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Report Details


Committee Name:

Delegated Legislation Committee (2001 - 2017)

House:

Joint
Report Type:Report

Title:

City of Perth Code of Conduct Local Law
Report No:4
No of Pages:90
Physical Location:Legislative Council Committee Office

Presentation Date:

09/26/2002
Inquiry Name(s):City of Perth Code of Conduct Local Law


Click here to view the report
Click here to view the Government's response to the report


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.The Committee is of the opinion that the City of Perth Code of Conduct Local Law is not authorised or contemplated by the Local Government Act 1995 . This is because, amongst other things, the scheme of the Act does not permit a local government to make a local law under section 3.5(1) to set up a disciplinary tribunal to impose sanctions for breaches of a code of conduct made under section 5.103 of the Act.

2.The Legislative Council disallowed the City of Perth Code of Conduct Local Law on June 28 2002 at approximately 1:05am at which time it ceased to have effect.

3.Given its finding as to the absence of a power in the Act to enable the City of Perth to enforce its Code of Conduct and disallowance by the Legislative Council of the City of Perth Code of Conduct Local Law , the Committee makes the following recommendations:

3.1
    That a code of conduct be incorporated into the Local Government Act 1995 to establish uniform minimum standards of behaviour for elected officials and local government staff of all 144 local governments in Western Australia.

3.2
    That a tribunal be established by amending the Local Government Act 1995 and that such a tribunal should:

  • deal with breaches of a uniform code of conduct and any other specified behaviour;

  • not have jurisdiction to inquire into offences under the Act or other matters that would properly be within the jurisdiction of a court;

  • be informal and not be bound by the rules of evidence and to the extent that it is consistent with the former to be bound by the rules of procedural fairness;

  • deal only with matters referred to it by the Executive Director or the Minister so as to avoid the tribunal having to deal with trivial and vexatious matters;

  • have the power to fine and suspend councillors and to withdraw the entitlement to reimbursement of expenses and payment of allowances under the Act;

  • have the power to make recommendations to councils in respect of suspension of any privileges granted by the local government to a councillor; and

  • have the power to make recommendations to the local government regarding the disciplining of staff including the CEO for breaches of the code of conduct.

3.3
    That any amendments to the Local Government Act 1995 should be made in a manner that will make the tribunal one that is conducive to being incorporated into the proposed State Administrative Tribunal.

4.The Committee acknowledge that prior to the disallowance of the Local Law the Minister for Local Government and Regional Development, Hon Tom Stephens MLC established an inter-agency working group with representatives from the Western Australian Local Government Association and the Department of Local Government and Regional Development to explore the establishment of a tribunal. By establishing a tribunal and setting uniform minimum standards of behaviour in a code of conduct for the guidance of councillors and local government staff the principal purpose of the Act to provide good government will be strengthened.