FinPro Member Updates
FinPro is currently distributing weekly information update to members. Copies of our latest Editions are as follows:
FinPro Member Update June 2020 (Edition 3) – attachment to go with June 2020 (Ed 3) Update – Calculator – Impact of a ZERO Rate Rise in response to COVID19
FinPro Member Update August 2020 (Edition 3) Attachments to Member Update August 2020 (Edition 3)
- VAGO LG sector monthly update – August 2020_
- Cv19 disclosure guidance for local government sector – VAGO August 2020
- 30 June 2020 Financial Reporting – COVID-19 disclosures – DTF guidance
Local Government Act 2020 – Implementation
The Local Government Act 2020 has now received Royal Assent and information is available at www.localgovernment.vic.gov.au. This website is the centralised point of information. The website will have links to:
- Important dates;
- Guidance material; and
- Engagement opportunities.
FinPro recently distributed an Update of the Implementation of the Local Government Act 2020
An information update was provided by LGV at the start of June 2020, as follows:
Local Government Act 2020 – Implementation Update
Meeting 1 September 2020 requirements
Local Government Victoria are undertaking a parallel process to help councils achieve the 1 September 2020 requirements for:
- Public Transparency Policy
- Councillor Expense Policy
- Governance Rules
- Audit and Risk Committee and Charter
- Delegated Committees and Community Asset Committees
LGV have received a number of pieces of feedback about the draft Public Transparency Policy. The working group is getting back together later this week to consider all of the feedback and incorporate any of the necessary changes.
LGV is now really pleased to release the drafts for Council Expense Policy, Governance Rules and Delegated Committees and Community Asset Committees. It is important to remember that these documents are released in draft and I encourage your feedback. We will also circulate to the Project Control Board for their input as well as the other relevant agencies and internal staff within Local Government Victoria. LGV believe it’s important for the sector to see where we are at and enable you to commence your own internal processes in achieving the 1 September 2020 requirements.
The Audit and Risk Committee working group is finalising the material for a sample Charter and hopefully this will be released shortly.
Now we are close to completing the pathway documents, we have turned our minds back to our commitment to co-design the products and materials for community engagement, public transparency, governance rules and delegated committees and community asset committees. We will provide more information about this approach soon.
Councillor Induction Training
Last week LGV conducted two workshops on Councillor induction training. All of the ideas we received have been themed and are now included on the site at Councillor Induction Training. Please pass this link onto others in your organisation, your councillors and potential future candidate for the next election. We are keen to make sure we have the views and ideas from as many interested parties as possible. We are also asking you to help us prioritise the products and materials that have started to emerge from the feedback we’ve already received.
Conflicts of Interest
Thank you to everyone who participated in the online sessions for Conflicts of Interest. We had over 110 people join us across the two sessions. We are currently collating all of the feedback and preparing the material to be published on the EngageVic site. This will be made available later this week.
Co-design for the Integrated Planning Framework
The initial co-design activity for this stage is looking a little different. Before we commence any online workshops, we are seeking some feedback, information and ideas which will help us better prepare for the work we undertake with the sector. We are keen to hear more about what councils have in place and how they manage their community vision, council plan, budget, long term financial plan, asset plan and annual report Integrated Strategic Planning Framework.
Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2020
As part of the new framework relating to council’s strategic plans under the Local Government Act 2020 (LGA 2020), it is proposed that new Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2020 (Regulations 2020) be made to come into operation on 24 October 2020, and apply from the financial year commencing 1 July 2021.
The proposed Regulations 2020 will replace and substantially replicate the current Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2014, by prescribing the information to be included in councils’ Council Plan, budget, and annual report, as well as continuing to provide a mandatory system of performance reporting for all councils.
The only variations proposed by the Regulations 2020 will be to reflect the new strategic plans being introduced by the LGA 2020, specifically the four-year budget, and the 10-year Financial Plan.
The LGA 2020 is principles based legislation, and focusses on enabling councils to implement the requirements in manner that gives life to the principles and reflects their communities. On this basis, regulations are only being utilised where they are deemed essential. Work is currently occurring with the sector on the development of the Integrated Strategic Planning and Reporting Framework and if further regulatory requirements for planning and reporting are identified through this co-design work they would be progressed in the second half of 2021.
Please refer to the Summary of Proposed Regulations for further details on the proposed Regulations 2020.
If you have any questions or feedback on the proposed Regulations 2020, please let Michael Concas, Senior Manager, Local Government Victoria know at firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 5pm Friday, 25 September.
Sample documentation prepared by councils in response to COVID-19
FinPro would like to provide information and resources that makes life ‘easier’ for Finance Staff. As such, the following information is provided as a resource to FinPro members.
Link to Moreland Council website – online form for setting up a payment arrangement form – https://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/about-us/council-rates/rates-late-payments/
If you have any documents you are willing to share with the sector please email them to Gab (email@example.com)
Accounting Standards Guidance and Worked Examples – AASB 9, AASB 15, AASB 16 and AASB 1058
The Accounting Standards Working Group, (Comprising FinPro members and staff from LGV and Crowe Horwath), worked together during 2018 and early 2019 to develop a guidance document specific to the Local Government Sector. It was developed by the working group and will be published and issued by Local Government Victoria and will be launched at the FinPro Seminar on Friday 22 February 2019.
The guidance material is to assist the Local Government sector to transition to the new accounting standards in a consistent and practical manner. The Guidance document is to supplement the detail of the Standards themselves; it enables the sector to know what the position is on a number of paragraphs within the standards so that the application can be applied consistently throughout the sector.
The worked examples are in an appendix to the guidance document and provide practical guidance to the overall application of the guidance materials. The Guidance document refers to the examples, so that the sector can have real, relatable examples and assist in interpreting the sectors overall position on particular paragraphs within the standards. The examples have been made simple, in order to easily follow the application, with the aim being that the sector be able to apply such examples in their organisation’s decision making.
Other information which may be of value:
Vision Super Note for year end accounts 30.6.20
Model Budget 2020/21 and Model Financial Statements 2019/20
At the FinPro Seminar on Friday 21 February 2020 both the Model Budget 2020/21 and the Model Financial Reports 2019/20 were launched. Both working groups were thanked for for their active involvement in each of these group and for their commitment to try to continually improve both documents as resources for the sector.
All documents are available on the LGV website:
Martin Thompson (Crowe) and Daniel O’Shea (LGV) ran a webinar explaining both the above models in early March 2020 – a recording was taken of the webinar.
If you have a policy, resource or document which you are willing to share with your peers please contact our Executive Officer, Gabrielle Gordon. Contact details listed on the Contact Us Page of this website.
Examples of Policies:
- Rates and Charges Collection and Hardship Policy
- Creditor Management Policy
- Investment Policy
- Investment Policy 2
- Debt Management Policy
- Gift and Hospitality Policy
- Motor Vehicle Policy
Disclaimer – The documents provided above are provided for general information purposes only. Your use of any of these sample documents is at your own risk, and you should not use any of these sample documents without first seeking legal and other professional advice. The provision of these sample documents (and the documents themselves) do not constitute legal advice or opinions of any kind, or any advertising or solicitation.