City of Perth to conduct audit after councillors were asked to sign declaration they didn’t leak info to media

City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi.
City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi.

PERTH Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi announced a half-million dollar audit of the City of Perth this morning after it was revealed councillors were asked to sign a statutory declaration that they did not leak information about the City’s chief executive officer.

On Tuesday evening, council discussed the probation period of chief executive Martin Mileham behind closed doors before voting 6-3 to accept the report and approve his appointment.

It has since emerged that Councillor Judy McEvoy put a statutory declaration before elected members to the effect that they did not discuss the matter with a journalist, and two councillors – James Limnios and Jemma Green – refused to sign.

Deputy Lord Mayor Limnios said he did not sign the statutory declaration on principle.

The contract of Mr Mileham is not a confidential document and is made available to the public on request.

This morning the Lord Mayor claimed “six councillors… respect” her “role as City spokesperson”, referring to the City’s ban on elected members speaking to the media.

However, the Local Government Act allows councillors to speak to the media as long as they make clear they are not speaking on behalf of the council.

The City’s ban is far more restrictive, effectively stopping elected members from saying anything, ever, to the media.

Ms Scaffidi said today that Deloitte would deliver the results of their audit before the end of the financial year, predicting it would be in front of council in June.