Reference source – ACELG’s Local Government and Community Governance: A Literature Review:
Governance Maturity Models in Australian Councils
Governance as Corporate Governance
Governance is the process by which decisions are taken and implemented; the process by which organisations go about achieving their goals and producing their outputs and the process by which organisations are directed, controlled and held to account. It encompasses authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, values and culture within the organisation.
This understanding is linked to the term corporate governance which is concerned with structures and processes of decision making, accountability, controls and behaviour within corporations.”
Democratic to Community Governance
Corporate governance is already shifting to a new model of democratic governance, which refers to the “deepening democratic engagement through the participation of citizens in the processes of governance” with their Councils.
It is “where leadership and decision-making by elected Councillors is based on a sound appreciation of community issues and needs and a commitment to effective community engagement” in Council processes.
The Victorian Good Governance Guide already links (corporate) governance and democracy, which involves the capacities to engage with communities, generate and maintain trust and show transparency.
Community governance is a higher capability maturity level where Council collaborates with its community to achieve desired outcomes for neighbourhoods or the whole city. It represents a change of focus from the delivery of specified services to developing creative solutions with the local community to meet their needs. While democratic governance concerns a Council’s processes , community governance concerns the collective processes of a wide range of players. This trend already prevails overseas, and is in very early / infancy stage in Australia.
MRI adopts this model and currently prototype its implementation to facilitate better good governance in Council with the vision to access better services and rates affordability
16 Feb 2014 Update
Today, community governance has become a model for making corporate governance in Monash Council work for its people and allowing these citizens become overseers of Councils’ corporate governance performance.
The capacity of this Monash citizen’s evolving community governance model can now:
- Build strong and well-functioning networks of influencing the design, implementation and evaluation of compliance to good governance principles in Monash Council
- Increase focused public oversee of Monash Council’s decision making concerning matters that affect the personal lives, inter-generation sustainability and rates affordability of every individual residing, working or volunteering a city
- Foster the forming of a sustainable learning community that is becoming more informed and empowered to expect and demand transparency, accountability and inclusiveness from Local Government and their service providers, including advocacy and professional development bodies such as the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)
- Facilitate collaborative and innovative ways to help facilitate Local Government become more accountable to their citizens and end users by show high competency and measurable performance in complying to good governance principles, from single issues to whole of organisation performance
- Educate the community about good governance and empower then to translate their civil rights (to inclusive civic participation) into playing effective community governance roles themselves.