Good Governance Guide
Local Government Victoria has launched the Good Governance Guide as a resource for local governments, councillors and officers, as well as communities.
The guide, created in collaboration with the Municipal Association of Victoria, Victorian Local Governance Association and Local Government Professionals, aims to promote and enhance good governance.
Improved Governance Guide for councillors
Local Government Victoria’s (LGV) detailed guide for councils explains the changes made to the Local Government Act 1989 by the Local Government Amendment (Improved Governance) Act 2015.
The comprehensive reforms seek to:
- improve the standard of behaviour for councillors
- provide a clearer process for dealing with misconduct
- empower councils and the Minister for Local Government to take action to deal with councillor misconduct
Guidelines on Oaths and Declarations
Before being capable of acting as a councillor, all persons elected must take the oath of office, read the council’s councillor code of conduct and make a declaration that they will abide by the councillor code of conduct.
Other guides and policies
Councils may establish special committees with authority to exercise certain council powers. Special committees must operate in accordance with Section 86 of the Local Government Act 1989 and comply with the limits imposed by the council's instrument of delegation.
Local Government Victoria, with the assistance of the Municipal Association of Victoria, has produced a booklet to assist councillors in understanding the rule of bias as it relates to their role as decision makers.
The guide also provides advice on how to ensure that councillors' actions are free from bias, and offers suggestions on steps to take if bias may be relevant to a proposed decision.
Ensuring Unbiased Democratic Council Decision Making: Principles to Guide Good Practice (PDF, 109.7 KB)
Ensuring Unbiased Democratic Council Decision Making: Principles to Guide Good Practice (DOCX, 89.7 KB)
Councillors, council staff and special committees are required to disclose all conflicts of interest so that it is clear to everyone that they are not using their positions to serve their own interests or the interests of people close to them.
LGV publishes concise Conflict of Interest Guides for:
The Council Staff Codes of Conduct Framework was produced by LGV in association with the Reference Group on Council (Staff and Others) Codes of Conduct.
The Framework helps Council Chief Executive Officers to develop and implement staff codes of conduct under the Local Government Act 1989.
The Framework is also a resource for Victorian Council officers involved in governance, human resources and risk management who have a lead role in assisting the CEO to develop a code of conduct.
The Mayor and Councillor Entitlements Information Guide assists councils, council staff and the community understand the entitlements of Mayors and Councillors.
The guide addresses expenses reimbursement and the provision of facilities and resources, along with information on policy and legislative requirements, principles and approval arrangements.
Under the Local Government Act 1989, councils are required to establish an audit committee as an advisory committee to the council.
Audit committees are fundamental to good corporate governance and are responsible for:
- issues relevant to the integrity of the council's financial reporting
- monitoring risk management systems, internal control framework, compliance and internal audit activities
- liaising between external auditors, internal auditors and management.
The Audit Committees Guideline provides a practical information on the role and responsibilities of an audit committee. It explains the context in which an audit committee typically operates and outlines good practice.