The Division of Local Government is a division of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and is responsible for local government across NSW. The Division’s organisational purpose is “To strengthen the Local Government Sector” and its organisational outcome is “Successful councils engaging and supporting their communities”. Operating within seven strategic objectives the Division has a policy, legislative, investigative and program focus in matters ranging from Local Government finance, infrastructure, governance, performance, collaboration and community engagement. The Division strives to work collaboratively with the Local Government sector and is the key adviser to the NSW Government on Local Government matters.
As a Division we value:
- Integrity: We will: be honest, respectful of each other and others, open and transparent, professional, accountable, impartial, comply with controls and systems, and recognise leadership and strong performance.
- Innovation and excellence: We will: encourage initiative and new ideas, commit to high quality work, use our resources in a sustainable way, provide people with development opportunities, strive for ongoing improvement, and embrace the values of a learning organisation.
- Leadership: We will: lead by example, embed our values in our practices, appreciate and acknowledge effort, provide clarity, and communicate and engage staff in the achievement of our objectives.
- Collaboration: We will: work in multidisciplinary and cross branch teams, communicate and collaborate with each other and our stakeholders, and recognise and support the efforts of others who work together effectively.
- Equity and fairness: We will: value different views, treat each other and those who we deal with in a fair manner, ensure equity and fairness, promote diversity and adhere to social justice principles.
How we operate
The Division operates under four strategic groups.
Innovation and development group
The group’s primary focus is on the whole of the sector with a concentration on policy, frameworks, programs and education that will strengthen the local government sector. The group brings a strategic focus to its activities and takes a strong collaborative approach in its work with the sector. The group will be the key driver of the Destination 2036 initiative.
The innovation team generates, develops, implements and evaluates innovative policies and initiatives that strengthen the local government sector.
The development team is responsible for program development, implementation and evaluation. These programs include promoting better practice, integrated planning and reporting, and companion animals.
The council governance team promotes and supports ongoing improvement in council governance practices through the development and implementation of governance frameworks.
Investigations and performance group
The group’s primary focus is at an individual council level with a concentration on legislative, regulatory and guideline compliance. When required the group leads targeted interventions with councils. The group is responsible for monitoring council performance with an emphasis on financial performance. The group is also the gateway for all statutory applications.
The investigation team is responsible for the investigative process through to presentation for prosecution. The team would lead any statutory investigations into councils under the Act. The team handles complex complaints about councils.
The performance and compliance team is responsible for monitoring, reviewing and analysing councils' operational performance, including financial, rating and land management matters. The team leads targeted financial interventions with councils where required. The team also serves as the gateway for receipt of statutory applications made by councils to the Division, including compulsory acquisitions, leasing and licensing applications, council constitution changes, public-private partnerships and applications for approvals, many of which are assessed and determined by the team.
The group provides the information technology, human resource, financial and other support frameworks that enables the division to operate efficiently and effectively. The group provides project and administrative support to other groups. The group is the gateway for all correspondence coming into and out of the division and is responsible for coordinating the receipt of correspondence, tracking the progress of correspondence through the system, monitoring correspondence trends, reporting on correspondence performance, and preparing responses where appropriate. The group is also responsible for the division’s outward communications including internet and printed publications. The group also provides support to the operation of the Grants Commission and the Pecuniary Interest and Disciplinary Tribunal.
Executive support group
The group focus is to provide the governance, performance, strategy and risk management framework for the division. The group manages Ministerial correspondence, provides legal support and manages the legislative program for the Division.