The Act had strict time frames for the adoption of a number of policies and documents. The table below sets out the compliance rate for all Victorian councils for each policy or document.
|Policy or document||Compliance rate|
|Councillor code of conduct||97%|
|Council expenses policy||94%|
|Audit and risk charter||90%|
|Community engagement policy||91%|
|Public transparency policy||95%|
|CEO employment and remuneration policy||95%|
The level of compliance across the sector was extremely high, with 9 of the 11 topics recording compliance rates of over 90%. Another topic had a compliance rate of 87%. The outlier was councillor inductions with a compliance rate of 79%.
Because the requirements were mandatory, it was anticipated that compliance rates would be high. While the target for councils to comply was 100%, we considered that the results achieved by councils was more than satisfactory given the extraordinary circumstances that prevailed at the time.
Under section 32(1) of the Act, councillors must complete councillor induction training within 6 months after they take the oath or affirmation of office. Under section 32(3), councillors must then make a written declaration before the CEO that states that they have completed the training and then sign and date the declaration.
As the councillor induction compliance rate was significantly lower than expected, we sought feedback from a number of councils to understand why. The feedback indicated that most had facilitated the training, and it had been completed within the prescribed timeframe by each councillor, however they were unaware that each councillor was required to sign off to confirm the training had been completed.
It should be noted that under the Act, a councillor’s allowance is to be withheld until they have completed their induction training and - just as importantly - have also made the written declaration.
1. Councils must ensure that:
- the councillor induction training has been completed by councillors by the required time as per section 32 (1) of the Act
- confirmation of the training has been signed off by councillors and the CEO to confirm it has been completed as per section 32 (3) of the Act.
Reviewed 15 January 2023