Official Information Request - decisions after public consultation
Sent: Monday, 27 November 2023 1:42 pm
Subject: LGOIMA request - decisions and/or recommendations after public consultation
I refer to your Official Information request of 1 November 2023 regarding decisions and/or recommendations to elected members following public consultation, and provide the following responses as per your request:
- Can you please provide any document (including manual/s) including policies, principles, rules or guidelines in accordance with which decisions and/or recommendations are made where public consultation has been conducted prior to a final recommendation to elected officials?
The Local Government Act requires Council’s to prepare and adopt a Significance and Engagement Policy. This policy is currently being consulted on – refer to Council’s consultation website (letstalk.rotorualakescouncil.nz).
Council must also give effect to the requirements of Sections 76-81 in terms of Decision-making and must give effect to Sections 82-83, 86 and 87 of the Local Government Act.
- What weighting is given by Council staff on any report/recommendation to elected officials upon the results of public consultation? Council staff do not put a weighting on the results of public consultation. Elected members are provided with all pieces of feedback (submissions). It is up to the council to make an informed decision. All feedback must be considered against all the background and risks before a decision is made, and to make sure the decision to be made is consistent with sections 76-81.
- What moral and/or ethical value do council staff place on public feedback when finalising proposals for elected officials? We will not be answering this questions as it does not pertain to information that the council holds.
- When the result of public consultation is over 75% against the council’s proposed item, are council staff required either by law, council policy or ethical conduct guide to fully incorporate that feedback into their reports/recommendations to elected officials? See #2 above.
- Does Council have any training or employee guide or policies or procedures outlining to council staff that they are their serving the public of Rotorua? The Council undertakes to induct all new staff. A number of different induction programmes are in place dependant on the role the staff member has within the organisation. At the core of all the Council staff work is a set of values based on customer service. Staff are not required to take an oath like the elected members in verbalising who they are “serving”.
- Is there any requirement for Council report or recommendation writers to incorporate and action the feedback presented by the public during consultation? When the Council makes a formal resolution, staff must enact the decision made. If a member of the public is requesting an action or has a complement/complaint, the better channel (as opposed to through a public consultation ) is to contact the Council via the Customer Centre and lodge a Request (for information). These can be tracked and escalated if needed, if the appropriate action is not taken in the timeframe provided.
You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this response/decision. The Ombudsman’s Office can be contacted by calling 0800 802 602, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, online at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz, or by post to The Ombudsman, PO Box 10152, Wellington 6143.
Publication of responses to LGOIMA requests
Please note: Our LGOIMA responses may be published on the Rotorua Lakes Council website after they have been responded to, with requesters’ personal details withheld. If you have any concerns about this please contact the Council on email@example.com.