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Why are governance schedules important?

The Inspectorate has recently completed governance examinations of two regional councils. While providing individual feedback to those councils, a consistent theme emerged relating to the schedule of governance requirements under the legislation.

Many councils maintain governance schedules as reminders of key dates throughout the year such as interest return deadlines, mayoral election periods and other relevant legislative requirements.

The two councils examined were not able to demonstrate a documented governance schedule and both councils relied on a single staff member for key governance requirements. Relying on one staff member to hold information can be a possible 'single point of failure’ as it creates risk for the organisation, particularly when unplanned absences arise.

It is recommended that a whole of organisation governance schedule be developed and implemented that clearly outlines all legislative requirements and designated roles and responsibilities.

The Inspectorate has seen several examples of best practice in councils developing and implementing governance schedules, including recent work by Hobsons Bay Council to improve the effectiveness of their schedule.

Hobsons Bay governance and local laws manager Dianne Eyckens said their governance checklist was regularly updated with key governance dates and shared across relevant areas of the organisation to ensure compliance. For more information, contact Di Eyckens on 9932 1000.