Thursday, April 25, 2024

Dubbo delays independent complaints investigator vote

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) has delayed a vote to appoint an independent investigator to assist with future Code of Conduct complaints.

At its Ordinary Meeting, a report from Council’s CEO outlined DRC’s current policies and procedures to manage code of conduct complaints, and also addressed the possibility of engaging an independent advisor to assist Council in future Code of Conduct complaints.

The report proposed that Council engage three separate, independent companies to assist with the management of Code of Conduct complaints to address three key areas: reviewing previous complaints, managing and investigating current complaints, and provide an avenue for future complaints.

Councillors resolved to note the correspondence it received from the Office of Local Government’s Mr Luke Walton, Acting Deputy Secretary, concerning code of conduct complaints.

Council also resolved to seek advice from Local Government NSW on options for an independent and pro-active approach to ensuring that alleged breaches of Council’s Code of Conduct are able to be made with confidence that they will be properly considered and managed in accordance with the Procedures for the Administration of the Model Code of Conduct.

At the same meeting, councillors also voted to remove allowances paid to any mayor who takes leave of more than one month.

The decision comes one month after Mayor Ben Shields was hospitalised following a sudden medical episode. Mayor Shields was granted leave until 26 May.

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