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Intro

Ratepayers and the public expect local government decision making to be clear and transparent. During the COVID-19 pandemic, councils across the State demonstrated how online engagement can bolster public participation in local government decision-making.

Mandatory recording of council meetings

Large local governments will be required to livestream meetings, and post recordings online. Smaller local governments will be required to record and publish audio recordings.

Guidance for confidential meeting items

Clear rules will define the types of decisions that can be made by councils in confidential meetings, and recordings of those decisions will be required to be stored as permanent records.

Transparency and accountability through online registers

There will be new state-wide standards for reporting of important local government transactions online, including:

  • a Lease Register about the leases the local government is party to (either as lessor or lessee)
  • a Community Grants Register to outline all grants and funding provided by the local government
  • a Contracts Register that discloses all contracts or procurement with a value of $100,000 or more
  • an Interest Disclosure Register which collates all disclosures made by elected members about their interests related to matters considered by council
  • an Applicant Contribution Register accounting for funds collected from applicant contributions, such as cash-in-lieu for public open space or car parking.

Transparency of CEO key performance indicators

The Key Performance Indicators (KPI) used to measure the performance of the CEO will be made publicly available, and the results will also be reported. The CEO will also have the right to publish comments to provide context to the results.

Consistent recording of all votes

To provide consistent transparency of decision-making across all local governments, all votes cast by all councillors for all decisions on council will be required to be reported in council minutes.

Feedback

To provide your feedback on these reforms, please email your comments to actreview@dlgsc.wa.gov.au by 4 February 2022.
Page reviewed 26 August 2021