Circulars

21-28 Updated Integrated Planning and Reporting Guidelines and Handbook

Circular Details21-28 / 7 September 2021 / A789262
Previous Circular16-30 – Local Government Amendment (Governance and Planning) Act
Who should read thisGeneral Managers / staff responsible for Integrated Planning and Reporting activities in council
ContactCouncil Engagement Team / 02 4428 4100 olg@olg.nsw.gov.au
Action requiredInformation / Council to Implement
PDF Version21-28 Updated Integrated Planning and Reporting Guidelines and Handbook – PDF

What’s new or changing

  • As notified in Circular 16-30, the NSW Parliament passed amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) in the Local Government Amendment (Governance and Planning) Act 2016.
  • Sections 402, 402A, 403, 404, 405 and 406 of the Act have commenced.
  • Section 428A (state of the environment report) has been repealed and replaced with 428A (Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee).
  • The Office of Local Government (OLG) has revised the Integrated Planning and Reporting Guidelines.
  • To support councils to implement these changes in their future integrated planning and reporting practice, the Integrated Planning and Reporting Manual has been updated and renamed as the Integrated Planning and Reporting Handbook (Handbook).

What this will mean for your council

  • Amendments to Sections 402, 403, 404, 405 and 406 streamline integrated planning and reporting requirements.
  • Section 402A requires councils to establish and implement a strategy (called its community engagement strategy) for engagement with the local community when developing its plans, policies and programs and for the purpose of determining its activities (other than routine administrative matters).
  • The council must prepare and implement a community engagement strategy based on social justice principles for engagement with the local community in developing and reviewing the Community Strategic Plan following the ordinary local government election.
  • A council is not required to establish and implement a community engagement strategy in accordance with section 402A, as inserted by the amending Act, until 12 months after the next ordinary election of councillors following that amendment.
  • State of environment reporting is no longer required from the commencement of the new cycle of integrated planning and reporting following the ordinary local government election.
  • The new Section 428A requires councils to appoint an Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee which is to keep under review aspects of the council’s operations including implementation of the strategic plan, delivery program and strategies, service reviews and the collection of performance measurement data by the council.

Key points

  • Streamlined integrated planning and reporting requirements are now in place.
  • After the next ordinary election, councils are no longer required to prepare a standalone state of environment report.
  • Councils are required to establish and implement a strategy (called its community engagement strategy) for engagement with the local community when developing its plans, policies and programs and for the purpose of determining its activities (other than routine administrative matters) no later than 12 months after the next ordinary election.
  • Council are required to appoint an Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee to keep under review the implementation of integrated planning and reporting.

Where to go for further information

Kiersten Fishburn
Coordinator General, Planning Delivery and Local Government