Council Meeting 3 October 2017
5.8 Motion for Local Government Conference
TRIM REFERENCE: 2017/2089
AUTHOR: Garry Styles, General Manager
After recent discussion with Councillors, this report provides a proposed Motion to be submitted to the NSW Local Government Conference, to be held on 4-6 December 2017, in relation to the administration of the Code of Conduct. The report also provides the opportunity for other motions to be put forward for consideration for the upcoming conference.
Link To Delivery/OPerational Plan
The recommendation in this report relates to the Delivery/Operational Plan strategy “1.1 Our City - Provide easily obtainable information on the legal responsibilities of Councillors, Council staff and the community”.
Policy and Governance Implications
1 That Council submit the following motion to the 2017 Local Government Conference:
“That appropriate changes by made to the Model Code of Conduct and Model Procedures for the Administration of the Code of Conduct, to provide that the Office of Local Government have responsibility for administering the Code of Conduct.”
2 That Council determine any further motions to be put forward to the 2017 Local Government Conference.
Consideration has been given to the recommendation’s impact on Council’s service delivery; image and reputation; political; environmental; health and safety; employees; stakeholders and project management; and no further implications or risks have been identified.
Over the last few years, Council has made several submissions to the Office of Local Government, expressing concern around the administration of the Code of Conduct, and the role staff are required to play in managing complaints under the current Model Code and Model Procedures mandated by the Office of Local Government, as well as concern in relation to the role of Councillors judging their peers.
Recently, several discussions have been held with Councillors, and it has been suggested that a more effective approach would include the Office of Local Government being responsible for administering the Procedures for the Administration of the Code of Conduct, rather than Council.
Currently the Office of Local Government deal with complaints alleging a breach of Part 8 of the Code of Conduct (which relates to maintaining the integrity of the Code of Conduct). The proposed motion to the Local Government Conference would extend this role, to have the Office of Local Government deal with any complaint under the Code of Conduct.
Councillors may also wish to raise any other motions for consideration at the Conference.
Council has previously resolved on 2 May 2017:
RESOLVED - 17/154 Cr K Duffy/Cr R Kidd
That a motion be submitted to the Local Government Conference seeking reform to the Local Government Act 1993 to introduce measures to allow Councillors to more easily identify potential conflicts of interest in relation to planning matters.
This motion has already been submitted to Conference organisers. The closing date for motions is 9 October 2017. The Board of LGNSW will determine what motions will be included in the Business Paper for the conference, and has advised that the Motions need to:
1 Be consistent with the objects of the Association (see Rule 4 of the Association's rules)
2 Relate to Local Government in NSW and/or across Australia
3 Concern or are likely to concern Local Government as a sector
4 Seek to advance the Local Government policy agenda of the Association and/or improve governance of the Association
5 Have a lawful purpose (a motion does not have a lawful purpose if its implementation would require or encourage non-compliance with prevailing laws)
6 Be clearly worded and unambiguous in nature
7 Not express preference for one or several members over one or several other members.