be ‘for or with respect to’) the following.
  • Conduct of Council meetings
  • Conduct of meetings of delegated committees
  • Form and availability of meeting records
  • Election of the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor and an Acting Mayor
  • An election period policy in accordance with section 69
  • Procedures for the disclosure of a conflict of interest by a Councillor or a member of a delegated committee under section 130
  • Procedure for the disclosure of a conflict of interest by a Councillor under section 131
  • Disclosure of a conflict of interest by a member of council staff when providing information in respect of a matter within the meaning of section 126(1)
  • Any other matters prescribed by the regulations

The rules must also provide for the council to:

  • Consider and make decisions on any matter being considered by the council fairly and on the merits; and,
  • Institute decision-making processes to ensure that any person whose rights will be directly affected by a decision of the council is entitled to communicate their views and have their interests considered.

The draft Governance Rules are divided into an introduction and seven chapters.

July 22, 2020

This consultation is now open for public comment.

Submissions can be made online (using the online form below), by e-mail or phone.

Written submissions must be clearly marked as 'Governance update - proposed policies' and will be received up until Wednesday, August 5, 2020. They can also be sent by:

Document Library
Life cycle
  • Open

    The exhibition period runs between Wednesday, July 22, 2020 and Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

  • Under Review

    Feedback will be reviewed and a report prepared for councillors.

  • Final Report

    The final outcomes of are documented and put to the council for adoption. This may include a summary of all the contributors collected

Who's Listening
Governance

Governance officer

Governance's Photo