City of Perth councillors vote against ‘in principle support’ for implementing audit recommendations

City of Perth's Council House.
City of Perth's Council House.

PERTH council voted against expressing “in principle support” for implementing the recommendations of its $500,000 internal audit.

The audit, conducted by Deloitte, uncovered a range of serious operational problems within the City, including inefficient procurement processes and poor communication between departments.

The audit had been announced by Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi as an exercise that would reassure the public that the City was running well.

At council last Tuesday, councillor Reece Harley moved to amend a resolution “accepting the report” from the audit, saying it did not go far enough.

“We need to adopt in principle support for implementing the five key recommendations,” he said.

Councillors James Limnios and Jemma Green voted in favour of the amendment, but it was defeated by Ms Scaffidi and Crs Judy McEvoy, Janet Davidson, Jim Adamos, Keith Yong and Lily Chen.

Discussing the main motion – to accept the audit report – the Lord Mayor said it was a “completely cleansing process” and that she would like to see “other local governments have the guts to do what we did”.

The main motion passed by the council included a resolution that “an organisational response and prioritisation plan will be prepared and submitted to the Audit and Risk Committee, then council for adoption of an implementation plan “.

Perth chief executive Martin Mileham said protocols would be prepared for the implementation of the report’s recommendations.

In regards to the problematic gap between expenditure and revenue identified by the audit, Ms Scaffidi noted the City had invested heavily in infrastructure in recent years, including the new library building.

Cr Limnios praised the work of the City’s ‎director of economic development and activation Annaliese Battista on the report, and said that fixing the City’s efficiency problems would enable them to “give more back to the people” without increasing fees and rates.

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