WALGA Members Governance Advice

Member Local Governments, Elected Members and Officers, have access to the WALGA Governance Advisory Service providing guidance on matters relating to the Local Government Act and Regulations, other legislation impacting the operations of Local Government and governance best practice. For further information, email the WALGA Governance Team on  governance@walga.asn.au or call (08) 9213 2514.

WALGA provides the following Governance tools and templates for the benefit of all Members:
 

Policy Proposal – Superannuation for Elected Members

WALGA is seeking feedback on a draft policy proposal to advocate for Elected Members to be required, through an amendment to the Local Government Act 1995, to be paid superannuation.
 
Feedback from the Local Government sector will inform a State Council agenda item, which will be considered at November Zone meetings and the 1 December meeting of State Council. Following a State Council decision, advocacy will be undertaken with the Minister for Local Government.
 
Feedback on the draft policy paper can be submitted to Manager, Strategy and Association Governance, Tim Lane by Friday, 29 October 2021.

Local Government Regulation Amendments 2021

Resources to assist with implementation of the Local Government (Model Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021,
Local Government (Administration) Amendment Regulations 2021 and Local Government Regulations Amendment (Employee Code of Conduct) Regulations 2021.

Code of Conduct Behaviour Complaints Management Framework 

Detailed commentary and resources to guide and assist Local Governments when managing local level behaviour complaints made under Division 3 of a Local Government’s Code of Conduct.

WALGA Policy Development Framework - Code of Conduct Behaviour Complaints Management Policy
This Framework is drafted with the intent of developing Policy that will minimise both actual and perceived bias due to conflicts of interest when local level behaviour complaints are managed by Local Governments.

WALGA Template - Behaviour Complaints Committee Terms of Reference
To be read in conjunction with the Policy Development Framework, this resource will assist develop a decision-making mechanism that minimises the potential for conflicts of interest and apprehended bias.  

WALGA Template - Behaviour Complaint Form
This updated Behaviour Complaint Form will assist Local Government Behaviour Complaints Officers manage complaints, including the option of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Behaviour Complaints Committee Delegation
This Delegation facilitates unbiased decision-making by a Behaviour Complaints Committee. 

General

Guidance Note
This Guide will assist Local Governments in understanding their responsibilities under the amended legislation, and provide some suggested actions and considerations for Local Governments when implementing the new requirements.

Template Code of Conduct for Council Members, Committee Members and Candidates
This MS Word version of the Model Code allows for easy insertion of Local Government logos and branding, to assist in adopting the Code of Conduct as a Council Policy. 

Template Standards for CEO Recruitment, Employment and Termination
This MS Word version of the Standards allows for easy insertion of Local Government logos and branding, to assist in adopting the Standards as a Council Policy. 

Code of Conduct for Employees

WALGA Base Template - Code of Conduct for Employees
A base template, provided as a guide to assist CEOs in developing a Code of Conduct for Employees, and which may be modified according to operational requirements.

Temporary or Acting CEOs

WALGA Template Policy for the Temporary Appointment or Employment of a CEO
This template policy addresses the requirements of section 5.39C of the Local Government Act 1995 that require a Local Government to adopt a policy for the employment or appointment of a CEO for a term not exceeding 1 year.

Template Policies

Template Council Member Continuing Professional Development Policy
A template policy provided as a guide to assist Local Governments to adopt a policy as required by section 5.128 of the Local Government Act 1995.

Template Financial Hardship Policy
A template Policy provided to help Local Governments assess the unique circumstances and challenges that ratepayers are likely to face as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now updated to reflect the requirements of the Local Government (COVID-19 Response) Ministerial Order 2020.

Communications and Social Media Template Policy

Caretaker (Elections) Period Template Policy

Model Electoral Code of Conduct

A model electoral code of conduct provided to assist Returning Officers to address the requirements of r.8 of the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997.
 

COVID-19 Governance Information and Resources for Local Governments


Guide to Giving Effect to the COVID-19 Ministerial Order in Budget Adoption
This Guide will assist Local Governments to implement the Local Government (COVID-19 Response) Ministerial Order 2020 , gazetted and effective on Friday, 8 May that modifies Local Government Act compliance requirements when adopting the 2020/21 annual budget.

Electronic Council Meetings Guide 
This Guide will assist Local Governments to conduct Council meetings by electronic means (eMeetings), in accordance with the amended  Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996, which took effect on Thursday,  26 March.

Delegations and Decision Making Resource
A Guide that encourages maximising the use of delegations, authorisations and policies for efficient decision-making.

Template Financial Hardship Policy
A template Policy provided to help Local Governments assess the unique circumstances and challenges that ratepayers are likely to face as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now updated to reflect the requirements of the Local Government (COVID-19 Response) Ministerial Order 2020.

WALGA has produced the following supporting documents to assist with the implementation of the Financial Hardship Policy.
Template - Contractor Regional Movement Confirmation
A template that Local Governments may provide to contractors performing work for the Local Government where the contractor is required to move between regions that are subject to COVID-19 Emergency movement restrictions.

Template Purchasing Policy  - UPDATED
The WALGA Template Purchasing Policy has been reviewed and comprehensively updated. The template now includes the recent amendments to the Local Government (Functions and General) Regulations 1996 .

Template Delegations - Renewal or Extension of Contracts and State of Emergency Tender Exemption
New Template Delegations are now available for the new Regulations 11(2)(ja) and 11(2)(aa).
 

Local Government Act Review

Three significant inquiries relating to Local Government in Western Australia have released their final reports in August and September 2020.
 
This advocacy paper, which was endorsed by State Council on 2 December 2020, aims to distil key issues raised by these reports and identify strategic advocacy positions of the Local Government sector to inform the strategic direction of legislative reform.

In addition, WALGA previously put forward a range of policy positions relating to the Review of the Local Government Act.

 

Governance Subscription Service / Local Laws Subscription Service

In addition to the above Governance Advice service to Members, WALGA also offers additional Subscription only services that include detailed guides, tools and templates.  Please contact the Governance Team on governance@walga.asn.au or (08) 9213 2000 if you would like to access the Governance and / or Local Laws Subscription Services.

Governance Service, includes online access to:

  • Complete Guide to the Local Government Act Practice Notes – specifically for Local Government senior managers and staff.
  • Complete Guide to the Local Government Act Forms and Proforma
  • Local Government Act Councillors Manual
  • Decision Making in Practice Tookit, including an ‘Introduction to Local Government Decision Making’, a Delegated Authority Guide and Template Delegation Register.  An Authorisations Guide is coming soon.
  • Good Governance in Practice – collates tools and templates to assist Local Governments in implementing good governance practices, including; a Compliance Calendar Template and Guideline, Primary and Annual Returns Management Guideline and Procedure, Meeting Procedures – Process of Motions Guide, Transaction (Credit) Card Template Policy and Procedures, Integrity in Procurement Self Audit Tool and Rate Exemption Best Practice Guide

Local Laws Subscription Service, includes online access to the Local Laws Manual – a guide to assist Local Governments in making and managing Local Laws, PLUS 14 Template Local Laws.

For further information please visit the Governance and Local Laws Subscription webpage.

 

Association Governance – State Council and Zones

WALGA has established a governance structure that ensures representation of our members around the State across 17 Zones - 12 regional zones and five metro zones. From these Zones our State Council is selected – with an equal number of regional and metropolitan representatives.

With input from the Zones process, State Council is then responsible for sector-wide policy making and strategic planning on behalf of Local Government.   Policy positions are put to each Council, who then provide resolutions to their Zones and up to State Council for a decision on a sector-wide position to direct WALGA’s activity in the area.

To learn more about State Council, Zones and view agendas and minutes from recent meetings, click here.

More information:

 

Regional Cooperation

This activity provides support and assistance to regional groups of Local Governments, focussing on improving the long-term sustainability of the sector. WALGA assists groups with the establishment of shared services, together with research, facilitation, planning, advocacy and other initiatives promoting collaborative pursuits.
 

Wellbeing Indicators

In early 2021 WALGA hosted an intern through UWA's McCusker Centre for Citezenship to produce a research report, Local Government Metrics of Wellbeing.

Local Government Metrics of Wellbeing

 

Miscellaneous Resources

WALGA provides the following Governance tools and templates for the benefit of all Members:

1. Communications and Social Media

2. Local Government Reform Toolkit

This toolkit was created to assist WA Local Governments in the lead up to the (now defunct) 2014 State Government initiated structural reform.  This online resource remains available, but is under review by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

4. Infopage – AASB 124 Related Party Disclosures Guidance – June 2017

5. List of Decisions Requiring an Absolute Majority