At the 25 July Council meeting, Golden Plains Shire Council adopted its updated Councillor Support and Expense Policy (the Policy).
The revised Policy comes after an extensive review and consultation process, taking into account the opportunity to provide clarity and to further strengthen accountability and equity in local government, delivering a higher degree of transparency and integrity for Councillors and for the public.
Key changes to the Policy include:
- Addition of overarching, informing principles, aimed at guiding decision making under the policy;
- Changes to the approval process for professional development programs for Councillors, for example when the program is delivered by a sector peak body;
- Approval for attendance by the Mayor at the annual ALGA conference held in Canberra which will no longer require a resolution of Council;
- Maximum annual expenditure on professional development programs for the Mayor increased to $5,000, to reflect the additional responsibilities of the Mayor;
- Definition of ‘eligible Council business’ for the purposes of mileage expense claims clarified; and
- Clarifications and improvements to structure and procedures, such as changes to deadlines for claims to be submitted and dispute of claim decision processes.
The Policy was endorsed by Council at its May Council meeting and placed on public exhibition for a period of two-weeks, with no submissions received during that period.