Councils provide important services and facilities to meet local community needs and may work in partnership with others to do so. Councils also work together to share knowledge, resources and services.
When collaboration and partnerships work well, and are underpinned by good governance and a strong business case, councils can save money, improve planning and processes and improve access to services for communities.
Joint Organisations are a local government entity with legal powers to support councils to work together to improve regional and rural outcomes. Member councils collaborate with each other and the NSW Government to help create jobs, education, housing, roads and transport opportunities across traditional council boundaries. Joint Organisations also support member councils through sharing staff, expertise and resources.
Many councils also work successfully together through Regional Organisations of Council (ROCs), which may be formal or informal, to jointly plan and advocate for issues of importance to members and their area. ROCs also support councils to share staff, expertise and resources on a large scale.
Guidance for councils on carrying out collaborative activities is below.
- Shared Services in Local Government – Audit Office of NSW (Jun 2018) – an independent assessment of how efficiently and effectively councils engage in shared service arrangements.
- Council Circular 11-08 – Collaborative Arrangements between Councils: Survey Report (2011)
- Collaboration and Partnerships between Councils – A Guidance Paper (2007)