Wingecarribee Shire Council has established an Internal Ombudsman service in response to recommendations from an independent review.
The Governance, Human Resources and Statutory Reporting Review was commissioned by the Interim Administrator and undertaken by Ms Samantha Charlton in 2021.
Council’s General Manager Lisa Miscamble said the Internal Ombudsman service would improve organisational transparency.
“An Internal Ombudsman will investigate complaints relating to Council staff, contractors, consultants or volunteers,” she said.
“Complaints that would be investigated include allegations of alleged corrupt conduct, maladministration, serious or substantial waste of public monies and breaches of Council’s Code of Conduct.”
The Internal Ombudsman’s role does not cover the following issues:
- Grievance or dispute procedures as set out in the Local Government State Award,
- Performance management issues,
- Complaints already under investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the NSW Ombudsman, NSW Police or the Minister or Office of Local Government,
- Matters relating to the dismissal of an employee or industrial disciplinary issues,
- Matters where there is an existing remedy or right of appeal that is considered more appropriate, and
- Matters concerning the actions or conduct of private individuals who were not Council employees or Councillors at the time the issue occurred.
“The establishment of an Internal Ombudsman is another step towards restoring the community’s trust and confidence in their Council.”
For more information on the role of Council’s Internal Ombudsman, visit www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/Council/Internal-Ombudsman.
To make a complaint to the Internal Ombudsman about suspected unethical, fraudulent or corrupt behaviour, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0434 214 908.