The Office of Local Government (OLG) provides a framework to enable councils to operate to a high standard and deliver services for their communities. The Local Government Act 1993 sets out how OLG delivers this framework and its role in overseeing council operations.
All councils are independently elected bodies. They are accountable to the communities they serve and their independence is safeguarded under the Act. OLG has limited capacity to intervene in the decisions and functions of councils. This is the case even when members of the community contact us and request we give direction to council on how to resolve an issue.
OLG can only take action on certain issues under the Act. Select each topic from the list below to find out more about what OLG can assist with and the actions you must take before contacting us.
Matters you should contact OLG about in the first instance
Failure to disclose financial interest
Council officials are required to disclose all actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest. Financial conflicts of interest arise where there is financial loss or gain to the council official that results from their duties.
The Office of Local Government takes failure to disclose financial interests by council officials very seriously. You should contact us directly with your complaint about this matter via our Council Complaint Form.
Matters you should contact Council about in the first instance
Conflict of interest (non-financial)
Disclosure of all conflicts of interest form part of Councils’ code of conduct expectations for council officials. Non-financial interests include interests that are private or personal in nature that will not produce a financial loss or gain to the council official.
You must first attempt to resolve any complaints about this issue with Council before you contact OLG. If the issue cannot be resolved directly with Council you can submit a complaint to OLG via our Council Complaint Form.
Councillor misconduct and code of conduct matters
You must first attempt to resolve any complaints about this issue with Council before you contact OLG. Council is primarily responsible for deciding whether the actions of its members and staff constitute a breach of the standards of behaviour set out in the code of conduct – as well as deciding what should happen if these standards are breached.
The Office of Local Government would normally only intervene in a code of conduct matter if it seemed that the code of conduct had not been correctly applied – either because the prescribed procedures had not been followed or the prescribed standards of conduct had been misinterpreted – or if the Office was exercising its powers under the misconduct provisions of the Local Government Act 1993. Otherwise, the Office would not normally comment on the merits of a complaint or a determination made in relation to it.
If you have reason to believe the code of conduct has not been correctly applied, and your complaint could not be resolved directly with Council, you can submit a complaint to OLG via our Council Complaint Form.
Financial management of Council
Council is responsible for the day-to-day financial management of council operations. This includes allocations of funds for community programs and services, payment of council expenses, and costs associated with council assets. If you believe Council has not appropriately managed finances you should speak to your council in the first instance to resolve the issue.
You must first attempt to resolve any complaints regarding pets with Council before you contact OLG. This includes complaints about enforcement or compliance issues concerning pets and pet ownership.
If the issue cannot be resolved directly with Council you can submit a complaint to OLG via our Council Complaint Form.