City’s conduct crackdown

The City of Stirling is being investigated by the CCC.
The City of Stirling is being investigated by the CCC.

The City initiated the new policy after the CCC inquiries, which started in 2010.

Most recently, a former City of Stirling building contractor was sentenced to 15 months in jail after a CCC investigation found him guilty of bribing a council employee.

Kim Laurence Walter was sentenced on Monday, February 10, after a jury found the 56-year-old guilty in November 2013, of bribing a City of Stirling building coordinator with a $43,450 bobcat to use at his hobby farm.

City of Stirling chief executive Stuart Jardine said the City had developed several policies in order to avoid bribery or corruption occurring in the future.

‘Since this incident, a significant number of organisational policies and procedures have been either developed or reviewed, including the City’s Code of Conduct,’ Mr Jardine said.

‘All City of Stirling employees are required to undertake training and an assessment of their understanding of the Code of Conduct on an annual basis.’

Mr Jardine said he accepted the CCC investigation could affect the City of Stirling’s reputation but also said that it was an isolated incident.

‘Since this time, the City has put in place considerable measures to ensure an incident such as this does not arise again,’ he said.

District Court Judge Anthony Derrick said Mr Walter clearly intended to ensure continued work for his company when he gave the council employee exclusive use of the bobcat.

He said that the bribery of a public officer ‘strikes at the integrity of local government’ and the seriousness of the offence meant imprisonment was the only appropriate penalty to deter others.

The Walter case is the final one to be heard in relation to a multi-million-dollar procurement scandal at the City of Stirling, which was exposed by the Corruption and Crime Commission at public hearings in 2010.

Six other private contractors have already been convicted of corruption in relation to their dealings with the same council employee.

The former City of Stirling employee, whose name has been suppressed, was responsible for awarding building and works contracts for the council from 2003 until his dismissal in 2010.