Since 1 March, Local Planning Panels (LPPs), colloquially known as Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs), have been mandatory for all Sydney councils and Wollongong City Council.
The objectives of panels are:
To determine if these objectives are being achieved, the Department has established an evaluation framework that will monitor and report on panel performance. The framework is summarised below, with further details at the following link.
As part of the evaluation framework, councils in the Greater Sydney region and Wollongong are to provide quarterly data reports to the Secretary of the Department. This data will provide ongoing feedback on the operation of panels. To enter your council’s data, go to the NSW Planning Portal IHAPs Quarterly Report.
To identify and assess the early performance and impacts of panels, the Department has established an evaluation framework for LPPs. This framework has been developed in consultation with councils, peak industry groups and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), and with assistance from the University of Technology Sydney's (UTS) Institute for Public Policy and Governance.
The framework is designed to:
The framework includes:
The Department is actively monitoring and evaluating the first 12 months of LPP operations and panel performance to ensure they are operating efficiently. The Department aims to release the findings of the evaluation in two reports, a half-year report (which covers Quarters 1 and 2) and a yearly report, which covers the last two quarters (Quarters 3 and 4).
The UTS evaluation of the first twelve months of the panel operations concludes that panels are working well. The key findings indicate:
UTS has made 14 recommendations to improve the operations of panels and to provide for ongoing support, monitoring and evaluation by the Department. The Department has implemented several recommendations through guidance material and briefings. Other recommendations are matters for councils or will be considered by the Department.
The first report presents the key findings of the evaluation of LPPs for the first six months of operations (April - September 2018), along with some recommendations and areas for consideration. The Department has accepted all five recommendations.
The key findings and considerations from this report will support the Department's ongoing monitoring of LPPs, in line with the immediate objectives of the evaluation.
Appendix C and D are separate attachments and provide more detailed data in relation to Quarter 1 and Quarter 2.
Contact the Planning Panels Secretariat on 02 8217 2060.
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Page last updated: 09/03/2020