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Consultation draft of the proposed Councillor Induction and Professional Development Guidelines

The Office of Local Government (OLG) is consulting with councils and other stakeholders on the proposed Councillor Induction and Professional Development Guidelines (Guidelines).

 

Amendments made to the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) in August last year by the Local Government Amendment (Governance and Planning) Act 2016 saw the inclusion in the prescribed role of councillors under section 232 a responsibility “to make all reasonable efforts to acquire and maintain the skills necessary to perform the role of a councillor”.

 

In support of this, the amendments allow regulations to be made for induction and other professional development for mayors and councillors.

 

OLG has prepared the Guidelines to assist councils to develop and deliver induction and ongoing professional development activities for their mayor and councillors in compliance with the proposed regulations. These will be issued under section 23A of the Act.

 

Under the Guidelines, councils’ induction and professional development programs are to consist of three elements:

  • Pre-election candidate sessions – these are to ensure prospective candidates are aware of what will be expected of them if elected (these are not mandatory but are encouraged)
  • Induction program – this aims to equip mayors and councillors with the information they need to perform their role effectively over the first few months and has a particular focus on building positive, collaborative relationships between councillors and with staff
  • Professional development program – this is to be developed in consultation with all councillors and delivered over the term of the council to build the skills, knowledge and personal attributes necessary to be an effective mayor or councillor.

 

Councils will be required to report to the council on the induction and ongoing professional development activities offered to the mayor and each councillor and whether they participated in them and to make this information publicly available on their websites.

 

Links to the consultation draft on the proposed Councillor Induction and Professional Development Guidelines can be found on the ‘Related Downloads’ section on this webpage.

 

Submissions can be made by email to olg@olg.nsw.gov.au. Submissions should be labelled “Councillor Induction and Professional Development Guidelines Consultation” and marked to the attention of OLG’s Council Governance Team.

 

Submissions should be made by COB Friday 16 March 2018.

 

For further information, contact OLG’s Council Governance Team on (02) 4428 4100 or via email olg@olg.nsw.gov.au.

 

All submissions are a matter of public record and will be made available for public inspection upon request. Submissions may contain information that is defined as ‘personal information’ under the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998. Submissions will be handled in accordance with the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act, 1998 and the requirements of the Act will be followed for the collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal information contained in the submissions. The Office reserves the right to withhold submissions which it considerers to be defamatory, offensive or otherwise not in the public interest to release.

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