Cr Email is a Local Government Resource

Councillors need to be wary of using their Local Government generated Councillor and group Councillor email address noting some Local Governments blind copy employees into all Councillor emails.

Elected Member Local Government email address can be “resource” for Conduct Regulations in two senses:

  • text comprising the email address
  • dedicated email service provided by LG.

Local Government email address is Local Government ‘resource’ for the purposes of the conduct Regulations
Authorisation by CEO or Council to use Local Government email in certain way might be implied as finding of fact, which includes from Local Government elections policy, or Record Keeping Plan.

Informal advice from Local Government employees about using Local Government email address needs formal recognition to be relied on as “defence”, say in policy or RKP.

Local Governments RKP only required EM to create and keep records of “performance of EM functions arising from their participation in “decision-making processes” of Council and Committees of Council.

EM reliance on WALGA training course slide misplaced, and cannot exempt Elected Member from complying with rule of conduct.

Elected Members use of the City’s email address, to create and distribute the 2020 e-newsletter, met relevant test of persuasion under Conduct Regs and was minor breach.

See Kunze and Local Government Standards Panel [2021] WASAT 159