NEWS . LOCAL GOVERNMENT . AUGUST 2019

August 1, 2019

INSIDE THIS ISSUE


COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION PLANS


NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT THRESHOLD


NEW OLG POLICY TEMPLATES ON SOCIAL MEDIA USE & COUNCILLOR/STAFF INTERACTION


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  • For NSW State Government: Centium is listed on SCM0005 and SCM0020 (Advanced). This allows you to directly engage us based on a quote.
  • For NSW Local Government and Not For Profits: Centium is listed on LGP218 (Management Consulting & Internal Audit). This also allows you to directly engage us based on a quote.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION PLANS

THESE ARE NOW MANDATORY

Community Participation Plans (CPPs) are now mandatory. They need to be prepared by each Council for their LGA to make it clearer and easier for members of the community to understand how they can participate in planning decisions. CPP’s are intended to be high-level documents which describe how and when a planning authority, such as a Council, will engage with its community on the planning functions it performs. They need to explain to community members how they can have their say on planning decisions that could affect their future. The form a CPP should take is not prescribed. It is up to Councils to decide the most appropriate approach. For example, the CPP could be embedded in an existing Community Strategic Plan or Community Engagement Strategy. These are documents councils are already required to develop under the Local Government Act 1993. Optionally, Councils could prepare a standalone CPP. Potentially, this could follow the example set and recommended by the Department of Planning and Environment’s draft CPP.

The requirement to give and publicly notify reasons for decisions came into effect on 1 July 2018. Councils are required to have the final version of their CPP in place by 1 December 2019. Remember that the CPP needs to be publicly exhibited for a minimum of 28 days and be published on the NSW planning portal by 1 December 2019. This means that it must go to Council, after exhibition, in November 2019 at the latest.

At a minimum, CPPs must:

  • include details about how and when a council will undertake community participation in relation to relevant planning functions per section 2.21(2) of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979.
  • comply with the community participation principles per section 2.23(2) of the Act – (which in turn are consistent with the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) framework of engagement and planning).
  • address the minimum mandatory public exhibition time frames and notification requirements per Schedule 1 of the Act.

Councils can go beyond the minimum requirements if they decide it is appropriate.

CENTIUM CAN HELP YOU TO:

  • Review the form and content of existing documents that could embed a CPP
  • Develop your first CPP

If you would like to discuss your CPP needs, please contact Lisa Sampson Director, Local Government: lisa.sampson@centium.com.au or 0414 285 721


NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT THRESHOLD

THE TENDER THRESHOLD HAS BEEN LIFTED TO $250,000

Under the Local Government Act 1993 (section 55) the tender threshold has been lifted to $250,000, from $150,000. There are also new allowances for Councils to access contracts established by prescribed organisations (such as LGP) and others, where rates are not specified. Councils are now also able to procure from disability employment organisations without the need to tender.

This change allows Councils to access pre-qualification panels that have been created by stated organisations (prescribed organisations, NSW Procurement Board, Commonwealth Department of Administrative Services), without the need to get a price for services scoped to cost under this amount. This includes LGP218 on which Centium is pre-qualified.

The LGP contracts can be used for any spend value.

CENTIUM CAN HELP YOU BY:

  • Undertaking a Procurement Audit for Council, giving Council an objective indication of the risks, issues and maturity of the procurement function in place
  • Reviewing Council's procurement policies, guidelines and all associated documents and advising on necessary changes that are compliant with legislation as well as good practice
  • Providing a customised procurement training package to Council.

If you would like to discuss your procurement function needs, please contact Lisa Sampson Director, Local Government: lisa.sampson@centium.com.au or 0414 285 721


NEW OLG POLICY TEMPLATES ON SOCIAL MEDIA USE & COUNCILLOR / STAFF INTERACTION

ALIGN SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNICATION STANDARDS WITH THE NEW MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT

The OLG is developing new template policies on social media (SoMe) use and Councillor/Staff interaction. Templates are being designed to support the new Model Code of Conduct and will reflect best practice.

Whist not mandatory, the rising use of social media presents a new set of risks for Councils to address, particularly in the area of reputational damage.

CENTIUM CAN HELP YOU TO:

  • Audit the purpose, use, target audience, advertising strategies and a number of other key metrics related to each SoMe channel in use by Council. [Don't forget how important SoMe is to Council publicity! Within big SoMe channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there are numerous sub-channels, groups and associated networks. These would properly form part of the audit.]
  • Identify governance and policy templates requiring customisation.
  • Develop a SoMe Strategy and Channelling Plan based on analysis of local elements, partnerships in place and drivers of Council business
  • Draft suitable policies and procedures for use across all Council-approved SoMe platforms
  • Develop fit for purpose Councillor/Staff Interaction policies utilising the templates provided by OLG.

If you would like to discuss your Social Media or Code of Conduct issues or needs, please contact Lisa Sampson Director, Local Government: lisa.sampson@centium.com.au or 0414 285 721

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