Reticence to read report
ONLY four Coffs Harbour City councillors have read the full and lengthy report into the costings of the refurbishment of Rigby House and the council administration building.
A requirement that councillors sign a confidentiality agreement before gaining access to the full report has apparently dissuaded others from tackling the document.
At Thursday’s Coffs Harbour City Council meeting, councillors voted to accept the 15 recommendations arising out of a review of the reports and further information on the project, in which $923,406 was spent on the work, but only $982,512 was voted by council, with $825,155 of work being carried out without prior approval.
The review said there were a number of comments made by various parties which would leave the council at risk of defamation action if published, and there were personnel matters which must not be made public under the Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
While the review said the independent investigation had identified several points of concern about the processes used by the council on the refurbishment projects, there was no suggestion of corrupt conduct, which was validated by the decision by the Independent Commission Against Corruption not to investigate or take any action following their review of the reports.
The mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, launched a spray against those people who had made ‘distasteful accusations’ against councillors and staff, saying it was a pity those people could not have waited for the report.