Department of Local Govt investigating cities of Perth and Joondalup over undisclosed gifts

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

THE Department of Local Government has started an inquiry in to the cities of Perth and Joondalup.

It follows audits relating to gifts and sponsorship arrangements at five metropolitan and five regional local governments.

The audits indicated that while there did not appear to be systemic issues of concern, there were some issues that required further examination.

The inquiries into the cities of Perth and Joondalup relate to a number of instances where the department has obtained information concerning elected members and staff who may have failed to disclose tickets relating to sponsorship arrangements as gifts, and to subsequently disclose financial interests when relevant matters were being considered by the council.

The department said in a statement that while there may be valid reasons for elected members and staff to accept tickets to events in a professional capacity, the information indicated the volume, value and nature of what had been obtained through sponsorship arrangements at both local governments may be inconsistent with their obligations to use public resources appropriately and to declare financial interests when relevant matters are being considered by council.

The department said the inquiries in to the cities were “part of the normal activities undertaken by the department” and were “aimed at ensuring the local governments are acting in the best interests of their communities and that the communities have confidence in their elected members to provide good governance and services”.

Joondalup acting chief executive Dale Page said the City worked closely with the department on its recent audit and would “co-operate fully with any future requests or inquiries”.

A City of Perth spokesperson said they would also “cooperate fully with the department”.

 

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