Practices of direct participation have been developed to supplement representative democracy, and through them, residents are able to more directly influence the preparation of matters and the decision making involved.
According to section 22 of the Local Government Act, local councils must ensure that there are diverse and effective opportunities for the residents of the municipality and service users to participate and exert an influence on the municipality’s actions.
Residents, service users, organisations and other corporate entities must be informed about the municipality’s activities. The municipality must provide sufficient information on the services it arranges, the municipality’s finances, matters under preparation in the municipality, plans concerning these, the processing of these matters, the decisions taken and their effects. Municipalities must also provide information on how to participate in and influence the preparation of decisions.