MISUSE OF POSITION
Councillors are elected to represent their communities. They must not use their positions to gain or attempt to gain an advantage for themselves, or anyone else. Similarly, they must not disadvantage or seek to disadvantage council or anyone else.
WHAT IS MISUSE OF POSITION?
A number of behaviours are outlined in the Act that can give rise to misuse of position. These can include improperly using information, misusing public funds, failing to disclose a conflict of intertest or seeking to improperly influence a member of council staff.
Councillors need to be aware of these from both a legal perspective and because they impact on good governance. They can also impact on relationships within the local government and relationships between the local government and its communities and stakeholders.
PENALTIES FOR MISUSE OF POSITION
There are serious penalties for councillors who misuse their position. These are outlined in Section 76D of the Local Government Act 1989 which include substantial fines and up to five years imprisonment. A person convicted of misusing their position is also disqualified from being a councillor.