The Local Government Compliance Framework outlines the department's
approach to ensuring that the integrity of the local government sector
is of the highest order.
Local Government Act 1995
and associated legislation and regulations, the department is responsible for
the regulation of the local government sector in Western Australia. Its
responsibilities are to:
The intent of the framework is to:
The compliance framework is not a legal document; it is provided for the
purposes of information and does not limit the discretion of the department to
take any action it sees fit under the
Local Government Act 1995 and associated legislation.
The compliance strategy is built on the following principles:
The department supports
the local government sector to build its capability through the
provision of education, advice and other services. The department is committed to
providing accurate, consistent and timely information to help the
sector understand its obligations, and does this by:
requested, the department will endeavour to provide interpretive advice relevant
to the legislation but it is not able to provide legal advice or
opinions nor (in most cases) share with the sector or other stakeholders
legal advice it seeks or receives in respect of the statutory
The department deals with
non-compliance by focusing reactive audits and investigations on those
who have chosen not to comply, or where there is evidence of serious
non-compliance, regardless of the reason for this.
This is done by:
Where a formal investigation or authorised inquiry is undertaken, the department will:
compliance model assumes that the local government sector will, by and
large, comply or seek to comply with its statutory obligations.
Therefore, it is not appropriate for the department to respond to all compliance
issues in the same way; it will seek to educate and inform where genuine
attempts at compliance are being made. Equally, the department will impose the
full force of the law when there is evidence of a serious non-compliance
or systemic or repetitive breaches.
The department 's approach to compliance aims to be holistic.
The department can use a variety of tactics to obtain information about governance
standards and/or in response to complaints about particular practices.
These are outlined in the following table along with an overview of why
the department might take a particular approach.
The department 's response will vary depending on the risk level and possible consequences. The response approach is generally as follows:
addition to the actions the department is mandated to take (as outlined above),
the Minister for Local Government may establish an independent inquiry
into a local government where there are concerns about high level and/or
systematic governance issues. The department may be asked to provide advice to
the Minister prior to such a decision being made, however the decision
to establish an independent inquiry can only be made by the Minister
(these powers cannot be delegated). Such an inquiry has the powers of a
Royal Commission and operates independently of the department (although
departmental staff may be seconded by the inquiry to assist it to fulfil
Do not submit enquiries with this form.