Statement regarding Civic Centre investigation
Published on 24 January 2020
Council wishes to dispel any perception that it is trivialising the recent Civic Centre investigation by the NSW Ombudsman, and reiterate that the recent report is being treated with utmost seriousness.
Council fully acknowledges that it used the facility for the Civic Ball, and Growing Families and National Party conferences without proper occupation certification, and switched audio-visual suppliers without following correct tendering procedures.
Council recognises that it should have halted the Civic Centre project, or paused the project and tried to correct its trajectory. Failure to do so placed Council under significant, ongoing duress, which contributed to incorrect decisions being made regarding the use of the facility.
Although Council has the capacity to make the report public, it has chosen not to do so at this time as it may compromise ongoing legal proceedings related to the Civic Centre project.
An Extraordinary Meeting was called earlier this month to consider the Ombudsman's report, and the following recommendations were passed:
1. That Mayoral Minute No. 2/20 dated January 9, 2020, be received.
2. That Council commits to working closely with the DPIE to improve processes.
3. That Council commits to working closely with the OLG to improve processes.
4. That Council commits to working closely with both DPIE and OLG on any legislative reform.
5. That the Confidential Final Report be formally presented to the Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee at its next meeting to be held February 2020.
6. That the Audit, Risk and Improvement committee review the draft project management framework at its next meeting.
7. That Council note the engagement of external or independent third parties to assess development applications where it is the proponent.
8. That an MOU be established where the reciprocal agreement to assess development applications is with another council and this process be publicly advised.
9. That where Broken Hill City Council uses an independent third party such as a consultant to assess development applications for which it is the proponent, Council engage the consultant from an industry panel established through local government procurement and this process be publicly advised.
10. Council is committed to continually improving its practices and procedures to ensure best practice is part of Council’s culture and that a further round of PID training will be delivered in the 2020 calendar year.
11. That the Mayor discuss future training requirements with the General Manager.
Since the events of 2017 Council has worked diligently to vastly improve the project management, risk management, and workplace safety aspects of its operations, and we wish to assure the community that we will continue to do so into the future.