Easing The Squeeze On Local Government

Easing The Squeeze On Local Government

Western Australia Minister for Local Government John Castrilli

Further Cuts To Local Government Red Tape

Victor P Taffa

  • Administration burden of compliance audit process to be minimised
  • Local government sector to operate more efficiently

Local Government Minister John Castrilli has greatly reduced the reporting burden and reduced unnecessary red tape for local governments, by simplifying the compliance audit returns.

Last December, Mr Castrilli announced a reduction of 20 % to the size of the compliance audit return. This latest 70 % reduction means local governments will deal with eight, not 27 pages.

“The change decreases the size of the return by removing questions on areas of compliance that are already audited by the Department of Local Government.” Mr. Castrilli said.

 

“Greater responsibility is given to each council’s audit committee to ensure the council complies with its statutory obligations.”

The remaining questions relate to areas of compliance considered high risk, such as:

  • Financial interest disclosures
  • Procurement and tendering
  • Delegation and use of delegated power
  • The recruitment and appointment of the chief executive officer.

The Minister said the cut to local government red tape was another step in the reform process, giving local governments more time and resources to benefit other community activities.

The need to review the local government compliance audit return process was identified in the Red Tape Reduction Group Report released in 2010 and the Local Government Reform Steering Committee Report, 2010.

The requirement for local governments to comply with relevant legislation will not change.

Mr. Castrilli said the Department of Local Government’s Compliance Framework was aimed at building good governance by promoting and enforcing compliance, and by encouraging all local governments to move beyond minimum compliance through continuous improvement.

“This is another significant improvement the State Government has been able to introduce for local governments and their communities.” Mr. Castrilli said.

Fact File

  • The Local Government (Audit) Regulations are under the Local Government Act 1995