Instruments of delegation

What is a delegation?

Delegations empower staff and committees with the authority to make binding decisions on behalf of Council.

Delegations are a function of administration expressed, in ordinary terms, as ‘who can do what’ and enable staff across the organisation to better understand the legislation under which we operate. In the context of local government, delegation is the giving of decision-making power by Council and/or the CEO to members of Council staff.

The reason for delegations being:

  • It is not practical for Council and the CEO alone to exercise the many statutory powers given to Council
  • Delegation facilitates the achievement of good governance by empowering appropriate members of staff to make decisions on behalf of the Council and the CEO

Why do we need delegations?

How well Council deals with its delegations is vital to its efficiency to minimise risk and maximise possibilities. From a practical management perspective, it is essential for Council to devolve decision-making in a downwards manner from a central source of authority. This enables decisions to be made on the front line, by employees with the required specialised knowledge, and in a timely manner. However, decisions made without proper authority can put Council at risk, both legally and financially.

Instruments of delegation

Council has adopted the following instruments of delegation derived from our subscription to the Maddocks delegation service, which has become the standard practice of most councils for administering delegations and authorisations.

The instruments are:

S5 - Instrument of Delegation from Council to CEO(PDF, 177KB). This delegates all of Council's powers, duties and functions which are capable of delegation, subject to some exceptions and limitations, to the CEO.

S6 - Instrument of Delegation from Council to members of Council staff relating to Council powers, duties and functions within various Acts and Regulations (or specific parts of those Acts or Regulations), which contain a specific power of delegation.(PDF, 1MB) This delegates certain powers directly from Council to Council staff due to the legislation referred to containing specific powers of delegation.

S7 - Instrument of Sub-Delegation from CEO to Council staff(PDF, 824KB). This sub-delegates Council powers, duties or functions contained in Acts or Regulations which do not include a specific power of delegation.

S13 - Instrument of Delegation from CEO to staff(PDF, 233KB). This instrument allows the CEO to delegate his or her powers, duties and functions existing under all Victorian legislation. This differs to the S7 Instrument in that it does not relate to Council powers, duties and functions, but those vested in the CEO personally.

S14 - Instrument of Delegation from CEO to staff (Vicsmart)(PDF, 6MB). This provides for the CEO to delegate his or her powers as a responsible authority under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 in relation to VicSmart planning applications. The difference between the S6 and S7 instruments of delegation turn on the source of the powers of delegation.

S18 - Instrument of Sub-Delegation from Council to members of Council staff under the Environment Protection Act 2017.(PDF, 210KB) The Environment Protection Act 2017 (the new EP Act) and Environment Protection Regulations 2021 came into effect on 1 July 2021. Under the new EP Act the scope of local government’s role as a regulator has not changed, but there are changes to the laws and powers of local governments, including a new delegation of powers from EPA to councils. The S18 sub-delegates Council’s powers (delegated to it by the EPA) to members of Council staff.

S18A - Instrument of Sub-Delegation from CEO to members of Council staff under the Environment Protection Act 2017. The S18A allows the CEO to  sub-delegates powers (delegated to it by the EPA) to members of Council staff.