Australia | Council executives advanced careers of personal associates and former colleagues

Ballarat Council’s CEO and a Director gave personal associates and former colleagues preferential treatment in employment decisions, the Victorian Ombudsman has found.

Ombudsman Deborah Glass said her investigation began after eight whistle-blower complaints to her office, “first alleging a director was hiring his mates, then alleging his boss was hiring hers”. ”Council staff became genuinely concerned that senior officers were employing their friends, and it is a poor look for the council that such a view should flourish,” Ms Glass said.

Tabling her Investigation into alleged improper conduct by Executive Officers at Ballarat City Council in the Victorian Parliament today, Ms Glass said the Director, Infrastructure and Environment was found to have been improperly involved in recruiting three former colleagues to senior roles at the Council. He also changed a Position Description for a role to better suit one of them after HR raised concerns about their suitability for the original role.

While less serious, the CEO was involved in employment decisions regarding two staff, which were “unwise at best, and may have been improper”. Ms Glass said not all of the allegations against the CEO and Director were substantiated.

It stated that this is all the more reason for them to be mindful of conflicts, actual or perceived, and to manage them appropriately


Source: Victorian Ombudsman, Australia

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