The word 'policy' may mean different things to different people. In general, it's a guiding or governing principle.
The City of Marion has defined a policy as: The overall intentions and direction of the organisation.
A 'Governance Policy' is defined using all of the following criteria:
- It is a governing principle that mandates or constrains actions.
- It is a requirement under statutory legislation (e.g. Local Government Act) or sets strategic direction for the Council as a whole (rather than service related).
- It helps ensure compliance and enhances the Council's mission.
- It effects elected members individually or as a whole council, external customers and/or more than one department.
- It will change infrequently and sets a course for the foreseeable future.
- It is approved by the Council.
One of the most important roles Council has is to participate in making policy and decisions on behalf of the community. An essential part of policy making is identifying community needs, setting objectives to meet those needs, establishing priorities between competing demands and allocating resources.