Maddocks launches Victorian local government information portal

Thursday 8 September 2016 Maddocks has today become the first law firm to launch a website designed specifically to assist decision makers and staff at Victoria’s councils. Sound Counsel is a complimentary knowledge portal accessible only by Victorian local government leaders and council officers and provides a range of information for everyday use. The website … Continued

An update on rate capping and guidance on applying for a rate cap variation

In August 2015 we published an eAlert regarding the proposed rate capping framework and the guidance provided by the Essential Services Commission (ESC) on the process of seeking a variation to the rate cap. To access a copy of this publication, click here. Since that time, there have been some key developments in this space. … Continued

Rate Capping Framework Review – key issues

Here is a summary of key aspects of the Essential Services Commission’s (ESC) Draft Report: A Blueprint for Change; Local Government Rates Capping & Variation Framework Review. What is the proposed framework? There are three elements to the proposed framework: rate cap: the maximum annual rate of increase that councils can apply to their rate revenue … Continued

Council roasted over flawed tender evaluation

Summary Earlier this month the English Technology and Construction Court1 considered a legal challenge to a tender evaluation process conducted by the Milton Keynes Council. In his judgment, Justice Coulson was highly critical of the way in which the Council conducted the tender evaluation. The Court found: the Council failed to properly document its decision … Continued

Probity, ethics and good governance in the public sector

There is currently a high level of public awareness and concern about probity and integrity issues, particularly in the public sector. This article looks at what probity, ethics and good governance means for those in the public sector. It does so from a number of perspectives, including the individual and the organisation. It also comments … Continued

New Guidelines Released by Privacy and Data Protection Commissioner

The Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) commenced on 17 September 2014, repealing the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic). The inaugural Privacy and Data Protection Commissioner is David Watts, who had been the Acting Privacy Commissioner and the Commissioner for Law Enforcement Data Security. The Commissioner has recently released Guidelines to Public Interest Determinations, … Continued

What happens online, stays online… or does it?

One of the things people like about the internet is that it is perceived to provide anonymity. However, a recent decision of the Queensland Supreme Court serves as a reminder that your activities on the internet may not be as anonymous as you think. A father was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for … Continued

Protective costs orders – what are they and when might they arise?

Introduction Protective costs orders are orders made by a court at the beginning of a proceeding, capping the parties’ potential liability to pay their opponent’s costs in the event they are unsuccessful. They are a recent and rare introduction to the legal landscape in Australia, and appear to be limited to cases where the court … Continued

Self represented litigants – Issues for government

  There are increasing numbers of self-represented litigants in our courts and tribunals. Self-represented litigants, or SRLs, pose particular challenges, especially for government agencies (including local government). This article looks at what a SRL is, the issues they raise for government dealing with them and some tips to help manage them, as well as some … Continued