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Contents (1993 - 30)
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Local Government Act 1993 No 30
Current version for 25 June 2019 to date (accessed 21 October 2019 at 14:06)
Chapter 13 Part 5 Division 1
Division 1 Inquiries and reviews
429   Provision of documents or information about council
(1)  The Minister or Departmental Chief Executive may at any time, by order, direct a council, a councillor or the general manager of a council to provide such documents or information concerning the council, its operations or its activities as the Minister or Departmental Chief Executive specifies in the order.
(2)  A copy of the order must be served on the council or person required to provide the documents or information.
Note.
 Failure to comply with a direction is an offence under section 661.
429A   Complaints about councils, councillors, delegates and staff
(1)  A public official within the meaning of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 may complain to the Departmental Chief Executive about the conduct of any one or more of the following:
(a)  a council,
(b)  a delegate of a council,
(c)  a councillor,
(d)  a member of staff of a council.
(2)  A complaint may be made orally or in writing.
(3)  The Departmental Chief Executive may deal with a complaint made under this section:
(a)  by means of an investigation under this Division, or
(b)  in such other manner as the Departmental Chief Executive considers appropriate.
430   Departmental Chief Executive may investigate councils
The Departmental Chief Executive may, at the request of the Minister or on the Departmental Chief Executive’s own initiative, conduct an investigation into any aspect of a council or of its work and activities.
431   Powers in connection with investigation
(1)  For the purpose of conducting an investigation under this Division, the Departmental Chief Executive may direct a person to do any one or more of the following:
(a)  to appear personally before the Departmental Chief Executive at a time and place specified in the direction,
(b)  to give evidence (including evidence on oath),
(c)  to produce to the Departmental Chief Executive any document that is in that person’s custody or under that person’s control,
(d)  to grant to the Departmental Chief Executive such authorities as may be necessary to enable the Departmental Chief Executive to gain access to any document that is in the custody or under the control of any bank, building society, credit union or other person.
Note.
 Failure to comply with a direction is an offence under section 661.
(2)  For the purposes of this section, the Departmental Chief Executive may administer an oath.
(3)  The Departmental Chief Executive may take copies of or extracts from any document to which the Departmental Chief Executive gains access under this section.
432   Entry on to premises
Part 2 of Chapter 8 applies to the Departmental Chief Executive when exercising functions in respect of an investigation under this Division in the same way as it applies to a council and a council employee (or other person) authorised by the council.
433   Report of investigation
(1)  The Departmental Chief Executive must report to the Minister on the results of an investigation under this Division and must send a copy of the report to the council concerned.
(2)  The report may comment on any matter that, in the Departmental Chief Executive’s opinion, warrants special mention and may contain such recommendations as the Departmental Chief Executive considers appropriate.
(3)  A report furnished to the council under this section must be presented at the next meeting of the council after the report is received.
(4)  Section 14B of the Royal Commissions Act 1923 applies in relation to any report that the Minister wishes to lay before both Houses of Parliament in the same way as it applies to a report made by a commission under that Act.
434   Council’s response to report
(1)  A council must, within 28 days after presentation to it of a report made by the Departmental Chief Executive following an investigation under this Division, give written notice to the Minister of the things done or proposed to be done to give effect to any recommendations contained in the report.
(2)  The Minister may:
(a)  after receiving the council’s notice, or
(b)  after the 28-day period,
whichever is the earlier, order the council to do such things or to refrain from doing such things arising from the recommendations contained in the report as are specified in the order.
(3)  A council must comply with the Minister’s order.
(4)  An order under this section may state that a failure to comply with the order may lead to legal proceedings being taken to enforce compliance.
434A   Council’s response to Ombudsman’s report
(1)  The Minister may order a council to present a copy of a report made by the Ombudsman under section 26 of the Ombudsman Act 1974 concerning the conduct of the council (together with a copy of the Minister’s order) at the next meeting of the council occurring after the order is made.
(2)  The council must, within 40 days after the presentation of the Ombudsman’s report and the Minister’s order, give written notice to the Minister of the things done or proposed to be done to give effect to any recommendations contained in the report.
(3)  At any time after receiving the council’s notice or the expiration of the 40-day period (whichever is the earlier) the Minister may order the council to do such things or to refrain from doing such things arising from the recommendations contained in the Ombudsman’s report as are specified in the order.
(4)  The council must comply with any order made by the Minister under this section.
(5)  An order under this section may state that a failure to comply with the order may lead to legal proceedings being taken to enforce compliance.
(6)  Nothing in this section affects any other obligation of the council in respect of the Ombudsman’s report under the Ombudsman Act 1974.
434B   Expenses of investigation to be borne by council
(1)  The Departmental Chief Executive may recover the reasonable expenses incurred by the Departmental Chief Executive in respect of an investigation under this Division if the investigation relates to:
(a)  the administration of an election by a general manager, or
(b)  a recurring problem with the administration of a council.
(1A)  A recurring problem with the administration of a council means any facts or circumstances with respect to the council, its work or its activities that have been the subject of previous Ministerial intervention, and that have continued to exist or have recurred, despite that Ministerial intervention.
(1B)  In this section, Ministerial intervention means:
(a)  the issue of a performance improvement order, or
(b)  the temporary suspension of a council under Part 7.
(2)  The Departmental Chief Executive may make a determination of the amount of the expenses referred to in subsection (1) and serve a notice on the council requiring the amount so determined be paid in recovery of the expenses.
(3)  An amount equal to the expenses as so determined is payable to the Departmental Chief Executive as a debt by the council concerned, except as determined by the Departmental Chief Executive.
(4)  The council may apply to the Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an administrative review under the Administrative Decisions Review Act 1997 of whether any part of the expenses so determined are not reasonable expenses.
(5)  The Departmental Chief Executive must give effect to any decision of the Tribunal on an administrative review of the determination of the amount of the expenses.
(6)  In this section, expenses incurred in respect of an investigation under this Division include:
(a)  investigation expenses of the Departmental Chief Executive or departmental staff, and
(b)  remuneration paid to departmental staff assisting with the investigation, and
(c)  expenses associated with the preparation of a report in respect of the investigation.
(7)  The Departmental Chief Executive may certify that an investigation under this Division relates to a recurring problem with the administration of a council and that certificate is sufficient evidence, unless the contrary is proved, that the investigation relates to a recurring problem with the administration of the council.
434C   Self-incrimination
(1)  A person is not excused from a requirement under this Division to provide records or information or to answer a question on the ground that the record, information or answer might incriminate the person or make the person liable to a penalty.
(2)  However, any information provided or answer given by a natural person in compliance or in purported compliance with a requirement under this Division is not admissible in evidence against the person in criminal proceedings (except proceedings for an offence of failing to comply with the requirement or of providing information that is false or misleading) if the person objected at the time to doing so on the ground that it might incriminate the person.
(3)  Despite any such objection, any answer or information may be used in connection with a public inquiry or an investigation under this Division, or an investigation or the taking of disciplinary action against the person under Division 3 of Part 1 of Chapter 14, and is admissible in proceedings under this Act relating to misconduct.
(4)  Any record provided by a person in compliance with a requirement under this Division is not inadmissible in evidence against the person in criminal proceedings on the ground that the record might incriminate the person.