Archive for March 28th, 2010

Section 9 of the Ombudsman’s report tabled in Parliament on 24Feb10 entitled “Ombudsman’s Recommendations – Report on their Implementation” concerns conflict of interest in Local Government.

 The investigation undertaken by the Ombudsman dated March 2008 identified that the main factors contributing to conflicts of interest issues were:

  • a lack of transparency with decisions inappropriately made in private
  • inappropriate interactions between councillors and officers
  • poor organisational culture
  • poor conceptual understanding of conflict of interest rules; councillors themselves reported having difficulty in determining a conflict of interest
  • poorly worded polices relating to conflict of interest and policies and practices that did not adequately identify conflicts of interest; nor did they sufficiently monitor and control conflict of interest situations
  • the complexity of provisions in the Local Government Act 1989 (the Act) relating to conflict of interest.

As a result of this investigation 17 recommendations were made of which 4 related to review of the Local Government Act and 12 related to councils themselves.  A survey of councils to ascertain compliance with these 12 recommendations is reported.  Amendments to Local Government Act were made as a result of these recommendations effective 2 Dec 2008.

The government also announced that the Essential Services Commission would develop a performance assessment model for benchmarking the performance of Local Government.

More information can be found at the Ombudsman Victoria website

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