The provisions of Section 4 of the Local Government Act 2009 requires that to ensure that the system of local government is accountable, effective, efficient and sustainable, Parliament requires that anyone who is performing a responsibility under the Act or any action that is taken under the Act to be:
- consistent with the local government principles; and
- provide results that are consistent with the local government principles, in as far as the results are within the control of the person who is taking the action.
The local government principles are -
- transparent and effective processes and decision-making in the public interest; and
- sustainable development and management of assets and infrastructure and delivery of effective services; and
- democratic representation, social inclusion and meaningful community engagement; and
- good governance of and by local government; and
- ethical and legal behaviour of councillors and local government employees.
We recognise that fraud and corruption prevention and control are integral components of good governance and risk management and should feature predominantly within our systems.
Our Fraud and Corruption Control Policy outlines our stance on fraud and corruption and forms part of Council’s overall approach to transparent corporate governance.
The policy informs all Council officers, Councillors, consultants and contractors of Council’s position regarding fraud and corruption and the consequences of failing to comply with the provisions of the policy.
We are committed to:
- A zero-tolerance approach to fraud and corruption
- Fraud and corruption control management as an integral component of effective corporate governance
- Maintaining effective fraud and corruption prevention and detection functions
- Investigating all suspected incidents of fraud and corruption and taking appropriate action.
Council’s Fraud and Corruption Control Strategy is our strategic guideline that:
- Defines management and staff responsibilities
- Ensures the implementation of robust practices for the effective detection, investigation and prevention of fraud and corruption of any kind within Council.
The Local Government Act 2009 requires us to establish an effective and efficient internal audit function that will provide independent, objective assurance and appropriate services designed to add value and improve our operations.
Section 164(1) (a) and (b) of the Local Government Regulation 2012 requires us to keep a written record stating the risks our operations are exposed to, the extent to they are relevant to financial management, and the control measures we have adopted by to manage these risks. In compliance with legislation, we have adopted a Risk Management Policy and established a Risk Management Committee.
We recognise that risk management is an integral part of good governance and management practice. In accordance with our Risk Management Policy, we have developed a Risk Management Framework based on the principles of ISO 31000:2018 which provides an organisation-wide commitment to a consistent approach to managing risk.
Whitsunday Regional Council Audit and Risk Committee
The role of the Whitsunday Regional Council Audit and Risk Committee is to provide independent assurance and assistance on:
- The risk, control and compliance framework;
- Our Strategic and Operational Risk Registers;
- Our Risk Management Systems; and
- Our external accountability responsibilities as prescribed in the Local Government Act 2009 and the Local Government Regulations 2012.
The committee does not replace or replicate established management responsibilities and delegations, the responsibilities of other executive management groups within our organisation, or the reporting lines and responsibilities of external audit functions.
The committee will provide prompt and constructive reports on its findings directly to Council, as required by legislation.
The committee is directly responsible and accountable to the full Council for the exercise of its duties and responsibilities. In carrying out its duties and responsibilities, the committee must at all times recognise that primary responsibility for management of the Whitsunday Regional Council rests with the Chief Executive Officer.
For further details in relation to our Audit and Risk Committee, please view the Audit and Risk Committee Constitution.
Local governments are required to make numerous decisions every day to properly discharge their powers and responsibilities. To enable local governments to focus on strategic issues, reduce the amount of meeting time required and address circumstances in which Councillors must leave a council meeting due to a material personal interest or conflict of interest, local governments can delegate many of those decisions by resolution.
The Local Government Act 2009 allows local governments to delegate their powers by resolution to:
- the Mayor
- the Chief Executive Officer
- a standing committee or joint standing committee
- the chairperson of a standing committee or joint standing committee
- another local government for the purposes of a joint local government activity
Local governments cannot however delegate a power which is required to be exercised by resolution under an Act.
Local governments that support the use of delegations find they can respond more effectively to the community and provide for timely, consistent decisions to be made. A local government can still however choose to exercise a power themselves even after a power has been delegated.
Once a power is delegated, the delegate has the authority to use the power and does not need to seek further approval or endorsement before exercising the power.
Delegations by Chief Executive Officers
Chief Executive Officers can delegate their powers to an appropriately qualified local government employee. However, a CEO cannot delegate:
- a power delegated by the local government if the local government has directed the Chief Executive Officer not to further delegate the power
- the power to keep registers of interests for Councillors and senior executive employees.
When a local government delegates its powers to the Chief Executive Officer, the local government must review those delegations annually.
The Chief Executive Officer must establish a register of delegations that records all delegations made by the local government, Mayor and the Chief Executive Officer.
The delegations register must be available for inspection by the public and must contain information required under section 305 of the Local Government Regulation 2012.