Joint Planning Boards — Governance requirements
As many readers will be aware, under the new South Australian planning regime, a Planning Agreement can be made between the Minister for Planning and two or more local government councils. A Joint Planning Board is the body set up to administer a Planning Agreement.
Many aspects of the governance of a Joint Planning Board will be set out in the Planning Agreement. However, a number of statutory governance requirements applicable to South Australian public authorities more generally will also apply to Joint Planning Boards.
The following statutory instruments have recently come into effect, which amend a number of pieces of legislation directly relating to Joint Planning Boards:
- Planning, Development and Infrastructure (Planning Agreements) Regulations 2020;
- Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) (Annual Reports) Variation Regulations 2020;
- Local Government (General) (Prescribed Body) Variation Regulations 2020;
- Local Government Finance Authority (Prescribed Local Government Bodies) Variation Regulations 2020;
- Ombudsman Regulations 2020;
- Freedom of Information (General) (Prescribed Agency) Variation Regulations 2020;
- Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (Schedule 1 of Act) Variation Regulations 2020.
Noteworthy effects of these amendments are as follows:
- Joint Planning Boards are now considered agencies for the purposes of the Ombudsman Act 1972. This means that the Ombudsman has the authority to review administrative decisions of a Joint Planning Board or any of its subsidiaries.
- Joint Planning Boards are now considered agencies for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 1991. A Joint Planning Board may therefore be subject to a freedom of information application from a member of the public.
- Joint Planning Boards are now prescribed public authorities under the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012. Joint Planning Boards may therefore be the subject of investigations, referrals and evaluations under that Act.
These amendments clarify the place of Joint Planning Boards within the South Australian public sector framework. For more specific information on any of the material contained in this article please contact Dale Mazzachi on +61 8 8210 1221 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Chris Alexandrides on +61 8 8210 1299 or email@example.com.