Councils may provide an annual allowance to elected members using their own devices to communicate with local authorities or ratepayers.
While the Authority has a strong preference for direct provision of equipment, the decision on whether elected members can use personal devices and the nature of the technology required will be a local decision.
Councils are responsible for deciding the equipment elected members may need to carry out business effectively and efficiently.
Councils may provide each elected official with a:
The equipment will remain the property of the council and be replaced/updated at least every 3 to 5 years or according to the council's ICT life cycle replacement plan.
The council may also cover the costs of any consumables required.
If a local authority requests that members use their own equipment to perform their functions, the local authority may pay an allowance.
The amounts that may be paid for the determination term are as follows:
In approving allowances in expenses documents, the Authority will seek confirmation of a formal decision by the council around the use of technology.
Where the council provides a mobile phone plan, the portion of the cost to be paid by the member to cover personal use will be agreed with the council.
Where regular landline or mobile coverage is not available councils may put a costed recommendation to the Authority for approval to install appropriate technology. The council may apply for reimbursement or an 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.
The Authority assumes councils will not provide plans for home internet or broadband services because household use is growing significantly, and it is unlikely official use by the elected member will be a high proportion of the cost.
A council proposing to supply the entire plan to an elected member should contact the Authority.