Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability - Independent adviser to the WA Minister for Disability Services - Keeping government informed

Operating Protocols

Annual Priorities

In addition to the Strategic Framework, Council operates by way of an 'issues model'.  It operates on two levels commonly referred to as planned and reactive.

Planned issues

The Council undertakes annual planning to identify a set of priorities based on current or emerging issues to examine for the coming year. These priorities are identified in consultation with consumers and the disability sector.  All decisions regarding actions or advice on a priority have to be made by agreement of the full Council except where time does not allow this. Once a broad area of priority is identified it can be progressed either by:

  1. The Council determining the specific issues it wishes to follow up and determining what action is required to progress it.
  2. If the specific issues are not well known or are complex, the Council may establish a working group to further identify and prioritise the specific issues and to recommend to the full Council the outcomes and actions required.

Council may utilise the skills and knowledge of non-members where this is appropriate to achieve its goal of informing or advising the Minister.

Reactive issues

At each Council meeting Council members are invited to raise any matter of concern that has been brought to their attention. The Council will then determine if further action is required.

Any person may raise an issue of concern to the Council. This may be done by the person or someone acting on their behalf contacting the Executive Officer who will then liaise with members and if they are in agreement, the person may be invited to address the Council. Where possible, it is preferred that issues are supported by a discussion or position paper.

Meetings

Council Meetings

  • Full Council meets on the last Friday of each month (excluding December). Other meetings are held throughout the month for Council's working groups or sub committees.
  • The Minister and his/her staff are invited to attend Council meetings.
  • A representative from the Disability Services Commission (DSC) attends Council meetings as an observer.
  • A representative from the Western Australian Office of the Department of Family and Community Services attends Council meetings as an observer.
  • The Director General of the Commission provides briefings to members on matters being considered by the Commission.
  • Other members of the Commission attend meetings to brief the Council on specific matters as requested by the Council and agreed to by the Director General of the Commission.
  • Guest speakers are invited to brief Council on various issues as needed.

Meeting with the State Minister for Disability Services

Regular meetings are held with the State Minister for Disability Services to provide advice on issues currently being considered by the Council.

These meetings are attended by the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and Executive Officer. Other members of the Council who have particular knowledge about an agenda item may attend from time to time.

Meeting with the DSC Board Chairperson and the Director General, DSC

The Council does not directly advise the DSC, except through or as delegated by the Minister. 

The Council Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and Executive Officer attend monthly meetings with the DSC Board Chairperson and the Director General, DSC.

Meetings of the State and Territory Disability Advisory Councils (DAC) and the National Advisory Council on Disability and Carer Issues (NACDCI)

The Council does not directly advise the Australian Government Minister responsible for disability services. As per the Commonwealth State Territory Disability Agreement the Council liaises with the NACDCI on matters of broader national significance.

Chairs of the DAC and the NACDCI meet annually, hosted on a rotational basis and advice from these meetings is conveyed to the Australian Government Minister responsible for disability services. Additionally, several teleconferences are conducted throughout the year.

Linkage to the disability community

In accordance with the Disability Services Act 1993, the Council is required to consult widely in respect to its functions. This is considered as appropriate to provide effective information and or advice to the Minister. This includes Council members and staff attending meetings / forums within the sector as an observer and meeting regularly with significant stakeholders. It also entails consulting with stakeholders in identifying issues affecting people with a disability and in determining what advice to provide to the Minister.

Partnerships

The Council has determined that it will act in partnership with other stakeholders providing it advances its purpose to provide information and or advice to the Minister.

Council members may be asked to participate in/on various activities/committees by government departments, non government agencies and the Commission. In all cases it should be determined whether or not the invitation is personal, or as a representative of the Council. Any invitations seeking Council representation must be forwarded to the Council, the decision will then be made on the appropriateness of representation on such committee.

Confidentiality

Council members are bound by statute and Council's Code of Conduct to maintain confidential, that information which they obtain in the course of their role with the Council.  Information which is classified as confidential is that information which is not in the public arena, and has been provided in circumstances imparting an obligation of confidence.