TRAINING for both staff and councillors is a big focus of the recommendations for improvement, as inadequate training underpinned many problems leading up to the suspension.
The inquiry report says a lack of staff training contributed to illegitimate voters being registered, candidates with no right to run being accepted onto the ballot, improper reimbursements being given to councillors, and complaints being dismissed without proper investigation.
The lack of training was confirmed by a 2018 independent report by Tower Human Capital Group that surveyed hundreds of staff.
One question asked staff: “Have you undertaken non-compliance training on (council’s online training website) City Learn and only 109 out of 247 said they had.
Dozens gave “don’t know” responses including:
• “What is non-compliance training?”;
• “What is non-compliance?”;
• “Do not understand this question”;
• “I don’t understand what this means”;
• “I don’t know what this is”;
• “Non-compliance for what? I don’t know what this is”; and
• One respondent said they “do not get City Learn as we don’t have computers”.
Some training has already been completed in areas including risk management and financial management, and future annual reports will have to include the percentage of staff being trained about the city’s code of conduct.