Public Interest Disclosure is no leaking matter

MEDIA RELEASE

This was sent to media outlets on Wednesday 28th May 2017 in relation to the Fraser Coast Chronicle article which has since been removed.

If you have information about wrongdoing in the public sector, it is in the interests of all Queenslanders that this information is disclosed to someone with the power and ability to act.
Disclosures by members of the public and public sector employees help uncover corruption, misuse of public resources and poor administration. Reporting wrongdoing allows the matter to be investigated and action taken. This helps stop corruption, misuse of resources or wrongdoing and helps public sector agencies prevent it from reoccurring.
The Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Act 2010 encourages people to make public interest disclosures and provides protections to those who do. In simple terms, this is a form of whistle-blower protection.

Maybe the Councillors need to read the Regulations of the Local Government (LG) Act, CCC Act and PID Act. If people were acting appropriately there would be no need to have an Act where decency and honesty are made compulsory in elected and organisational leadership and we certainly would not be having these types of issues and reports full stop. Evidently this shows there are major failings within both local and state governments. Further to this, the many complaints within the Fraser Coast Regional Council, both elected and management, shows they are worthy of an ‘F’ on their score sheet in my opinion.

The CPEM Report highlighted the problem did not start or end with the CEO, it was justifiably chastising of the councillors and executive and management team.
Do the councillors’ comments published in the Chronicle warrant a formal complaint to the CCC for breach of the PID Act? Did they not see this document is clearly marked PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE (PID) stamped in red on every page? I cannot see how they could have missed it.

Under the PID Act a relevant person can make a PID to a Member of Parliament and a Member of Parliament can do certain things with that information including, but not limited to, tabling it in parliament.

Did the Councillors attacking Rob Pyne ‘the messenger’ and making reference to a ‘leak’ know it is an offence under the PID Act? The assumptions of these councillors are offensive to the truth and demonstrates that some councillors are not able to operate with integrity and transparency in the public interest. Councillors should not be questioning motive or origins of this CPEM report in the form of a PID. Council should have already published it. The report tabled in Parliament is the subject of a council resolution that stated the report, as redacted, be released to the public. It is understood that Council got caught up in their redaction process however the redactions in the tabled document are more than adequate. The councillors’ comments not only contradict the intent of their own resolution; it seems they may have breached the PID Act as well.

Is this action by disgruntled counsellors reasonable under the circumstances? Is it an example of how well council is working following the CPEM’s report, findings and recommendations which are costing rate payers exponentially? The public are entitled to have access to this report and counsellors trying to bury it should be embarrassed and ashamed.
Why did it take an MP out of our region when we have four that have not had the courage nor conviction to right the wrong? Where was / is Keith Pitt LNP Member for Hinkler? Where was / is Bruce Saunders LAB Member for Maryborough? Where was / is Llew O’Brien Member for Wide Bay? Where was / is Ted Sorensen Member for Hervey Bay? All I can say is thank God for Rob Pyne. Why are our local MP’s not standing up for the staff at Fraser Coast Regional Council?

While the findings reinforce a State Government report handed down in 2016, they go further to identify “councillor behaviour of in-fighting, political game playing” and “significant risk around psychological safety across the organisation” and many other issues. The first step to recovery is to admit there is a problem and some councillors are yet to cross that bridge and work together towards real solutions to the organisations problems. These problems are not in dispute.

All of Council (the whole entity of elected and management) needs to be united with strength which involves seeing this mess thoroughly understood and working through the necessary changes which will be a blend of staff and systems. Managers must begin to act as any employee should and stop behaving like they are Directors of a Company, and thinking they know what the community needs and wants when in fact their view of the world is not rooted in reality at all. They are not operating with a foundation of reality and they do not know what is needed or wanted. They are representatives of the people. The rate payers are the boss. Rate payers pay the salaries and all the perks of the job. I certainly am not paying for this shameful conduct to continue. Are you? What values are we teaching our children if we let this continue?

The Crime and Conduct Commission (CCC) Amendment Act says that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) must now do a full report and state clearly all reasons a complaint was NOT referred to the CCC. It seems that there are plenty of reports here that should have been sent to the CCC.

Anyone who has followed Rob Pyne’s actions and agitation on local government would appreciate that he has a strong calling for an ICAC style inquiry into local government. Such an inquiry could deal with the thousands of local government complaints that ‘go missing’ in the current complaint system.

I join Rob Pyne in calling for an ICAC style inquiry into the Queensland Local Government. Who else believes it obligatory?

Fraser Coast Regional Council need to get on and do the job they are paid to do and stop the harm! This whole situation may give weight to the increasing call for deamalgamation.
I have taken this paragraph out because it is not correct, nor relevant to the CPEM report. The CPEM report is not a “complaint” and does not have to be reported publicly. Except council passed a resolution to do so and that has been delayed which has probably lead to the PID being sent to Rob Pyne.

 

 

#toxicculture  #icac  #transparency  #politicalnews