Communications allowances

Approach

The Authority’s view is that elected officials should not carry the costs of communicating with councils or with ratepayers. It is the responsibility of each council to decide the communications equipment needed to carry out its business effectively and efficiently and decisions about equipment for individual councillors should flow from that.

Council owned equipment

The Authority believes it is efficient if a council provides each elected official with a phone (mobile or landline), a PC and/or a tablet, and a compatible scanner & printer. The council should also cover the costs of any consumables required.

Equipment should remain the property of the council and shall be replaced or updated at least triennially.

Whilst the Authority has a strong preference for direct provision of equipment, the decision on whether elected officials can use personal devices and the nature of the technology required will be a local decision.

Member owned equipment

Where councils decide to provide an annual allowance to those using their own devices and/or connections, the following will apply:

  • personal computer $150
  • electronic tablet $150
  • printer (with or without a scanner) $40
  • internet connection $250
  • mobile phone $60

An allowance of up to $400 pa may also be provided to cover the costs of council-related calls, texts and data.

Unusual circumstances

In some areas of the country a regular landline or mobile coverage is not available. Where such circumstances exist the council may put a costed recommendation to the Authority for approval to make a one-off payment for installation and either a reimbursement or allowance for on-going maintenance and support reflecting the costs involved. It is anticipated this allowance will normally reflect no more than 75% of the costs involved.

To see the full policy covering the provision of communication devices, refer to the provision of and allowances for communication devices.