Protocols and Guidance

As an alternative to covering all matters in the formal contract, several councils, have developed less formal protocols and guidance documents that are appended to contracts. Matters covered include:

  • how different council processes are to be undertaken

  • how to interact with other council departments

  • how to interact with the contract manager

  • how peer reviews and feedback will occur

  • what to do with electronic and hard copy files at the completion of a consent

  • how the council's electronic and financial systems work

  • processing guidelines for different types of consents

These documents can be invaluable for recording the less tangible matters that are important for the smooth operation of the council's systems and for reducing risk. It is also easier to alter a non-contractual document to adapt to new and improved procedures. They are usually very council specific as they are strongly based on a particular council's procedures. Councils may be prepared to share these documents with other practitioners in the interests of best practice.