COUNCIL  AGENDA

 

ADDENDUM BOOKLET

Ordinary Council Meeting

1 February 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRANCIS GREENWAY CENTRE

170 GEORGE STREET LIVERPOOL


 

 

 


Addendum Items

 

                                                                                                              PAGE     TAB

 

Chief Executive Officer Report

CEO 02          Ombudsman models ................................................................................... 407......... 1

Community and Culture Report

DCC 03          District Forums.............................................................................................. 412......... 2   

Attachment 1 - Draft terms of reference and summary background paper

   


407

Ordinary Meeting 1 February 2017

Chief Executive Officer Report

 

CEO 02

Ombudsman models

 

Strategic Direction

Leading Proactive Council

Lead partnerships and collaboration with community, business and governments

Key Policy

Long-Term Financial Plan

File Ref

018506.2017

Report By

Kiersten Fishburn - Chief Executive Officer

Approved By

Kiersten Fishburn - Chief Executive Officer

 

 

Executive Summary

 

On 14 December 2016, Council resolved as follows (at CEO 02):

 

That Council:

 

1.    Approve in principle the Internal Ombudsman model as outlined in the staff report.

 

2.    Direct that the question of funding for the position be managed though the quarterly budget review process.

 

3.    Receive a report on the guidelines of the final model at the first Council meeting in February 2017.

This report provides options for the guidelines of the final Internal Ombudsman model to be adopted by the Council.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council consider the options presented for the Internal Ombudsman model, and determine which option is most appropriate for adoption.

 

 

 

 

 


 

REPORT

 

On 14 December 2016, and following consideration of a report outlining a possible model for the appointment of an Internal Ombudsman at Liverpool City Council, Council resolved as follows (at CEO 02):

 

That Council:

 

1.   Approve in principle the Internal Ombudsman model as outlined in the staff report.

 

2.   Direct that the question of funding for the position be managed though the quarterly budget review process.

 

3.   Receive a report on the guidelines of the final model at the first Council meeting in February 2017.

During debate on the matter, a number of councillors raised questions over the intended scope of the role.  It was suggested that Council give consideration to expanding the scope and responsibilities of the role to include other duties, including (for example) administration of complaints into staff conduct.

 

The Office of the CEO has given consideration to this question, and offers the following options for consideration by the Council:

 

Option 1 – “Stage 1” (Limited Scope) Ombudsman Model:

 

A review of the operation of Ombudsmen at the state and federal level provides an example of what a limited model may look like in a local government setting. Schedule 1 of the Ombudsman Act 1974 prescribes a wide variety of conduct that, at the state level, cannot be investigated by the NSW Ombudsman. In essence, to follow this example would be to confine the model to management of complaints within a relatively narrow ambit of responsibility (being maladministration and waste).

 

In short, the limited model would establish an office of Internal Ombudsman that would manage and investigate external customer complaints, dealing with Council activities and functions.

 

The office would, of course, also be tasked with assessing any complaint received, and delegating it to the proper officer.  For example, any complaint that revealed a staff conduct issue would need to be referred to the appropriate manager, or possibly to Council’s People and Organisational Development team (in accordance with current process).  Furthermore, any complaint that revealed possible corrupt conduct or a breach of the Code of Conduct would need to be referred to the Chief Executive Officer.

 

Under this limited model, other governance, investigation, and complaints management functions that were unrelated to the administration of external customer complaints would continue to be managed in the current manner.

 

Given the reduced scope of this role, it is suggested that such a position could be instituted at a 0.4FTE (as opposed to the 0.6FTE proposed by the report of 14 December 2016).  This would be subject to a detailed evaluation and costing, but is considered likely to reduce the overall cost of the model by 25-40% over that proposed by the 14 December 2016 model (ie. around an $85,000-$110,000 commitment per year.

 

Option 2 – “Stage 2” (Moderate Scope) Ombudsman Model:

 

As an alternative, Council may consider adopting a model that takes the scope of the Ombudsman role a few steps further than Option 1 above.

 

Most Councils that have adopted an Ombudsman model also delegate other functions to the role (beyond the management of external complaints).  In addition to Stage 1 duties, such additional functions may include:

 

1.   Administration of Code of Conduct complaints (by acting as Council’s Complaints Coordinator for the purposes of cl.3.12 of the Liverpool City Council Code of Conduct Procedures);

 

2.   Management of Public Interest Disclosures (by acting as Council’s Public Interest Disclosures (PID) Coordinator).

 

3.   Acting as Council’s Privacy Officer for the purposes of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998, and managing complaints concerning breaches of privacy under that Act;

 

4.   Managing complaints concerning breaches of Copyright under various legislation, including the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth);

 

5.   Undertaking internal reviews of decisions to refuse access to documents under Part 5, Division 2 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009;

 

6.   Other complaints management and/or investigatory roles as the CEO deems appropriate from time to time;

 

7.   Referral of complaints involving alleged pecuniary interest breaches, or breaches of Part 8 of the Liverpool City Council Code of Conduct (Code), to the Office of Local Government (via the CEO) under s.460 of the Local Government Act 1993 and cl.8.15 of the Code;

 

8.   Referral of complaints involving suspected corrupt conduct, to ICAC (via the CEO, pursuant to s.11(1)(c) of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988;

 

9.   Referral of serious complaints involving maladministration and public waste to the NSW Ombudsman (pursuant to s.12 of the Ombudsman Act 1974).

 

This moderate scope model would still exclude investigation of complaints into staff conduct, which would be dealt with in accordance with Council’s existing policies and procedures.  All other governance, audit and oversight functions would remain as they are.

 

It is suggested that such a model is consistent with that proposed by the 14 December 2016 report, and would likely entail a 0.6 FTE resourcing commitment (with a cost of around $120,000-$140,000 per annum, subject to formal evaluation).

 

Option 3 – “Stage 3” (Broad Scope) Ombudsman Model:

 

Alternatively, and rather than pursuing a single officer model, Council may desire to pursue a more comprehensive approach to the establishment of the Ombudsman function.

 

For example, and in addition to Stage 2 duties, further duties may include:

 

1.   The receipt of complaints into staff conduct, and the administration of such complaints in accordance with the expectations of Part 5 of Council’s Code of Conduct Procedures (which would include, where appropriate, administering investigations into such matters);

 

2.   Engagement with the Independent Commission Against Corruption in relation to reports, referrals and requests for information received from that body;

 

3.   Planning and conducting independent reviews (being reviews not necessarily triggered by complaints) into Council operations, processes, procedures and policies, and reporting any findings and recommendations to management and/or the Audit and Risk Committee (as appropriate) in accordance with the OLG’s Internal Audit Guidelines (September 2010);

 

4.   Working with the Audit and Risk Committee, Council management, and Council’s Work Health and Safety team to review SafeWork NSW Self Insurance requirements, with a view to reporting on any potential areas of non-compliance;

 

5.   Further specific review and investigation activities that may be recommended by the Audit and Risk Committee or the Council.

 

The additional Stage 3 functions will, it is estimated, require at least one additional staff member to assist the (full-time) Ombudsman in their day-to-day functions.  As such, it is suggested that the Stage 3 approach allow for the establishment of an Office of the Internal Ombudsman, to carry out these functions in a comprehensive fashion.

 

It is intended that adoption of the Stage 3 model would meet Council’s obligations under Clause 2.4 of the OLG’s Internal Audit Guidelines, necessitating a review of capacity for both the Governance and Internal Audit teams.  In recognition of the transfer of responsibilities from these areas into the Ombudsman’s area, it is possible that compensatory resources may need to be transferred from one or both of these areas, with resulting staffing impacts possible.  Any such impacts would be addressed in accordance with Award requirements.

 

Total estimated resources required for the establishment of the Stage 3 Office of Internal Ombudsman are around $300,000-$350,000 (subject to formal evaluation of the required positions). These costs may be mitigated in part through the above staff review.

 

 

CONSIDERATIONS

 

Economic and Financial

Each of the models proposed has some financial impact to council; this will vary depending on the model and possible staffing impacts.

Environmental and Sustainability

There are no environmental and sustainability considerations.


Social and Cultural

Raise awareness in the community about the available services and facilities.


Civic Leadership and Governance

Undertake communication practices with the community and stakeholders across a range of media.

Encourage the community to engage in Council initiatives and actions.

Provide information about Council’s services, roles and decision making processes.

Deliver services that are customer focused.

Operate a well-developed governance system that demonstrates accountability, transparency and ethical conduct.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

Nil  


413

Ordinary Meeting 1 February 2017

Community and Culture Report

 

DCC 03

District Forums

 

Strategic Direction

Proud Engaged City

Engage and consult with the community to enhance opportunities for communication and involvement

Key Policy

Community Engagement Policy

File Ref

018508.2017

Report By

Eddie Jackson - Acting Director Community & Culture

Approved By

Eddie Jackson - Acting Director Community & Culture

 

 

Executive Summary

 

At the meeting of Council held on 12 October 2016, it was agreed that Council should,

“Reintroduce Precinct Committees to cover all suburbs of Liverpool to ensure community consultation and promote Council transparency.  Council is to provide support and it is to be chaired by selected Councillors and all Councillors to be members.”

 

Draft terms of reference for the operation of six District Forums are attached for Members’ consideration, along with a summary background paper that sets out the geographic coverage of the proposed District Forums.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council:

 

1.       Adopt the draft Terms of Reference for the District Forums.

2.       Nominate a Councillor as chairperson of each of the six District Forums.

3.       Note that key performance indicators will be developed through which ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of the Forums will be assessed.

4.       Agree to review the operation of the District Forums eighteen months after commencement.

 

 

 

 

REPORT

 

At the meeting of Council held on 12 October 2016, it was agreed that Council should,

“Reintroduce Precinct Committees to cover all suburbs of Liverpool to ensure community consultation and promote Council transparency.  Council is to provide support and it is to be chaired by selected Councillors and all Councillors to be members.”

 

Draft terms of reference for the operation of six District Forums are attached for Members’ consideration, along with a summary background paper that sets out the geographic coverage of the proposed District Forums.

 

Under the draft terms of reference, section 6 indicates that a nomination process should be undertaken to identify a nominated Councillor(s) to chair each Forum.

 

Forums will be based on the following six district boundaries:

 

a)   Rural District comprises Badgerys Creek, Bringelly, Greendale, Kemps Creek, Luddenham, Rossmore, Silverdale and Wallacia.

b)   New Release District comprises Cecil Park, Austral, Middleton Grange, West Hoxton, Cecil Hills, Elizabeth Hills, Len Waters Estate, Hoxton Park, Carnes Hill, Horningsea Park, Leppington, Denham Court and Edmondson Park.

c)   2168 District comprises Ashcroft, Busby, Cartwright, Green Valley, Heckenberg, Hinchinbrook, Miller and Sadleir.

d)   Established District comprises Casula, Liverpool (excluding City Centre), Lurnea, Prestons and Warwick Farm.

e)   City Centre (in accordance with the Liverpool Development Control Plan 2008)

f)    Eastern District comprises Chipping Norton, Hammondville, Holsworthy, Moorebank, Voyager Point, Pleasure Point and Wattle Grove.

 

Nominated Council staff will provide administrative support for the organisation of meetings and venues, including preparation of the agenda and taking notes.

 

 

 

 

 

CONSIDERATIONS

Economic and Financial

There may be modest additional financial costs associated with the organization and provision of secretarial support (via overtime payments) for staff involved directly with the District Forums.

Environmental and Sustainability

Raise community awareness and support action in relation to environmental issues.

 


Social and Cultural

Raise awareness in the community about the available services and facilities.

Support community organisations, groups and volunteers to deliver coordinated services to the community.

Promote community harmony and address discrimination.

Support access and services for people with a disability.


Civic Leadership and Governance

Undertake communication practices with the community and stakeholders across a range of media.

Foster neighbourhood pride and a sense of responsibility.

Facilitate the development of community leaders.

Encourage the community to engage in Council initiatives and actions.

Provide information about Council’s services, roles and decision making processes.

Deliver services that are customer focused.

Operate a well developed governance system that demonstrates accountability, transparency and ethical conduct.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

1.         Draft terms of reference and summary background paper


415

DCC 03

District Forums

Attachment 1

Draft terms of reference and summary background paper

 

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