Governance is the process by which the council ensures its decision making is transparent and accountable and that its operation is democratic and well managed.
As a local government authority, West Wimmera Shire Council is required to comply with legal requirements, codes and charters. A number of policies and controls are in place to ensure Council operates effectively and manages community resources and assets responsibly.
LGI Governance Audit
The Local Government Inspectorate lodged a report on January 24, 2019 detailing the results of West Wimmera Shire Council's Governance Review.
In September 2018 West Wimmera Shire Council participated in an examination by the Local Government Inspectorate (LGI) to ensure the Council's governance arrangements met the expectations of the community and the legislated framework.
As the integrity agency for local government in Victoria, the Local Government Inspectorate conducted the examination, consulting with elected Councillors and Council administration officers as part of the inspection.
The examination and investigation report was broken down into the following areas;
- Governance Arrangements
- Specific Allegations
- Asset Management
- Financial management and
- Human Resource Management
The examination and investigation included having a series of meetings with Councillors and senior staff, researching via historical documents, follow up discussions, provision of further records and a presentation of the final report to the Mayor and CEO.
Most of the categories listed above came with recommendations on ways to improve managing various government functions within Council. Steps have been taken to implement a number of these recommendations and a number of the suggestions had been actioned before receiving the final report.
Council had until 31 January 2019 to respond to the LGI report, which was lodged with the Inspectorate on 24 January 2019.
All staff involved in the examination and investigation found the exercise to be beneficial and the advice provided during the various interviews was extremely valuable. It highlighted areas that the Council was aware to be lacking in resources and areas that can be improved on by making adjustments to current practices.
It also highlighted some areas where Council is meeting expectation such as policy review and development and delegation management.
Follow up meetings to discuss progress will be undertaken, and assistance and advice sought via some best practice examples provided in other Victorian Councils.