Double-checked decisions in city inquiry response

PERTH council decisions will be double-checked for legality and reimbursement claims published online as part of a raft of measures introduced in response to the Power inquiry. 

On September 15 the city’s stand-in commissioners approved a formal response to the 248 findings outlined in the inquiry report. 

A few dozen actions have already been completed, like tightening up elections to keep out fake votes, while others like stricter policies on reimbursement and accepting gifts are in the pipeline.

A new draft policy coming to the next council meeting requires all reimbursement claims to be scrutinised by the CEO, while independent auditors will review grants, the gift register, complaints, and contracts. Council decisions will be audited every two years to ensure they’re within the law.

Chair commissioner Andrew Hammond released a statement after the September 15 meeting saying “since the inquiry was announced in 2018, the City has been on an extensive journey of transformation. 

“While there are 248 findings that require action by the City, we have already begun to make progress. 

“When commissioners were appointed, our remit was to restore good governance at the City and we have been implementing various actions to achieve this. 

“When elected members join in October, they can continue this work and rebuild community trust.”

Around $200,000 is needed to implement additional actions, including appointing specialists, training new councillors, coaching  mayors, and reviewing the insufficient audit system. Commissioners vote on that spend at the next meeting, but the money’s already sitting in a reserve they set up to cover the costs stemming from the inquiry.

By DAVID BELL

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