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Definitions

General complaint

Decline – a matter is assessed as a “decline” when the matter is one that does not warrant action by the Office in accordance with its Procedures for Managing Complaints about Local Councils.

Preliminary Enquiry/Review – a matter is assessed as a “preliminary enquiry/review” when action is required to gain additional information to deal with the complaint, e.g. contacting Council either by telephone or in writing, OR the officer reviews the document prior to determining whether further action will be required to deal with the matter.

Pecuniary interest

A pecuniary interest is an interest that a person has in a matter because of a reasonable likelihood or expectation of appreciable financial gain or loss to the person.

Allegation – allegations that a person has or may have contravened Part 2 of Chapter 14 of the Local Government Act 1993, relating to pecuniary interest matters, that have been referred to the Office for assessment and any necessary action.

Complaint – as above, but the allegation is accompanied by a statutory declaration and therefore becomes a formal complaint in accordance with section 460 of the Act.

Investigation – under section 462 of the Act the Chief Executive may decide to investigate a pecuniary interest complaint.

Misconduct referral/investigation

Referral – this refers to complaints that a councillor has breached the misconduct provisions of the Act.

Investigation – under section 440H of the Act the Chief Executive may decide to investigate a misconduct referral/matter.

Political donations – this refers to alleged breaches of the political donations provisions of a council’s code of conduct.

Public interest disclosure

This relates to complaints made under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994. To be protected under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994, a disclosure to the Chief Executive has to be made by a public official (includes councillors, staff and delegates of local and county councils) and must show or tend to show corrupt conduct, maladministration, serious and substantial waste of local government money, government information contravention or local government pecuniary interest contravention by a council, county council, delegate, councillor or member of staff of a council.
 

Section 53 referral

These are matters that are referred to the Office by the Independent Commission Against Corruption under section 53 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 for investigation or other action.

Special investigations/section 430 investigation

This refers to an investigation commenced under section 430 of the Act. The Chief Executive has the power to carry out investigations into council operations. Investigations can be general or in respect of a particular matter.
 

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