Council to establish Office of Integrity
Posted on: 04.12.2019
Wollondilly Council will soon establish an Office of Integrity, which will provide an independent and impartial ear to hear complaints raised by the community, staff, Council and other stakeholders.
The Office of Integrity will be led by a new role called the Head of Integrity. This position will be based on the role of an internal ombudsman, a title which loosely translates as ‘the citizen’s defender’ or ‘representative of the people’.
CEO Ben Taylor explained that the new position is part of a suite of measures to increase transparency and continue to build community and staff trust in Council.
“The community rightly expects Council to uphold the highest standards of integrity. Council has been working hard to make Wollondilly a place of trust, transparency and respect and this role will take us to the next level,” he said.
“The Head of Integrity will be autonomous and independent and will be an important resource for the community, Councillors and staff.”
Mayor Matthew Deeth noted, “Councillors have endorsed the establishment of this position as we recognise that integrity is an important foundation for us all going forward.”
“We have a great organisation and this is about making it even better. It’s about giving the community confidence that we value integrity and transparency in everything that we do.”
The Office of Integrity will carry out a number of functions, including:
- Conducting impartial investigations into allegations of unethical behaviour, misconduct and maladministration, and making recommendations for appropriate action.
- Reviewing and providing recommendations to the Chief Executive Officer to improve Council’s systems, processes and work practices
- Developing and reviewing Council’s policies
- Educating and training staff and Councillors to help them fulfil their responsibilities under the Code of Conduct, and assisting in fraud and corruption prevention strategies
- Championing positive customer experiences through excellence in complaint management
- Providing probity advice
The position of Head of Integrity is modelled on similar arrangements at a number of other Councils across Sydney who have reported positive outcomes. It is planned to be established in early in 2020.