All councils across Victoria provide support to councillors to assist with the responsibilities of their role.
While many councils deal with councillor work-related expenses differently, all provide support for items such as information technology, travel costs, training and childcare. The Inspectorate has commenced a project to request information from all councils on the level of support they provide. The project will also aim to assess whether that support is providing the best outcome for councillors and the community.
Operations Manager Ross Millard said the project would firstly look at what support is provided across the state and then evaluate whether it is administered with efficiency, consistency and transparency. Information will be sought from councils, relevant council staff, councillors and some stakeholders.
“We are wanting to ensure councillors have adequate support to do their job but we also want to make sure that there are robust procedures in place,” he said. “We will consult with councils and councillors and discuss findings where appropriate.”
Mr Millard said a final report on the findings would identify best practice in the sector and be a guide for future improvements to the councillor support framework.