12 October 2006

 

Dear Councillor,

In pursuance of the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1993 and the Regulations thereunder, notice is hereby given that a POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING of Penrith City Council is to be held in the Passadena Room, Civic Centre, 601 High Street, Penrith on Monday 17 October 2005 at 07:00PM.

Attention is directed to the statement accompanying this notice of the business proposed to be transacted at the meeting.

Yours Faithfully

 

 

Alan Travers

General Manager

 

BUSINESS

 

1.           APOLOGIES

 

2.           LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of absence has been granted to:

Councillor Greenow - 17 October 2005.

Councillor Simat - 22 August 2005 to 25 October 2005 inclusive.

 

3.           CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

Policy Review Committee Meeting - 12 September 2005.

 

4.           DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Pecuniary Interest (The Act requires Councillors who declare a pecuniary interest in an item to leave the meeting during discussion of that item)

Non-Pecuniary Interest

 

5.           ADDRESSING THE MEETING

 

6.           MAYORAL MINUTES

 

7.           NOTICES OF MOTION

 

8.           ADOPTION OF REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATION OF COMMITTEES

 

9.           MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

10.         URGENT REPORTS (to be dealt with in the master program to which the item relates)

 

11.         QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

 

12.         COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE


POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING

 

Monday 17 October 2005

 

table of contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

meeting calendar

 

 

confirmation of minutes

 

 

master program reports

 

 


 

MEETING CALENDAR

 

December 2005

 

 

TIME

DEC

Mon

Ordinary Meetings

7.00 pm

 

12

Policy Review Committee

7.00 pm

 

 

 

-                 Council has two Ordinary Meetings per month where practicable.

-                 Extraordinary Meetings are held as required.

-                 Policy Review Meetings are held monthly where practicable.

-                 Members of the public are invited to observe meetings of the Council. Should you wish to address Council, please contact the Executive Officer, Glenn McCarthy on 47327649.

 


UNCONFIRMED MINUTES

 OF THE POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING OF PENRITH CITY COUNCIL HELD IN THE PASSADENA ROOM, PENRITH

ON MONDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2005 AT 07:05PM

 

PRESENT

 

Her Worship the Mayor Councillor Jackie Greenow, Councillors Kaylene Allison, David Bradbury, Lexie Cettolin, Kevin Crameri OAM, Greg Davies, Ross Fowler, Karen McKeown, Susan Page, Pat Sheehy AM, and John Thain.

 

Apologies

 

 PRC 54 RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler seconded Councillor Lexie Cettolin that apologies be received and accepted from Councillor Mark Davies.

 

leave of absence

 

Leave of absence was previously granted to Councillor Steve Simat for the period 22 August to 25 October 2005 inclusive, and to Councillor Jim Aitken for the period 16 August to 29 September 2005 inclusive.

 

Leave of absence has been requested by Councillor Garry Rumble for the period 12 – 26 September 2005 inclusive.

 

PRC 55  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Greg Davies seconded Councillor John Thain that leave of absence be granted to Councillor Garry Rumble for the period 12-24 September 2005 inclusive.

 

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

 

Policy Review Committee Meeting - 22 August 2005

PRC 56  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy seconded Councillor Greg Davies that the minutes of the Policy Review Committee Meeting of 22 August 2005 be confirmed.

 

Her Worship the Mayor, Councillor Jackie Greenow announced that a presentation would be made to former Councillors John Bateman, Akbar Khan and Cathy O’Toole in recognition of their service to Local Government and the Penrith community.  All three former Councillors served two consecutive terms and John Bateman served two terms as Mayor.

 

The certificates were presented by Her Worship the Mayor, Councillor Jackie Greenow on behalf of the Local Government Association of NSW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

1        2000 - 2005 Strategic Program Performance Review                                               36/27

Her Worship the Mayor, Councillor Jackie Greenow introduced council’s Director – City Strategy, Mr Alan Stoneham, who provided an introduction to the presentation of the Strategic Program Review 2000 to 2005.

 

After the introduction, the following Directors made presentations:

 

Council’s Director – City Strategy, Mr Alan Stoneham, gave a presentation on The City in its Region and The City as an Economy.

 

Councillor Kevin Crameri left the meeting the time being 7.47 pm.

 

Council’s Director – City Planning, Mr Craig Butler, gave a presentation on The City in its Environment.

 

Councillor Kevin Crameri returned to the meeting the time being 7.53 pm.

 

Councillor Karen McKeown left the meeting the time being 8.14 pm.

 

Councillor Karen McKeown returned to the meeting the time being 8.15 pm

 

Council’s Director – City Services, Mr Steve Hackett, gave a presentation on The City as a Social Place.

 

Council’s Acting Director – City Operations, Mr David Burns, gave a presentation on The City Supported by Infrastructure.

 

Councillor Greg Davies left the meeting the time being 9.00 pm.

 

Council’s Chief Financial Officer gave a presentation on Council’s Operating Environment.

 

Councillor Greg Davies returned to the meeting the time being 9.07 pm.

 

PRC 57  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy seconded Councillor Ross Fowler that the information contained in the report on the 2000 - 2005 Strategic Program Performance Review be received.

 

2        State Cabinet Visit to Penrith - 28 June, 2005                                     34/12

PRC 58  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler seconded Councillor John Thain that the information in the report on the State Cabinet visit on 28 June 2005 and the deputation to Minister Knowles on 5 July 2005 be received.

CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS

Her Worship the Mayor, Councillor Jackie Greenow, called for a motion for the Policy Review Committee meeting to move into confidential session, the time being 9.22 pm.

 

CLOSING THE MEETING TO THE PUBLIC TO CONSIDER confidential business

 

1        Presence of the Public

 

PRC 59            RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy seconded Councillor Kevin Crameri that the press and public be excluded from the meeting while the Policy Review Committee considers the following matter:

Commercial Matter - Sponsorship Proposal - Canoe Slalom World Championships - Request for Financial Assistance                  

as the report refers to commercial information of a confidential nature that would, if disclosed, prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it and discussion of the matter in an open meeting would be, on balance, contrary to the public interest.

Councillor Kaylene Allison left the meeting the time being 9.23 pm.

Councillor Susan Page left the meeting the time being 9.24 pm.

Councillor Susan Page returned to the meeting the time being 9.25 pm.

Councillor Kaylene Allison returned to the meeting the time being 9.26 pm.

 

RESUMPTION OF BUSINESS IN OPEN COMMITTEE

The meeting moved out of confidential session at 9.46 pm and the General Manager reported that after excluding the press and public from the meeting, the Policy Review Committee met in confidential session from 9.22 pm to 9.46 pm to consider a commercial matter involving a sponsorship proposal.

The General Manager reported that while in confidential session, the Committee resolved the confidential business as follows:

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

2        Commercial Matter - Sponsorship Proposal - Canoe Slalom World Championships - Request for Financial Assistance                        2071/10

 

PRC 60  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy seconded Councillor Greg Davies

That:

 

 

1.      The information contained in the report on Commercial Matter – Sponsorship Proposal – Canoe Slalom World Championships – Request for Financial Assistance be received

 

2.      Council agree to the funding arrangements between Penrith Whitewater Stadium Ltd and Australian Canoeing as outlined in this report.

 

 

There being no further business the Chairperson declared the meeting closed the time being 9.47 pm.

 

 

 

 

I certify that these 4 pages are the Confirmed Minutes of the Policy Review Committee Meeting of Penrith City Council held on 12 September 2005.

 

 

 

                                       ____________________                ______________

                                       Chairperson                                     Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

    


MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

1        Code of Conduct and Promoting Better Practice 754/8 Part 4                                               1

 

 


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


Leadership and Organisation

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

1        Code of Conduct and Promoting Better Practice 754/8 Part 4                                               1

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

17 October 2005

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

1

Code of Conduct and Promoting Better Practice    

754/8 Part 4

 

Compiled by:                Glenn Schuil - Internal Auditor

Authorised by:             Stephen Britten - Legal Officer  

 

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council has reviewed its own role and operations and has adopted contemporary practices to best discharge its charter.

Critical Action: Review current structures and procedures supporting Council and Councillors' responsibilities.

        

Purpose:

To advise Councillors of the implications of the adopted Model Code of Conduct, particularly in relation to perceived conflicts of interest, and clarification of interests in land, and whether a conflict of interest arises upon exchange of contract or settlement.  The report also provides information about the NSW Government's Local Government Reform Program - "Promoting Better Practice".  The report recommends that the information be received.

 

Background

On 28 February 2005 a Report was presented to the Council on the Code of Conduct. While the Council adopted the Model Code of Conduct that was developed by the Department of Local Government, in consultation with other stakeholders, the Council resolved that a further Report be brought back to the Council on:-

·    The implications of the Model Code of Conduct for Councillors, particularly in relation to perceived conflicts of interests; and

·    Clarification of interests in land and whether a conflict arises upon exchange or settlement.

The Council further resolved that the Council write to the Local Government Association and the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils to express the Council’s serious concerns with some aspects of the Model Code of Conduct.

Current Situation

In the “Local Government Weekly” Circular dated 1 April 2005 the Association advised Councils that they were “…seeking to hear of any issues or concerns that councils have in regard to the Model Code of Conduct or the Guidelines for the Model Code of Conduct”, and that the Association would then convey this information to the Minister for Local Government. On 1 April 2005, prior to the request being received from the LGSA, the General Manager wrote to the Secretary General, Local Government Association of NSW advising of the Council’s concerns with certain sections of the Model Code of Conduct. A copy of the General Manager’s letter to Mr B Gillooly, Secretary, Local Government Association of NSW is attached.

In recent discussions with Mr Frank Loveridge, Legal Officer for the Local Government & Shires Associations, advice was provided that all submissions received from Councils were forwarded to the Department of Local Government in June 2005. Mr Loveridge has advised that he has searched the Association’s files and that he was unable to find any response that has been received from the Department in regards to this matter.

Contact was made with Mrs Lyn Brown, Senior Investigations Officer of the Department of Local Government as to the current position with the Code of Conduct, as well as what, if any action, was taken as a result of the letter that the Council submitted to the LGSA. Mrs Brown has advised that a letter was signed by the Minister for Local Government, the Hon Kerry Hickey, to the LGSA on 4 October 2005 in reply to the letter received from the LGSA. At the time of writing this Report, Mr Loveridge advised that the letter from the Minister had not been received by the LGSA. This matter will be followed up with Mr Loveridge.

In respect of the issues that the Council raised with the LGSA, Mrs Brown advised that the issue relating to conflicts of interests in clause 6.6 of the Code of Conduct will be clarified shortly by way of a Departmental Circular.

One of the recommendations adopted when the Council adopted the Model Code of Conduct was that “An appropriate communication policy be developed and implemented”. In developing an appropriate communication policy the Council’s staff are cognisant of the time demands on all staff, and will be engaging a Consultant to undertake a “Train the Trainer” exercise with a number of selected and appropriate staff. After these staff are appropriately trained, it is proposed to have these staff deliver training sessions (tool box talks) to staff at a range of meetings, including Department staff meetings where the major issues within the adopted Code of Conduct will be discussed.

At these meetings staff will be encouraged to ask questions as to avoid any misconceptions or confusion about what is expected under the Code of Conduct. Having said that, it is acknowledged that there may be questions raised by attendees at these training sessions that the trainer may not know and it is planned that these will be recorded, and after an answer is established that this is communicated to all staff.

The Department of Local Government called for expression of interests from a number of Consultants / Training Organisations to deliver training workshops to Council staff (to be funded by the Department) on the new Model Code of Conduct. Local Government Learning Solutions was the successful Training Organisation to deliver this program. This Organisation has provided workshops at a number of locations throughout the State on the Model Code of Conduct. The Council’s Internal Auditor and Training & Development Co-ordinator attended a “Model Code of Conduct Training for Facilitators” course on 20 July 2005.

Separate training is being delivered to the Directors, Managers and Supervisors on the Code of Conduct. In this training, in addition to the Code of Conduct, staff will receive training in the draft Protected Disclosures Policy and the procedure when gifts are offered to staff.

While it is proposed to undertake the above training program for all staff, the question that needs to be resolved is what is the best method of training all Councillors of the requirements of the new adopted Code of Conduct. It is proposed to provide contemporary interaction to all Councillors on the Code of Conduct in a briefing session at the earliest possible time. Earlier in the Report it was indicated that a Circular from the Department of Local Government would be issued to clarify an issue relating to disclosure at Meetings. During the Councillor development session proposed the contents of the Circular will be dealt with.

Relevant to this issue is the Local Government Reform Program ~ Promoting Better Practice. The former Minister for Local Government, the Hon Tony Kelly when introducing this matter into Parliament referred to the Inspectors that would be undertaking reviews of Council’s performance as the “flying squad”. The current Minister while also keen to promote better management practice amongst local government has not specifically referred to the program as being implemented by the “flying squad”.

A Senior Investigations Officer from the Department of Local Government recently gave a presentation to a Local Government Internal Auditors Network Meeting at Penrith City Council. During this presentation he advised that the objectives of the “Promoting Better Practice” program were:-

·    A culture of continuous improvement

·    Early intervention option

·    Good governance

·    Ethical practice

·    Compliance

·    Shared good practice

·    Local Government policy development.

The Departmental representative advised that 14 “Promoting Better Practice” reviews with identified Councils were planned to be undertaken during the current financial year. Prior to the reviews occurring, councils are required to complete a self assessment checklist which contain the following five Modules:-

·    Governance

·    Planning and other Regulatory Functions

·    Asset and financial management

·    Community and consultation

·    Workforce relationships.

It is proposed to undertake an assessment of the Council’s compliance with the practices that are seen to be regarded by the Department as “better practice”. It is proposed to use the findings as a guide to continuous improvement to Council’s policies and systems. One of the issues identified is to ensure that training in the Code of Conduct has been undertaken by all.

When a previous Report was presented to the Council in February 2005 about the Code of Conduct, the Council resolved that “A further report be brought back to Council on the implications of the Model Code of Conduct for Councillors, particularly in relation to perceived conflicts of interests. The report is also to include clarification of interests in land and whether a conflict arises upon exchange of contract or settlement”.

In respect of the issues that were raised by Councillors about perceived conflicts of interests, the concerns that were raised at the previous Council Meeting were raised with the Local Government and Shires Associations.  No feedback has been received from the LGSA in respect of the Council’s letter. It is proposed to follow – up the LGSA in respect of this issue.

In respect of the “dealing with land” issue that the Council resolved to include within our Code of Conduct, as Councillors may recall the following additional obligation is placed on all Councillors and staff “If you buy or sell property in the Penrith Local Government Area, other than your own home, you must notify the General Manager within a reasonable time after the transaction has been completed (settlement)”. One of the reasons why it is argued that notification should be made on settlement is that the notification gets onto the public record much quicker than completing an annual pecuniary interest return (for Councillors, designated staff etc). The debate that was raised at the time by the Councillors was whether notification should occur on settlement or on exchange. It is suggested that if the intention is to disclose when any interest comes to hand will necessitate a range of other interests of equitable interests and interests created under options.

It is acknowledged that legal rights are created other than on the day of settlement, for example legal rights can be created upon exchange of contracts, upon an option to purchase a property. It had been argued that the date of settlement was a date of certainty because at this date moneys, keys and access and insurance obligations occur. It is considered that notification upon exchange is a less certain date as this sometimes can be left to a person’s Solicitor to organise. If Council were to decide to choose another point than exchange of contracts would be a sound option. It is considered that the position adopted as set out above should remain, that is “within a reasonable time after the transaction has been completed (settlement)”.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That the information contained in the report on the Code of Conduct and Promoting Better Practice be received.

 

ATTACHMENTS/ANNEXURES

1.  

Code of Conduct for Councillors

7 Pages

 Attachment

2.  

Letter to LGSA re: Model Code of Conduct

2 Pages

 Attachment

   


 

ATTACHMENTS   

 

 

Date of Meeting:          Monday 17 October 2005

Master Program:          Leadership and Organisation

Issue:                            Governance

Report Title:                Code of Conduct and Promoting Better Practice

Attachments:                Code of Conduct for Councillors

                                      Letter to LGSA re: Model Code of Conduct



Policy Review Committee Meeting

17 October 2005

Attachment 1 - Code of Conduct for Councillors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Placeholder for Attachment 1

 

 

 

Code of Conduct and Promoting Better Practice

 

 

 

Code of Conduct for Councillors

 

7 Pages

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

17 October 2005

Attachment 2 - Letter to LGSA re: Model Code of Conduct

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Placeholder for Attachment 2

 

 

 

Code of Conduct and Promoting Better Practice

 

 

 

Letter to LGSA re: Model Code of Conduct

 

2 Pages