As outlined in the information below, which can be found in the Guide to Councils on the Know Your Council website, councillor briefings and workshops are an important part of council's decision making process.
Council Briefings and Workshops
It’s important that councillors find out about the detail of relevant issues before making decisions at council meetings.
Some councils hold briefings or workshops to help brief councillors on day to day issues affecting the council. These are generally internal sessions with council staff, but, sometimes outside advisors are present.
Briefing sessions enable councillors to discuss issues among themselves and with senior staff. These briefing sessions can help councillors understand a complex issue. They provide a way for councillors to request additional information to assist them in making decisions.
Councillors cannot make legally binding decisions in briefings or workshops. At any meeting involving at least half the councillors and at least one member of staff (referred to as ‘assemblies of councillors’), where matters are likely to lead to a formal council decision, a record must be kept of those items considered and councillors are subject to the conflict of interest rules.
Councillor briefing sessions should not be confused with public briefings. Public briefings are held by councils when they want to brief members of the community about council activities, or other significant matters that might be coming before the council in the near future.
To learn more, visit the Know Your Council website.