The Derwent Valley Council is taking action to improve operational performance and develop new, effective administrative procedures.
An investigation by the Director of Local Government into complaints about aspects of council office functions and actions of the General Manager and some Councillors, made in 2016, has identified further improvements to be made. A report on the investigation by the Director has been presented to the Council.
It acknowledges the efforts of the General Manager and Council to make improvements in the administration processes of the Council, in the fifteen months prior to the investigation’s commencement. Further advancements are the establishment of an induction program for new Councillors,to provide understanding and knowledge of the role of an elected member.
The Director’s report also stated the importance of maintaining separation of roles between Council staff and Councillors.
Already underway is an organisational study of the Council’s administrative processes and the relationship between senior managers and elected Councillors.
The study and subsequent report will be conducted by UTAS and will be framed on the department of Premier and Cabinet’s Good Governance Guide for Local Government in Tasmania (2016).
Council financial governance issues and a conflict of interest by a Councillor at the Derwent Valley Council were raised in the Directorate report. Future management of financial and other governance issues within Council will be strengthened by two newly‐appointed senior managers with significant experience in local government. The Mayor has withdrawn from his role as Chair of the Derwent Valley PCYC Board, resolving an identified conflict.
Councillors and the General Manager have welcomed the report recommendations, which focus on making Council operations more effective and transparent. The investigation and report supports the alignment of the Council’s operations to the legislative provisions of the Local Government Act 1993.
Quarterly reporting to the Director of Local Government, charting the progress of actions undertaken by Council to respond to the report’s recommendations will be provided by the General Manager.
Greg Winton, General Manager, Derwent Valley Council