The governing body and local boards do not (and could not practically) make all the decisions they are responsible for. Many decision-making functions are delegated for efficiency and effectiveness .
the governing body delegating certain functions to governing body committees or members , local boards and to the chief executive
local boards delegating certain functions to their committees or members and to the chief executive
the chief executive delegating certain functions to council staff
the governing body and local boards delegating certain functions to external people or bodies such as independent hearings commissioners and CCOs.
As a general rule, most of the council’s day-to-day functions and powers are delegated to council staff. However, elected members will generally make significant decisions relating to the council’s governance, especially significant policy decisions.
When a function or power is delegated:
The delegated function or power can be performed or exercised in the same way and to the same legal effect as if the governing body or local board performed or exercised it .
The governing body or local board that made the original delegation remains legally responsible for the performance or exercise of the function or power .
Functions that can and cannot be delegated
As a general rule, a decision-making function or power can be delegated unless there is a rule to prevent this .
There is a group of decision-making responsibilities that cannot be delegated for both the governing body and local boards. These restrictions apply only to delegating the actual decision; they do not prevent the governing body or local boards from delegating preparatory work to inform the actual decision . For example, the governing body can delegate the functions of drafting a bylaw and conducting public consultation but cannot delegate the decision to make the bylaw.
The governing body cannot delegate :
the power to make a bylaw
the power to borrow money, or purchase or dispose of assets other than in accordance with the long-term plan
the power to adopt a long-term plan, annual plan or annual report
the power to appoint a chief executive
the power to adopt policies under the Local Government Act 2002 in association with the long-term plan or developed for the purpose of the council’s local governance statement
the power to adopt a remuneration and employment policy.
Local boards cannot delegate :
the power to propose a bylaw or an amendment to a bylaw
the power to confirm a bylaw or modify a proposed bylaw
the power to propose the revocation of a bylaw
the duty to adopt the local board plan for its area
the duty to enter into a local board agreement for its area with the governing body
the power to apply to the Local Government Commission for a binding determination if there is a dispute between the local board and the governing body
any statutory responsibility, duty or power that expressly may not be delegated.