Questions raised over City of Perth chief executive’s appointment process

Questions raised over City of Perth chief executive’s appointment process

A THREE-PERSON committee, rather than the full Perth Council, signed-off on City of Perth chief executive Martin Mileham’s probation key performance indicators (KPI), in what appears to be a breach of his contract.

The contract, cited by the Guardian Express, stated the council must discuss and agree on Mr Mileham’s KPIs within four weeks of the start of the probation period, which began on October 3, 2016.

At a City of Perth council meeting on March 14, at the end of Mr Mileham’s six-month probation period, councillors debated the appointment of the chief executive behind closed doors. They voted 6-3 to accept the appointment, with councillors Jemma Green, Reece Harley and James Limnios voting against.

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Asked by the Guardian Express when the full council was first given the opportunity to “discuss and assist in determining the KPIs” for the chief executive, a City of Perth spokeswoman said the “item was considered and debated by council… on 14 March” this year.

The spokeswoman said councillors were first provided a copy of the KPIs on September 22 last year and “the process followed is in line with requirements of the CEO’s contract”.

Asked in a subsequent email from Guardian Express to either re-confirm or deny that the full council did not “discuss and assist in determining the KPIs” until 14 March, the City spokeswoman declined to do so, instead stating: “The validity of the CEO’s appointment is unequivocal, as requirements of the contract were satisfied. It must be noted the CEO performance review committee recommended the appointment and council voted in support.”

The spokeswoman said council resolved on June 7, 2016 that the CEO performance review committee would undertake the recruitment process “including matters regarding KPIs”. However, the chief executive’s contract states that the full council must discuss and agree on the KPIs in the first month of probation.

Committee members Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, Cr Janet Davidson and Deputy Lord Mayor Limnios met on March 7 to discuss the appointment and voted 2-1 to recommend council approve the satisfactory conclusion of the review period for Mr Mileham, with Cr Limnios voting against.

The City spokeswoman said the KPIs were confidential under the Local Government Act and subject to change at annual reviews by the CEO performance review committee.

Local Government Minister David Templeman said he has “requested advice as to whether a breach has occurred”.