Friday, 11 July 2014

What on earth did Clarence Valley Council management tell the NSW Division of Local Government?

This is what the NSW Division of Local Government stated about Code Of Conduct complaints reporting:

From December 2013, councils will be required to report statistics on code of conduct complaints about councillors and the General Manager and the cost of dealing with complaints. This information is to be reported to both the council and the Division.
The numbers of code of conduct complaints received by a council about its councillors or the General Manager is often an indicator of the internal health of the organisation. Code of conduct complaints are often symptomatic of political infighting or interpersonal conflict.

This is an important accountability mechanism providing communities with an insight into whether the governing body of their council is being distracted by infighting and how much public money is being spent to deal with this. It also provides the Division with a broad overview of how councils are applying their codes of conduct which may inform future reviews of the Model Code framework.

This information in relation to each council will be made publicly available annually from early 2014.

These snapshots are excerpts the statistical information covering the 2012-13 reporting period which was supplied to Clarence Valley councillors by the General Manager on 12 and 19 November 2013:

And this appears to be what Council management told the NSW Division of Local Government and it published in its 30 June 2014 Comparative Information on NSW Local Government 2012/13

Now it is public knowledge that that the information supplied to councillors on 12 & 19 November 2013 was incorrect, because on the 10 & 24 June 2014 the General Manager told councillors that:

The statistical document for submission to the Office of Local Government however had some clerical errors in it….
The statistical document was forwarded as required to the Office of Local Government.
The Office of Local Government has not yet published the collective statistics for NSW.
The Office of Local Government has been advised of the errors and an amended statistical return has been provided.
Council has been advised by the Office of Local Government that the correct statistical information has been now included in their records.
The Office of Local Government in the near future is expected to publish the collective statistics for Code of Conduct complaints which will include the correct statistics for Clarence Valley

This may leave the reader as puzzled as I – for the Code of Conduct complaints have gone from two complaints with one investigated and action taken to two complaints investigated requiring action and the cost has risen from $14,900 to $19,900. While the false statistical report of 12 and 19 November 2013 (which implied that disciplinary action had been taken against a councillor) apparently still stands on the official record.

What on earth did Clarence Valley Council management actually tell the NSW Division of Local Government?

1 comment:

John Hancocks said...

Surely their can't be a mistake, Mr. Greensill is a well known expert in the field of code of conduct matters. However methinks there COULD be reference here to Councillor Toms (Absolved) and Ranger Hallam (Finding overturned, surely a sensitive one in light of past events in Singleton?)