A PROGRESS update to City of Canning council on the report resulting from the Kendall Inquiry shows the three recommendations directed at the City have been addressed.
But several councillors expressed a desire to see council look at the report in its entirety in case there were other lessons via its findings, not just its 10 recommendations.
Mayor Paul Ng launched into a speech about the update before he was pulled up by Councillor Ben Kunze on a point of order because speaking on the item should not have commenced prior to a mover and seconder being appointed.
“This is an important update report,” Cr Ng said at the February 20 council meeting.
“It shows our commitments to proving the governance of the City. The report outlines our success in meeting our obligation to address the Kendall recommendations.”
At the end of the debate, the mayor said as elected members they were responsible in acting in good faith every time, and their keeping assigned roles and not becoming enmeshed in the administration of the council.
The update was requested by council in November last year.
Council asked the chief executive to present a detailed report on the City’s progress regarding the recommendations of the Kendall report.
Of the 10 recommendations, points four, five and six were directed at the City and two could be considered by the City but were directed at the Department of Local Government.
The relevant recommendations related to a Code of Conduct regarding personal use of emails and letterheads, the availability of information to councillors, and induction training.
The report even suggested new councillors take a non-voting observer role for a set period.
While the City doesn’t have a non-voting period, it does pay for six months of structured induction training for new councillors, and in February last year approved $35,000 per elected member for learning and development activities.
Audio of all meetings was made available online to the public from September last year, the Code of Conduct reviewed, and a Hub for councillors on their City-supplied iPads is well-established.
Meeting structures changed after the inquiry, with agenda briefings held for councillors to as questions, and ordinary council meetings for debate and decisions.
Monthly Strategic Issues Briefings are kept confidential.
The onus is still on absent councillors to seek out relevant information on matters they missed, or organise a briefing with a staff member.
Other recommendations within the Kendall report were directed at the Department of Local Government or the Local Government Minister and included concern that remuneration levels were inadequate given the time requirements now imposed on elected members.