Perth: Chair commissioner says delay in resolving some issues “unacceptable”

City of Perth Council House.
City of Perth Council House.

PERTH’S chair commissioner says the “inaction and lack of focus” from the City in resolving some internal and compliance issues has been “unacceptable”.

At last week’s council meeting, the commissioners voted unanimously to support the chief executive’s review of systems and procedures for risk management, internal control and legislative compliance for the year, but raised concern over how long some issues had gone unattended.

Commissioner Andrew Hammond sought assurances from acting chief executive Murray Jorgensen that the issues would be resolved quickly and not happen again.

“I have some disappointment that the financial management systems and procedures review had not been undertaken in line with the regulation, and would seem had not been undertaken for some time,” Mr Hammond said.

That review is expected in the first quarter of 2019.

Mr Hammond said he was glad to see the internal audit system was working, but that it was in his view “a fairly big slip in the system”.

Chair commissioner Eric Lumsden said he was concerned about how long issues had taken to be addressed.

“The reports refer to dates during 2017 … one report refers to a 2016 assessment,” he said.

“I do not like processes extending over a long period of time, it shows inaction and a lack of focus on these issues.

“I’m saying to staff, through the CEO, that these timelines which go from beyond a year are in my view are unacceptable. It’s something as commissioners we will be looking at very closely in future.”

Mr Jorgensen said he would be sure to follow the matters up with the executive leadership team.

“Obviously I haven’t got all the answers over the last couple of years, but I will commit to ensuring commissioners are briefed,” he said.

“There may be more information that may give you comfort that I can’t give you at the moment.”