Circulars

16-28 – Annual and end-of-term reporting requirements for councils with deferred elections

What’s new or changing

  • This Circular clarifies councils’ obligations in regard to annual and end-of-term reporting where ordinary elections have been deferred.

What this will mean for your council

Councils affected by these requirements

  • This Circular applies only to the 28 councils listed below (including The Hills Shire Council) whose ordinary elections have been deferred by Ministerial order.
Bathurst

Blayney

Botany Bay

Burwood

Cabonne

Canada Bay

Dungog

Hornsby

Hunters Hill

Ku-Ring-Gai

Lane Cove

Maitland

Mosman

Newcastle

North Sydney

Oberon

Orange

Port Stephens

Randwick

Rockdale

Ryde

Shellharbour

Strathfield

The Hills

Waverley

Willoughby

Wollongong

Woollahra

  • New councils with elections scheduled for September 2017 should continue to follow the requirements set out in their Proclamation.
  • Councils with elections scheduled for September 2016 should continue to follow the usual reporting timeframes and requirements set out in the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act).

Annual reports

  • Councils with deferred elections (including The Hills Shire) must ensure that they comply with the annual reporting requirements of the Act for the 2015-16 reporting period, with the exceptions noted below.
  • The annual report is a key point of accountability between a council and its community, outlining the council’s achievements in implementing its Delivery Program.
  • The Act requires that the annual report must:
  • contain the council’s audited financial statements and notes;
  • include the information required by the Regulation;
  • be prepared within five months of the end of the financial year (i.e. by 30 November); and
  • be posted on the council’s website and provided to the Minister (achieved by sending an email including a link to the report on the council’s website to olg@olg.nsw.gov.au).
  • Councils with deferred ordinary elections should ensure they meet these requirements.

Exceptions

  • The requirement under sections 428 and 428A of the Act for a council to include in its annual report a report as to the state of the environment, and an outline of its achievements in implementing its Community Strategic Plan, will not be applied to the 2015-16 report for these councils.
  • This requirement is deferred until the annual report following the council’s next ordinary election. Councils will be advised of the date of the election in due course. For The Hills Shire, with its election set for 9 September 2017, these reporting requirements must be included in the 2016-17 annual report.
  • Similarly, the requirement under the Integrated Planning and Reporting Guidelines (IP&R) to table an end-of-term report is deferred for these councils. This report must be tabled at the meeting immediately prior to the deferred election date.
  • Councils will be advised of the election date with sufficient notice to prepare the report. For the Hills Shire Council, the end-of-term report must be tabled at the August 2017 meeting.

Integrated Planning and Reporting

  • Councils with deferred ordinary elections will have adopted their 2016-17 Operational Plan by this stage and should continue to operate under this plan until 30 June 2017.
  • The standard requirements to review the Community Strategic Plan and develop a new Resourcing Strategy and Delivery Program will be applied following the deferred election. For The Hills Shire Council, the first Community Strategic Plan must be endorsed by 30 June 2018.
  • Councils will receive further advice on IP&R requirements, including timing for developing Operational Plans for 2017-18, in due course.

Key points

  • Annual reporting requirements must continue to be met, with the exceptions noted above.
  • The standard IP&R review requirements will be applied following the deferred election date.
  • Councils will receive further advice on interim arrangements for IP&R.

Where to go for further information

  • More information about the reporting elements of the Integrated Planning and Reporting framework can be found on the Office of Local Government’s website:

https://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/councils/integrated-planning-and-reporting

  • For further enquiries, please contact your council’s OLG Relationship Manager.

Tim Hurst

Acting Chief Executive