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Good governance is about the processes for making and implementing decisions. It’s not just about making ‘correct’ decisions, but about the best possible process for making those decisions.

Good decision-making processes, and therefore good governance, share several characteristics. All have a positive effect on various aspects of federal and state governance including consultation policies and practices, meeting procedures, service quality protocols, councilor and officer conduct, role clarification and good working relationships. 


Good governance is accountable

Accountability is a fundamental requirement of good governance. Governments has an obligation to report, explain and be answerable for the consequences of decisions it has made on behalf of the people it represents. 

Good governance is transparent 

People should be able to follow and understand the decision-making process. This means that they will be able to clearly see how and why a decision was made – what information, advice and consultation council considered, and which legislative requirements (when relevant) council followed.

Good governance follows the rule of law. 

This means that decisions are consistent with relevant legislation or common law and are within the powers of council.

Good governance is responsive

Government should always try to serve the needs of the people while balancing competing interests in a timely, appropriate and responsive manner.

Good governance is equitable and inclusive

A nation’s well-being results from all of its citizens feeling their interests have been considered by the leaders in the decision-making process. This means that all groups, particularly the most vulnerable, should have opportunities to participate in the process.

Good governance is effective and efficient

Government should implement decisions and follow processes that make the best use of the available people, resources and time to ensure the best possible results for the people.

Good governance is participatory

Anyone affected by or interested in a decision should have the opportunity to participate in the process for making that decision. This can happen in several ways – community members may be provided with information, asked for their opinion, given the opportunity to make recommendations or, in some cases, be part of the actual decision-making process.

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