Good Practice for Managing Public Communications by Local Authorities.

We first published our Suggested Guidelines for Advertising and Publicity by Local Authorities in 1996. We published a revised version of those Guidelines in 1999.

Since 1999, a number of factors have contributed to significant change in the environment in which local authorities are involved in “advertising and publicity”. Probably the two major factors are the advances in communications technology and the rate of adoption of the new technology, and (more recently) the enhanced requirements for communication in the Local Government Act 2002.

We saw as a consequence of that significant change the clear need to revisit the Guidelines to reassess their validity and determine what changes might be needed to preserve their usefulness. This publication reflects the fresh approach we have taken to the subject – still principles-based, but with an emphasis on the wider concept of “communication” rather than “advertising and publicity”.

As previously, this update represents what we believe is a code of good practice. The guidance it contains is no more authoritative than that. Further, the guidance is intended neither to be an operating manual nor to cover every conceivable situation.

Local authorities will have to determine what practical application they make of our good practice guidance in particular situations. To do so, and to reflect the more open approach to disclosing how local government manages itself, we recommend that the adoption and application of the guidance in this publication be incorporated in a formal communications policy.


K B Brady
Controller and Auditor-General

14 April 2004

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