Following a program of probity audits relating to gifts and sponsorship arrangements at a number of metropolitan and regional local governments, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries has commenced inquiries into two metropolitan local governments, the City of Perth and the City of Joondalup.
The probity audits focused on gifts and sponsorship arrangements and were conducted at five country and five metropolitan local governments with ongoing and/or one-off sponsorship arrangements in place.
The audits indicated that while there did not appear to be systemic issues of concern relating to gifts and sponsorships, there were some issues that require further examination.
The inquiries into the City of Perth and City of Joondalup relate to a number of instances where the Department has obtained information concerning elected members and staff who may have failed to disclose tickets relating to sponsorship arrangements as gifts and to subsequently disclose financial interests when relevant matters were being considered by council.
While there may be valid reasons for elected members and staff to accept tickets to events in a professional capacity information obtained to date indicates that, the volume, value and nature of what has been obtained through sponsorship arrangements at both local governments, may be inconsistent with their obligations to use public resources appropriately and to declare financial interests when relevant matters are being considered by council.
The Department takes a holistic approach to compliance across the sector and uses a variety of tactics to obtain information about governance standards and/or in response to complaints about particular issues.
These can include; providing advice and support, attending council meetings, probity audits, issuing directions notices and conducting authorised inquiries with the response varying depending on the risk level and possible consequences.
The inquiries into the City of Perth and City of Joondalup are part of the normal activities undertaken by the Department and are aimed at ensuring that the local governments are acting in the best interests of their communities and that the communities have confidence in their elected members to provide good governance and services.
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries