YOUR ROLE AS A COUNCILLOR And achieving good governance

Report
YOUR ROLE AS A COUNCILLOR AND
ACHIEVING GOOD GOVERNANCE
Local Government Division
Presentation at LGAT Pre-election Workshops
June 2014
WHAT I WILL COVER
•
•
•
•
•
•
A brief introduction to the Local Government
Division
Your role as a councillor
Working with your general manager
Good meeting procedures
A brief introduction to complying with the
Local Government Act, including the role of
the Director of Local Government
Some key messages
THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT DIVISION
•
•
•
•
•
•
Supports the State - local government
relationship
Framework for Collaboration
The Premier’s Local Government Council
The Local Government Board
Local Government Act 1993, Dog Control Act
2000,
Burial and Cremation Act 2002
Guidance and assistance to councils,
councillors and the general public
THE MAYOR AND DEPUTY MAYOR
•The mayor as leader of the community
– chairperson and spokesperson
– liaison with the general manager
– oversee councillors in their functions and
•The deputy mayor to act when the mayor absent
– exercise the mayor’s powers and functions
YOUR ROLE AS A COUNCILLOR
As individual councillors and collectively (as part of
the team)
As an individual councillor to
• represent the community and act in the
community’s best interests
• facilitate communications between the council
and the community
• participate in council activities
• carry out duties and responsibilities authorised
by the council
• accurately represent the council’s policies and
YOUR ROLE AS A COUNCILLOR
Councillors collectively to
• make decisions
• develop and monitor implementation of plans and
budgets
• determine and monitor application of policies,
plans and programs for services, asset
management and treatment of council staff
(OH&S)
• facilitate planning and development in the
community's interests
• monitor the general manager’s performance
• determine and review resource allocation and
YOUR ROLE AS A COUNCILLOR
Individual councillors must not:
•
direct council employees in relation to the
discharge of their duties; or
•
perform any function of the mayor without the
mayor’s approval.
WORKING WITH THE GENERAL MANAGER
•
•
•
•
•
Important for the effective functioning of your
council
The general manager as council chief executive is
responsible for the day-to-day operations of
councils
Councillors collectively appoint (for up to 5 years)
and monitor the performance of the general
manager
Mayor liaises with the general manager on council
activities and performance
General manager to implement policies and
decisions, provide advice and support the council
GOOD GOVERNANCE
Good governance means:
• Impartial and fair decision-making
• Councillors act – and are seen to act – in the
best interests of their communities
• Protect the reputation of local government
• Behave in a professional and ethical manner
• Maintain public trust and confidence
THE DIRECTOR OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The Director of Local Government is a statutory
appointment made by the Minister for Local Government
under the Local Government Act 1993
• The functions of the Director are to undertake the
general administration of the Act subject to the
direction of the Minister, and to undertake any other
function the Minister may determine.
• The Director has the power to do anything necessary
or convenient to perform these functions.
• The Director also has roles under the Dog Control,
Burial and Cremation and Local Government
(Highways) Acts.
GOOD MEETING PROCEDURES
Local Government (Meeting Procedures)
Regulations 2005
• Council meetings and workshops
• Chairperson
• Notices of meetings
• Closed meetings
• Motions and amendments
• Voting
It is the councillor’s responsibility to become
familiar with the content of the Regulations
CODE OF CONDUCT
All councils to have a code of conduct which
must cover:
• Conflicts of interest
• Use of office of mayor, deputy mayor and
councillors
• Use of council resources
• Use of council information
• Giving and receiving of gifts and benefits
• Relationships with the community, other
councillors and staff
• Representation of the council
CODE OF CONDUCT
• A code of conduct must be reviewed within 12
months of each ordinary election.
• Codes of conduct sit below the Local Government
Act to deal with less serious issues.
• They aim to deal with behaviours that, while
undesirable, do not amount to a breach of the LGA.
• The Division is currently reviewing the code of
conduct provisions of the Act
THE ACT - SOME KEY SECTIONS
• Pecuniary interest – section 48
• Disclosure of information – section 338A
• Improper use of information – section 339
• Misuse of office – section 339A
COMPLAINTS UNDER THE ACT
• Anyone can make a complaint to the Director, under
s339E, about
a failure to comply or a possible offence under the Act.
This
includes councillors, council staff and the GM, and
members of the
public.
• The Director can also investigate even if no complaint is
received. If
there is enough proof, a matter may be referred to the
Director of
Public Prosecutions for prosecution.
• There is a 2 year limit on offences under the Act (s252A)
PECUNIARY INTEREST
• An offence to participate in any meeting or vote
on any matter where a councillor has a
pecuniary interest or should be aware that a
close associate has a pecuniary interest
include:
– Financial advantage or disadvantage
– Business profits, land value, employment
– Register of interests (kept by the GM)
• If in doubt, seek advice from the GM, LGD, or a
lawyer
• It is your responsibility
SOME EXAMPLES OF PECUNIARY INTEREST
•
A councillor votes on an application for
funding submitted by an organisation of which
the councillor is a committee member, even if
it is a not-for-profit community organisation
•
A councillor votes on a development
application alleged to benefit a close family
member by creating improved road access to
the family member’s property
•
A councillor votes on a development
application alleged to benefit or cause
detriment to the councillor’s business
WHEN ELECTED – SOME KEY MESSAGES
When elected • Ensure you understand your responsibilities
• Strive for high ethical standards and good
governance
• Act in the best interests of your community
• Be open, accountable and transparent
• Seek advice if you are unsure about anything
Visit the Local Government Division website:
http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/local_governme
nt

similar documents