Item 13.8 - Attachment 2

Repot to Council of 24 August 2009



ITEM NUMBER         13.3

SUBJECT                   Review of Council's Policy for Interaction Between Councillors and Staff

REFERENCE            F2009/00448 - D01269280

REPORT OF              Manager Service Audit and Review        





To present to Council the results of a review of Council’s Policy for Interaction Between Councillors and Staff, and to recommend adoption of a revised Policy.






That Council adopt the draft Policy for Interaction Between Councillors and Staff shown at Attachment 1.






1.      Council adopted its current Policy for Interaction Between Councillors and Staff in September 2005.  The Policy is associated with the Code of Conduct and provides greater detail of the manner in which Council staff and Councillors will work together to provide services to our community.

2.      The Policy for Interaction Between Councillors and Staff is included in a current review of a number of policies associated with Council’s Code of Conduct which was adopted in July 2008 to reflect the Department of Local Government Model Code of Conduct. 

3.      As a result of consultation with Councillors and staff the current Policy for Interaction Between Councillors and Staff has been revised. This report provides a summary of the proposed changes which are shown in red on the draft at Attachment 1.




4.      The Aims and Objectives of the Policy have been combined, simplified and updated to reflect  our commitment to work together to create a working relationship that best delivers our services to the community.

5.      The Roles and Statutory Provisions for Councillors and Staff have been deleted as they were paraphrased from, and are best addressed in the Local Government Act 1993.

6.      The draft Policy defines the preferred approach for initial complaints or requests for service or information being through the Service Request System and the Councillor Support staff (Section 4.1).  This approach aims to provide the most effective outcome for constituents, and the best level of accountability for Council officers.

7.      The draft Policy defines the preferred approach for subsequent clarification of matters being via communication with the relevant Senior Manager of Council (Section 4.3.1). This part of the draft Policy also provides specific direction in communications relating to development matters (Sections 4.3.3 and 4.3.4). To support this approach, a listing of Senior Officers of Council has been included as an attachment to the Policy.

8.      Access to Information and Records (Section 6), Inappropriate Interactions (Section 7), and Breaches of this Policy (Section 8) in the draft Policy have been updated to reflect changes to the Model Code of Conduct provisions.

9.      The listing of documents freely available under Section 12 of the Local Government Act 1993 has been moved to Attachment 2 for reference. This listing may be updated with current changes to legislation relating to access to government information.

10.    A number of prescriptive and procedural elements for Service Requests and complaints in the previous Policy have been removed.

11.    Include here those issues that will help the reader make an informed decision.  Supplement the facts with informed opinion.  Wherever possible, be definite and avoid the use of conditional tenses such as ‘could’ or ‘may’.  For example, ‘this will have adverse consequences…’, or ‘there is a strong possibility that this will result in…’ is preferred to ‘this could have adverse consequences…’.




12.    The Code of Conduct together with the Policy for Interaction Between Councillors and Staff were the subject of a workshop with Councillors in December 2008.  The revised draft Policy was circulated to Councillors in July for comment and input. Further, the Policy has been subject to consultation at staff and management levels in Council over recent months. The revised draft Policy for Interaction Between Councillors and Staff at Attachment 1 reflects input for the consultation.

13.    Upon adoption of a revised policy, training will be provided to all Councillors and staff.



Michael Quirk

Manager, Service Audit & Review






Draft Policy For Interaction Between Councillors and Staff

13 Pages