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Evaluation of the City of Playford Council
On 10 April 2019 the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, the Hon. Bruce Lander QC announced that Deputy Commissioner, Mr Michael Riches would conduct an evaluation of the practices, policies and procedures of the City of Playford Council.
The purpose of an evaluation is to improve an agency’s systems to assist it to guard against corruption, misconduct and maladministration. It is not a corruption investigation.
The Deputy Commissioner’s evaluation of the City of Playford Council concluded in November last year with a report being tabled in Parliament.
The report reviewed the council’s practices, policies and procedures and made 21 recommendations to address weaknesses that make it susceptible to corruption, misconduct or maladministration.
These weaknesses primarily relate to the manner in which policies and procedures were implemented and adhered to, and the manner in which important records were maintained.
In his report Mr Riches said that a number of policies were in need of review, including the council’s records management policy which had not been reviewed in 13 years.
“In light of such an outdated policy it was no surprise to find that the manner in which many important records are managed within the City of Playford is poor,” he said.
“Indeed, the general approach to preparing, approving, disseminating and reviewing policies, together with ensuring adherence to those policies, fell short of my expectations.”
However, the Deputy Commissioner also commended the Council for “…a number of processes and activities either already in place or in development which are geared towards protecting the integrity of the council’s operations”
It is intended that the report be of assistance not only to the City of Playford, but other councils and public authorities in South Australia as it focusses on issues that are common across public administration.