Legal Insights

Regulatory compliance is key — a report from the NSW Audit Office

By Blake Dyer & Kenya Walker

• 01 June 2023 • 2 min read
  • Share

As of 23 May 2023, the NSW Audit Office released a report, 'Regulation and monitoring of local government', regarding the manner in which the NSW Office of Local Government (OLG) has been monitoring and regulating the local government sector under the Local Government Act 1993 with a focus on its powers under Chapter 13 of that Act.

The report was critical of OLG, with key findings including:

  • The OLG is responsible for strengthening the local government sector but inadequate performance measurement and reporting limits its transparency and accountability
  • The OLG has not adequately defined and communicated its regulatory role in the sector creating risks to its regulatory effectiveness
  • The OLG lacks a structured approach and effective systems to support sector monitoring, limiting its capacity to identify risks and implement timely responses
  • The OLG's processes to consider performance and compliance issues have lacked a clear and consistent risk assessment framework, but a new tool is being implemented in 2023
  • The OLG has frameworks to guide its regulatory responses but relevant aspects are out of date and there are gaps in procedures to support their application
  • Projects to review the OLG's resourcing did not progress, but resourcing is under consideration as the OLG implements its new strategic plan.

Eight recommendations were made relating to increased reporting and monitoring of regulatory activities, enhanced tools to support information sharing amongst OLG teams, updated frameworks for regulatory procedures to ensure consistent and transparent approaches, and clear articulation of the OLG’s regulatory approach.

We recommend that our council clients read this report, as there are lessons in the report that can be similarly applied to council enforcement functions. We also suggest that the audit findings are likely to result in increased enforcement activities by OLG in the near future.

Looking for specialist experts in this area?

If you have any questions, get in touch with our team.

By Blake Dyer & Kenya Walker

  • Share

Recent articles

Online Access