Queensland Government

It is a function of the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) to educate councillors about the complaints process and to offer training and information to help them to avoid becoming the subject of complaints.

The OIA targets interventions for local governments where recurring complaints have identified capacity issues. It also produces tailored resources to address recurring misconduct risks and develops high-level guidance on how the OIA will assess and enforce regulatory standards where greater clarity would assist. 

In many cases the OIA will partner with other organisations to develop helpful guides.

We encourage all councillors to make use of these resources.

Councillor Conduct Tribunal and other decisions

These decisions can be appealed to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the subsequent determinations may also be discussed as well as other relevant decisions.

Managing conflicts of interest

The OIA and the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) have developed an app to help councillors determine whether they have a conflict of interest (COI) according to new laws that commenced on 12 October 2020.

The Conflict of Interest App assists a councillor to identify whether they have a PRESECRIBED or DECLARABLE COI.

It does this by asking councillors to provide details of a matter that is under consideration, and then poses relevant questions to help determine whether a COI exists.

It also outlines how and when a COI must be declared, and councillors can choose to have an outcome report emailed to them and the council chief executive officer (CEO) to help with the management of the COI.

To use the Conflict of Interest App simply click on the following link: https://coiapp.lgaq.asn.au/.

Duty to report

Queensland councillors not only have to declare their own conflicts of interest (COI), they also have an obligation to raise concerns about other councillor’s conflicts of interest (COI) if the councillor does not declare it.

The OIA and the Queensland Integrity Commissioner have developed a guide which contains questions for councillors to ask themselves when considering a potential COI and whether to raise it Councillor Aid – Duty to Report (PDF, 192KB). 

Social media guidelines for councillors

Comprehensive social media guidelines are now available for Queensland councillors to help manage their online presence.

The OIA and the Local Government Association of Queensland collaborated on the Your Social Media and You guide (PDF, 2.3MB) and the Queensland Councillor Social Media Community Guideline (PDF, 277KB).

Your Social Media and You guide discusses a councillor’s official, election and private social media pages, how the Councillor Code of Conduct applies, how to moderate comments and how to recognise and deal with posts which are public records.

The Queensland Councillor Social Media Community Guideline is for councillors to post, or link to, on their social media sites.

Advice on the use of messaging applications (apps) (PDF, 195KB)

The Advice on the use of messaging applications (apps) (PDF, 195KB) has been compiled by the OIA and Qld State Archives to help councillors understand how to manage their presence on these apps and avoid some risks associated with them.

Register of interests

For advice on how to complete a register of interests see the following guide by the Department of Local Government Racing and Multicultural Affairs.

The OIA also recommends the use of the DLGRMA register of interests smart form. It is an online version of a register of interests with prompts that help the user to complete the form appropriately.  

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