Friday, April 23, 2021

Notice of Motion: Inner West Council Complaints Management


Notice of Motion:  Review of Inner West Council Complaints Handling

That Council
  1. review the Management of Complaints including accessibility of information on website, reporting, performance, the Internal Ombudsman Shared Service and alignment with the NSW Ombudsman's best practice guidelines and the Procedures for Handling Code of Conduct Complaints.
  2. report the outcome of the review to Councillors at the July ordinary Council meeting 

Background

In accordance with the NSW Ombudsman's guidance, the COMPLAINTS HANDLING POLICY was due to be reviewed last November.

"This policy is subject to regular review at a maximum interval of two years. Any recognised change to relevant legislation, directives or guidelines issued by agencies including the NSW Ombudsman and the Office of Local Government will instigate an immediate review of this policy to reflect any changes." viewed 20 April 2021Source: Complaints Handling Policy (adopted
27/11/2018) https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/955/Complaints%20Handling%20Policy.pdf.aspx

With regard to the use of "Internal Ombudsman" The Association of Ombudsman have raised concerns:"It is a contradiction in terms, for example, to describe a body as an ‘internal ombudsman’
or to apply the description to a body that is subject to the direction of a government minister or industry body.//The Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association (ANZOA) is concerned to ensure appropriate use of the term Ombudsman. Our view is that a body should not be described as an Ombudsman unless it complies with six essential criteria addressing independence, jurisdiction, powers, accessibility, procedural fairnessand accountability./" Source: ESSENTIAL CRITERIA FOR DESCRIBING A BODY AS AN OMBUDSMAN Policy statement endorsed on 5 February 2010 by the Executive Committee of the Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association (ANZOA) - viewed 20 April 2021 https://www.ombudsman.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/31434/ANZOA-Essential_criteria_for_describing_a_body_as_an_Ombudsman.pdf

 

May be an image of outdoors
Footpath Hole - reported to council no action - then reported to AUSGRID and fixed - Council Service Request should have been passed on to AUSGRID especially as SNAP send solve no longer working. Instagram reporting failed - had to report via AUSGRID site then was fixed. Instagram Posts Fixed, hazard warning installed, problem first noticed reported via Instagram@innerwestcouncil outside 99 johnston st #annandale2038 @telstra @ausgrid_official
 

History of the Motion, Research and References

I seconded and supported pulling out of the shared Internal Ombudsman Service on 20 April 2021. Clr Steer put up amendments which were incorporated.

The Mayor (as Chair of the meeting) used his casting vote not to initiate withdrawal of Inner West Council from the Shared Internal Ombudsman Service - where the tied vote was 5 Labor+Hesse/Kiat vs 2 Libs/Macri/Stamolis/Porteous/Steer/DaCruz - 

The vote to pull out was 7-7 and the Mayor used his casting vote to remain the status quo. The Mayor took to facebook and email by "Local Labor"  about the withdrawal of Inner West Council from the Internal Ombudsman Shared Service using  INDEPENDENT OMBUDSMAN instead of "INTERNAL OMBUDSMAN" and phrases like the Independent Umpire.

My objection to the Internal Ombudsman Shared Service is two-fold:

1. Is the use of the term Internal Ombudsman which is often incorrectly referred to as the Independent Ombudsman. Indeed Local Labor/Mayor has used the term Independent Ombudsman and even Independent Umpire in their posts. The Internal Ombudsman Shared Service reports to the three general managers of Inner West/Parramatta and Cumberland Councils making it far from Independent.

2. As a large council going through an amalgamation of our policies and procedures a complaints co-ordinator has a very important role in establishing good processes across a council in the course of resolving complaints. A partime co-ordinator who is trying to pretend to be independent would find this difficult.

The Ombudsman's Association warns:

"It is a contradiction in terms, for example, to describe a body as an ‘internal ombudsman’ or to apply the description to a body that is subject to the direction of a government minister or industry body. The Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association (ANZOA) is concerned to ensure appropriate use of the term Ombudsman. Our view is that a body should not be described as an Ombudsman unless it complies with six essential criteria addressing independence, jurisdiction, powers, accessibility, procedural fairness and accountability." -ESSENTIAL CRITERIA FOR DESCRIBING A BODY AS AN OMBUDSMAN Policy statement endorsed on 5 February 2010 by the Executive Committee of the Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association (ANZOA) https://www.ombudsman.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/31434/ANZOA-Essential_criteria_for_describing_a_body_as_an_Ombudsman.pdf


Further research noting (Mayor has office of $538,000 of staff and the other 14 councillors share 2 staff) revealed a review of the Complaints Handling Policy was due November 2020!

Main Legislative Or Regulatory is NSW Ombudsman’s model policy for complaint handling(2015) Adopted 27/11/2018 This policy is subject to regular review at a maximum interval of two years. Any recognised change to relevant legislation, directives or guidelines issued by agencies including the NSW Ombudsman and the Office of Local Government will instigate an immediate review of this policy to reflect any changes. https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/955/Complaints%20Handling%20Policy.pdf.aspx

It should be noted that the Internal Ombudsman manages the Code of Conduct Investigations allocating investigations to particular Investigators from a panel confirmed by council (the requirement of a confirmation by councillors was an amendment put up by Steer and myself - otherwise the GM or other individual could arbitrarily appoint investigators to the panel.

Adoption of Code of Conduct Procedures: Ordinary Council Meeting 25 August 2020

C0820(2) Item 3 Changes to the Code of Conduct, Procedures for the Administration of the Code of Conduct and Code of Meeting Practice

Motion: (Da Cruz/Steer) THAT Council adopt the amended Code of Conduct, Procedures for the Administration of the Code of Conduct and Code of Meeting Practice with the following amendments:

1. Retain:

a) The $50 gift limit; 

b) The token cap on the value of meals and refreshments that may be accepted by Council officials in conjunction with the performance of their official duties; and 

c) The appointment of Reviewers is by Council resolution.

2. The Code of Meeting practice to be amended to incorporate the amendments to the ACT as set out in the OLG 20-09 Circular Compliance with social distancing requirements to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus at Council and committee meetings to permit Council and committee meetings to be held remotely, and individual councillors can participate in meetings remotely. 

Motion Carried
For Motion: Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Hesse, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Steer and York
Against Motion: Crs Passas, Raciti and Stamolis
Foreshadowed Motion (Passas/Stamolis) 

THAT this item be deferred for a briefing with a legal representative present.
This Foreshadowed Motion lapsed.
https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2020/08/C_25082020_MIN_3820_WEB.htm

Procedures for the Administration of the Model Code of Conduct (adopted August 2020)

Clause 13.1 of the Procedures for the Administration of the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW requires that information about Code of Conduct complaints and their management and investigation, is to be treated as confidential and is not to be publicly disclosed except as may be otherwise specifically required or permitted under the Procedures. 

2.20 The person appointed as complaints coordinator or alternate complaints coordinator must also be a nominated disclosures coordinator appointed for the purpose of receiving and managing reports of wrongdoing under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994.

2.21 The role of the complaints coordinator is to:
a) coordinate the management of complaints made under the council’s code of conduct
b) liaise with and provide administrative support to a conduct reviewer
c) liaise with the Office, and
d) arrange the annual reporting of code of conduct complaints statistics.

10.1 The complaints coordinator must arrange for the following statistics to be reported to the council within 3 months of the end of September of each year:

  • the total number of code of conduct complaints made about councillors and the general manager under the code of conduct in the year to September (the reporting period)
  • the number of code of conduct complaints referred to a conduct reviewer during the reporting period
  • the number of code of conduct complaints finalised by a conduct reviewer at the preliminary assessment stage during the reporting period and the outcome of those complaints
  • the number of code of conduct complaints investigated by a conduct reviewer during the reporting period without identifying particular matters, the outcome of investigations completed under these procedures during the reporting period
  • the number of matters reviewed by the Office during the reporting period and, without identifying particular matters, the outcome of the reviews, and
  • the total cost of dealing with code of conduct complaints made about councillors and the general manager during the reporting period, including staff costs.

10.2 The council is to provide the Office with a report containing the statistics referred to in clause 11.1 within 3 months of the end of September of each year.

https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/955/Procedures%20for%20Administration%20of%20the%20Code%20of%20Conduct.docx.aspx

  Inner West Complaints Handling Policy

The Inner West Complaints Handling Policy was adopted in November 2018 and due for review November 2020.

The Policy is not an overarching policy covering triage and excludes the following (as reproduced from the policy):

  • staff grievances - see our grievance policy [not available on website]
  • public interest disclosures made by our staff - see our internal reporting policy [Obligations and responsibilities of local government general managersThis fact sheet sets out the obligations and responsibilities of local government general managers in relation to the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 (PID Act) and any reports of wrongdoing received by the council under
  • the Act. https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/news-and-publications/publications/fact-sheets/public-interest-disclosures/obligations-and-responsiblities-of-local-government-general-managers]
  • code of conduct complaints - see our code of conduct -Procedures for Code of Conduct [adopted August 2020]
  • responses to requests for feedback about the standard of our service provision - see the definition of ‘feedback’ below [ Feedback:Opinions, comments and expressions of interest or concern to Council about our services or complaint handling where a response is not explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.]
  • reports of problems or wrongdoing merely intended to bring a problem to our notice with no expectation of a response - see definition of ‘feedback’ below
  • [ Feedback:Opinions, comments and expressions of interest or concern to Council about our services or complaint handling where a response is not explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.]
  • service requests - see definition of ‘service request’ below, [Service request:Service requests include requests for approval; requests for action; routine inquiries about Council’s business; requests for the provision of services and assistance; reports of failure to comply with laws regulated by Council; and requests for explanation of policies, procedures and decisions.] and
  • requests for information - see our access to information policy [
  • Public access to information policy on Website]

Council provides information on website at different locations about

  • the three tiered complaints system Officer Review, Internal Ombudsman and NSW Ombudsman at https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/about/get-in-touch/feedback-and-complaints
  • the Internal Ombudsman Shared Service at https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/about/the-council/internal-ombudsman
  • How to complain about a certifier https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/develop/building-certification/principal-certifiers-and-the-role-of-council/how-to-complain-about-a-certifier

The 2018 resolution included six monthly reporting to council and on the website - this has not happened;

C1118(2) Item 21 Complaints Handling Policy
Motion: (Da Cruz/Kiat)
THAT Council:
1. Adopt the amended Complaints Handling policy shown as Attachment 1 incorporating six monthly report on complaint statistics to be published on website;
2. Receive a six monthly report summarising the types of complaints received and actions to address issues identified; and
3. Rescind the below legacy policies of the former Ashfield, Marrickville and Leichhardt councils:
- Customer Complaints Policy (Ashfield);
- Service Complaints Policy (Leichhardt); and
- Council Complaint Management Policy (Marrickville).
Motion Carried
For Motion: Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Hesse, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Passas, Porteous, Raciti, Stamolis, Steer and York
Against Motion: Nil

Minutes Council Meeting 27 November 2018 https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2018/11/C_27112018_MIN_2657_WEB.htm

Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 (PID Act) 

Obligations and responsibilities of local government general managers
This fact sheet sets out the obligations and responsibilities of local government general managers in relation to the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 (PID Act) and any reports of wrongdoing received by the council under
the Act. https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/news-and-publications/publications/fact-sheets/public-interest-disclosures/obligations-and-responsiblities-of-local-government-general-managers

Inner West Council Current Complaints Policy - Definition of a Complaint

"A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with the level or quality of the service provided by Inner West Council. This includes dissatisfaction with the outcome of a decision, level or quality of service, the failure to adhere to a policy or procedure, or behaviour of an employee or agent, whichcan be investigated and acted upon.
A complaint covered by this policy can be distinguished from the following:

  • staff grievances - see our grievance policy
  • public interest disclosures made by our staff - see our internal reporting policy
  • code of conduct complaints - see our code of conduct
  • responses to requests for feedback about the standard of our service provision - see the
  • definition of ‘feedback’ below
  • reports of problems or wrongdoing merely intended to bring a problem to our notice with no
  • expectation of a response - see definition of ‘feedback’ below
  • service requests - see definition of ‘service request’ below, and
  • requests for information - see our access to information policy

Minutes of Ordinary Council Meeting held on 10 March 2020 at Ashfield Service Centre

C0320(2) Item 11 Code of Conduct Complaint Investigation
Motion (York/Passas) THAT Council publish the finding and recommendations of the conduct reviewer’s report in the minutes of this meeting. Motion Carried
For Motion: Crs Da Cruz, Hesse, Iskandar, Macri, McKenna OAM, Passas, Porteous, Raciti, Stamolis, Steer and York Against Motion: Nil Absent: Crs Byrne and Lockie

Motion (York/Passas) THAT Council make minor amendments to the Social Media Policy for Councillors as recommended in the final investigation report. Motion Lost
For Motion: Crs Iskandar, Macri, McKenna OAM, Raciti and York
Against Motion: Crs Da Cruz, Hesse, Passas, Porteous, Stamolis and Steer Absent: Crs Byrne and Lockie 

http://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2020/04/C_21042020_AGN_3818_AT.htm

Code of Conduct Complaints Statistic Report:  Extraordinary Council Meeting 5 February 2019

Item No: C0219 Item 1
Subject: Code of Conduct Complaints Statistic Report
Prepared By: Suellen Bullock - Internal Ombudsman
Authorised By: Rik Hart - Interim General Manager 

SUMMARY :To provide Council with a report on Model Code of Conduct Complaint Statistics as required by the Procedures for the Administration of the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW.

RECOMMENDATION: THAT Council receive and note the report on the statistical data about Code of Conduct complaints relating to Councillors and the General Manager, and, that as required by the Procedures for the Administration of the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW, a statistical report has been provided to the Office of Local Government for the 12 months ending 31 August 2018.
BACKGROUND: Part 12 of the Procedures for the Administration of the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW requires that Council’s Complaints Coordinator must report annually to the Council and to the Office of Local Government on a range of complaint statistics within three months of the end of each September. The prescribed annual reporting period is from 01 September to 31 August each year. The Internal Ombudsman, Suellen Bullock, and Assistant Internal Ombudsman, Rodney O’Donahue, are Complaints Coordinators for Inner West Council. Under the Procedures for the Administration of the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW, the requisite reporting relates to complaints about Councillors and the General Manager only, and not about other Council staff.

REPORT

As required by the Procedures for the Administration of the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW, the following information is provided to Council and has also been provided to the Office of Local Government for the reporting period of 01 September 2017 to 31 August 2018.

a) the total number of Code of Conduct complaints made about Councillors and the General Manager under the Code of Conduct in the year to September

There were ten (10) Code of Conduct complaints made against Councillors and no Code of Conduct complaints against the General Manager. It is important to note that two different complainants each made complaints about three individual Councillors and the conduct reviewer made a different determination in relation to each of the Councillors, the subject of the complaints. Advice from the Office of Local Government’s Performance Team is that in circumstances where there was one complainant complaining about, for example, three different Councillors, with different preliminary assessment outcomes being determined by the conduct reviewer, then this should be considered to be three separate Code of Conduct complaints.

b) the number of Code of Conduct complaints referred to a conduct reviewer

There were eight (8) Code of Conduct complaints referred to a conduct reviewer for preliminary assessment. There were an additional two (2) complaints which were not referred to a conduct reviewer but were resolved by alternative means at the outset by the General Manager. 

c) the number of Code of Conduct complaints finalised by a conduct reviewer at the preliminary assessment stage and the outcome of those complaints

There were five (5) Code of Conduct complaints finalised at the preliminary assessment stage. Of these five (5) complaints, the conduct reviewer determined that three (3) complaints resulted in a determination that no action be taken. Two (2) complaints were resolved by the conduct reviewer dealing with them by alternative and appropriate means including informal discussion and explanation.

d) the number of Code of Conduct complaints investigated by a conduct reviewer

During the reporting period, one (1) complaint has been referred for a formal investigation following a preliminary assessment. This investigation is ongoing at the time of reporting.

e) the number of Code of Conduct complaints investigated by a conduct review committee

There have been no Code of Conduct complaints referred to or investigated by a conduct review committee.

f) without identifying particular matters, the outcome of Code of Conduct complaints investigated by a conduct reviewer or conduct review committee under these procedures

As there have been no matters investigated by a conduct reviewer or a conduct review committee, there are no outcomes to report.

g) the number of matters reviewed by the Division and, without identifying particular matters, the outcome of the reviews

As a result of preliminary assessments by a conduct reviewer, two complaints were referred to the Division for consideration. At the time of reporting, no outcome has been advised by the Division.

h) The total cost of dealing with Code of Conduct complaints made about Councillors and the general manager in the year to September, including staff costs.

The total cost of dealing with Code of Conduct complaints is $18,139.00.
 http://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2019/02/C_05022019_AGN_3691_AT_EXTRA.htm

Internal Ombudsman Shared Service 

The Internal Ombudsman service reports to a board made of the three GMs of the three amalgamated Councils. It is the internal complaints handler for the three councils:

"15.3 The Internal Ombudsman Shared Service shall report administratively to each member Council’s General Manager or Chief Executive Officer, and to the Internal Ombudsman Shared Service Management Committee regarding all other matters." https://www.cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/sites/council/files/2020-12/IOSS%20Governance%20Charter%20-%20October%202020.pdf -

The Internal Ombudsman Shared Service (IOSS) provides residents, community members, ratepayers, local businesses, staff, Councillors and other Council Stakeholders with an “independent ear” regarding complaints about:
administrative conduct unethical behaviour by Council corrupt conduct misconduct or maladministration

The service also assists the Councils with policy development and review and training in relation to good governance and administrative conduct.

All operations are underpinned by principles of procedural fairness, accountability and transparency.

The service is shared by City of Parramatta, Cumberland City and Inner West councils and operates under the Internal Ombudsman Shared Service Governance Charter. 

14. Performance Reporting
14.1 In addition to the confidential reporting of each matter investigated to the member Council, the Internal Ombudsman Shared Service will prepare and submit quarterly reports to each member Council, or as determined by the Internal Ombudsman Shared Service Management Committee, on the operations of the Internal Ombudsman Shared Service shared service.
14.2 The Internal Ombudsman Shared Service Performance Report will include but not limited to the following details:
a) A summary of the matters received including: how they were processed; the source of the
complaint; and the types of complaints received.
b) A summary of the investigations conducted and their recommendations.
c) Educations activities conducted.
d) Probity advice provided.
e) Promotion and media activities.
f) Issues identified for future review.
g) Trends identified in matters received or investigated.
h) Other performance indicators.
i) Financial performance.
j) Future directions
k) Other procedural matters of note.

https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/about/the-council/internal-ombudsman

 Complaints Handling Policy

IOSS 19/20 Annual Report

Case Study on Volunteers

A number of individual complaints were received by the IOSS alleging a breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct by a Council staff member in relation to the complainants being terminated from a volunteer program of the Council. The complainants had been long term volunteers and they alleged amongst other matters that they were not provided with the opportunity of answering Council’s
concerns about their conduct as volunteers before being terminated from the volunteer program.
The investigation found that there was no breach of Council’s Code of Conduct by the staff member but recommended that the Council develop a Volunteer Policy with guidelines and protocols as to how to implement Volunteer Programs, including having consistent and transparent procedures for
the selection of volunteers, and processes for dealing in a procedurally fair manner with disputes and reviews of Council decisions relating to volunteer programs.
The IOSS provided significant input into the new Volunteer Protocol. 
 
Assessing the condition of public trees
Noting that Councils have a large number ofpublic trees and qualified Arborists to conduct assessments, there is no standard procedures or framework for the recording and assessing of public trees. Recommendations were made to implement an assessment methodology to review and assess the condition and status ofpublic trees within Council areas, to standard-ise assessments, ensure adequate record keep-
ing from a risk and liability perspective and assist in more efficient and consistent reviews.
Further recommendations were made to re-view relevant Guidelines and update availableinformation of Council’s website. 
 
 
 
 

NOW IS THE TIME!

NOW IS THE TIME!

With the US pledging to half its Carbon Emissions by 2030 - the Inner West needs to ride the waves and not resist the tide.

Inner West Council declared a Climate Emergency in May 2019 on my Notice of Motion.

The COVID Lockdown has seen a dramatic drop in Emissions and we enjoyed the walking and cycling in the Clear Air and empty roads. The Return of aircraft to our skies are an unwelcome return to normality.


Emissions form Electricity were already dropping but we need to transition our systems to renewal and away from Coal, Gas and Oil.


We still need to tackle Carbon Emission from Transport and Gas and ofcourse increase the Tree Canopy and Green Space. Better design of our homes to be naturally more comfortable and streets to prioritise low carbon travel in our urban design.
 
Make a submission to the Design and Place SEPP before 28 April 2021.https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/State-Environmental-Planning-Policies-Review/Design-and-Place-SEPP

Source of Graphs and more information in latest National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Quarterly Update: September 2020 https://www.industry.gov.au/data-and-publications/national-greenhouse-gas-inventory-quarterly-update-september-2020
 


Local Emissions - Year unknown - Inner West Climate Strategy
 







Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Inner West Council needs 2 Meetings a month and Oversight!

Last night's  council meeting was a demonstration of why we need fortnightly Council meetings and proper reports presented for consideration by Council.

Non-urgent Mayoral Minutes were put up which sought to establish Council Positions despite containing no comments from Council Officers.

Insufficient information in an illegible format was published. Councillors were informed they were voting on Domestic Waste Services on which they were briefed but with no supporting report.

The mayor as chair of the meeting and claiming to be an expert on Meeting procedure kept throwing to officers for rulings.

It was good to see so many speakers at the meeting - but this should not have been the first time Councillors heard their arguments!

The speaker for item 2 raised issues with the accuracy of the report on the council papers! Item No: C0421(1) Item 2 Subject: Live music and entertainment conditions https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2021/04/C_13042021_AGN_3828_AT_WEB.htm 

On a more positive note there were good speakers for the Iron Cove Creek Link! Part of Item No:C0421(1) Item 24 Subject: Notice of Motion: Pedestrian and Cyclist Access to Ashfield Pool  https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2021/04/C_13042021_AGN_3828_AT_WEB.htm   

And unanimous support for the condolence motion for Haberfield Resident Nuala Catherine Reavey Ward.

Vale Nuala Catherine Reavey Ward
Nuala Catherine Reavey Ward, lost her 30 mth battle with triple negative breast cancer on 31 March 2021 aged 46.
Nuala was an accomplished musician, Irish Dancing Champion, with a BSc and BE (Hons) from Sydney University she was awarded a Cambridge University Master of Philosophy in Computer Speech & Language Processing.
After 20 years Telecommunications Engineering experience at Alcatel and Nokia, she was appointed Consulting Partner at the prestigious Bell Labs.
Nuala and her Belgium born husband Dirk Notelaers settled in Haberfield in 2004. Their musical talents have inspired daughters Annelies(12) and Aoife(10).
Nuala was passionate about encouraging and promoting women in Engineering, often giving her time attending school assemblies to speak directly to girls on a future in engineering. She was active in the IEEE and in Business Chicks.
Nuala also found time to be involve in her local community: in the P&C at Haberfield Public School, where she served as treasurer, in the Haberfield Association, and in wildlife conservation and protection. At the height of the bushfires in 2020, despite her own battle with cancer she was making hundreds of “Bat Wraps”.
Nuala was much loved by her family, friends and work colleagues and her Haberfield parents: Deirdre and Malachy Ward. She will be much missed by the community.

Council Meetings and GM Delegations

Return to Monthly meetings and retain $1.5million delegation at December 2020 Meeting
C1220(1) Item 5 2021 Council Meeting and Briefing Schedule

Motion: (Porteous/Passas) THAT Council:
1. Adopt the following Council Meeting Schedule in 2021:
Tuesday 9 February; Tuesday 23 February;
Tuesday 9 March; Tuesday 23 March;
Tuesday 13 April; Tuesday 27 April;
Tuesday 11 May; Tuesday 25 May;
Tuesday 8 June; Tuesday 22 June;
Tuesday 20 July;
Tuesday 10 August; Tuesday 24 August;
Tuesday 21 September;
Tuesday 12 October; Tuesday 26 October;
Tuesday 9 November; Tuesday 23 November; and
Tuesday 7 December.
2. Publish the Council Meeting Schedule on Council’s website and Service Centres;

3. Receives a report on the operation of the meeting cycle at its May meeting; and
4. Receive a briefing on communication processes incorporating site visits, councillor briefings, workshops and committees to complement Council Meetings.
Motion Lost
For Motion: Crs Da Cruz, Hesse, Passas, Porteous, Stamolis and Steer
Against Motion: Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM and York

Foreshadowed Motion (Lockie/McKenna OAM) THAT Council:

1. Adopt the following Council Meeting Schedule in 2021:
Tuesday, 9 February,
Tuesday 9 March

Tuesday 13 April
Tuesday 11 May
Tuesday 8 June
Tuesday 20 July
Tuesday 10 August
Tuesday 21 September
Tuesday 12 October
Tuesday 9 November
Tuesday 7 December
2. Publish the Council Meeting Schedule on Council’s website and Service Centres;
3. Receives a report on the operation of the new meeting cycle at its May meeting; and
4. Receive a briefing on communication processes incorporating site visits, councillor briefings, workshops and committees to complement Council Meetings.
Motion Carried
For Motion: Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM and York
Against Motion: Crs Da Cruz, Hesse, Passas, Porteous, Stamolis and Steer
Absent: Cr Kiat

Source: Minutes Council Meeting 8 December 2020 https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2020/12/C_08122020_MIN_3761_WEB.htm

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Mayoral and Councillor Expenses and Facilities Policy

In July 2017 it was resolved by the Administrator that there would be 2 staff for the Mayor and 4 to be shared between the other 14 councillors. Many of the sacked former Ashfield, Marrickville and Leichhardt Councillors took up appointments on the administrators advisory committee and I expect advised on the resourcing. 

There has been no transparency of the structure of the Mayors office and there is not even a current staff structure on the council website. Councillors resolved in July 2018 in adopting the Councillors Facilities and Expenses policy to receive quarterly reports on expenditure against budget. 

From 2 staff supporting the Mayor and 4 staff supporting the councillors  to 2 supporting the Councillors and a blow out in Mayoral Facilities reported in an exclusive article in the SMH.

Exclusive use’: Sydney mayor’s estimated $500k team revealed amid GM stoush By Angus Thompson, April 10, 2021 — 5.00am https://www.smh.com.au/national/exclusive-use-sydney-mayor-s-estimated-500k-team-revealed-amid-gm-stoush-20210409-p57hql.html

July 2017 Resolution: 

"Number of exclusive staff supporting Mayor and Councillors [where applicable Clause 10] Six staff, Two staff supporting the Mayor and four staff supporting the councillors" - Supplementary Agenda 1 Council Meeting/minutes TUESDAY 25 JULY 2017 https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/

Adoption of the policy (3 July 2018)

"As the amendment was carried, it was included as part of the primary motion.
3. To provide a quarterly update of total actual expenditure versus facilities budget.
Motion Carried
For Motion: Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Hesse, Iskandar, Kiat, Macri, , Passas, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York
Against Motion: Cr McKenna OAM "

Source: C0718 Item 3  Councillor Expenses and Facilities Policy, Extraordinary Council Meeting 3 July 2018 https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2018/07/C_03072018_MIN_EXTRA_WEB.htm

C0718 Item 5      Delegations to the General Manager - Contracts

Motion: (York/Drury)

THAT: 

1. The information be received and noted and that Council delegate to the General Manager power to enter into contracts up to $1,500,000; and  

2. Information on tenders issued and awarded under delegations by the General Manager be reported to Council for information only at the next possible council meeting.

Motion Carried
For Motion: Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Macri, McKenna OAM, Passas and York
Against Motion: Crs Da Cruz, Hesse, Kiat, Porteous, Stamolis and Steer

Amendment (Porteous/Stamolis)
THAT point 1 be replaced with “the information be received and noted and that Council delegate to the General Manager power to enter into contracts for tenders be up to $500,000”
Motion Lost
For Motion: Crs Da Cruz, Hesse, Kiat, Porteous, Stamolis and Steer
Against Motion: Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Macri, McKenna OAM, Passas and York  

Foreshadowed Motion (Kiat)
THAT Council delegate to the General Manager the power to enter into contracts except those for which Council must invite tenders as per the Local Government Act.

This Foreshadowed Motion lapsed.

Source Minutes Extraordinary Council Meeting 3 July 2018 https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2018/07/C_03072018_MIN_EXTRA_WEB.htm

Mayoral and Councillor Expenses and Facilities Policy adopted July 2018

"This policy enables the reasonable and appropriate reimbursement of expenses and provision of facilities to Councillors to help them undertake their civic duties....
 

10. Additional facilities for the Mayor

10.1 Council will provide to the Mayor a maintained vehicle to a similar standard of other Council vehicles, with a toll tag and a fuel card. The vehicle will be supplied for use on business, professional development and attendance at the Mayor's office.

10.2The Mayor must keep a log book setting out the date, distance and purpose of all travel. This must include any travel for private benefit. The log book must be submitted to Council on a monthly basis.

10.3 The Mayoral Allowance will be reduced to cover the cost of any private travel recorded in the log book, calculated on a per kilometre basis by the rate set by the Local Government (State) Award.

10.4 A parking space at Council’s offices will be reserved for the Mayor’s Council-issued vehicle for use on official business, professional development and attendance at the Mayor’s officee

10.5 Council will provide the Mayor with a furnished office incorporating a computer configured to Council’s standard operating environment, telephone and meeting space.

10.6 In performing their civic duties, the Mayor and councillors will be assisted by a small number of staff providing administrative and secretarial support, as determined by the General Manager.

10.7 As per Section 4, staff in the Mayor’s office are expected to work on official business only, and not for matters of personal or political interest, including campaigning.

Traffic or parking fines incurred while travelling in private or Council vehicles on Council business is the sole responsibility of the person driving the vehicle."

Source: Expenses and Facilities Policy, 6 July 2018, This policy applies to the elected Council. ID Number:76976.18 Custodian:Group Manager Integration, Customer Service, Business Excellence and Civic and Executive Support Approval: Council 11 September 2018 https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/about/policies-plans-and-regulations/policies

 

 

 


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