This is LGNSW’s second Good Governance forum, building on last year’s highly successful inaugural event. LGNSW has since adopted a Governance Action Plan with new initiatives to support the development of governance capability for NSW councils. This year’s forum focuses on the ‘Who, What and How’ of putting fresh thinking into practice to strengthen Good Governance skills and practices across the board - meeting the standards expected by our communities and strengthening the sector’s reputation.
Local government in NSW is subject to ever increasing levels of scrutiny. The package of changes to the Local Government Act adopted last year again focused to a large extent on improving performance and enhancing accountability – in other words, raising the quality of governance.
The amendments included, for example, new guiding principles for local government (including continuous improvement and fair and ethical behaviour); re-defining the roles of mayors and councillors; requiring the governing body to ensure the council acts ‘honestly, efficiently and appropriately’; better community engagement; oversight of external audit by the Auditor General; expanded internal audit; a new code of meeting practice; and changes to the Code of Conduct.
Valuable lessons can be learned by looking inter-state and overseas. We also need to consider the major changes occurring in local government’s operating environment, notably the implications of the digital revolution. This year’s program will highlight the practical steps involved in achieving better results. Sessions will cover:
- Critical issues and lessons to be drawn from inter-state and overseas experience
- Case studies of successful efforts to improve the quality of governance
- The implications of the digital revolution and how technologies can advance good governance
- Implementation of last year’s amendments to the Local Government Act
- Specific areas of change and improvement, including roles, responsibilities and ethics; financial management; audit; and community engagement
- Action planning for councils and Local Government NSW.
This event is a must for councillors, mayors, senior managers and key stakeholders concerned to promote the highest standards of governance across NSW local government.