Ballarat councillor questions how external work is granted

BALLARAT City Councillor Peter Innes has called for a report into all external consultants used by the council.

Cr Innes told last night’s first ordinary meeting of the new council that he wanted the report to address what triggers were used for employing consultants.

He also queried the process used to procure consultants, the overall costs of consultants as a proportion of the council’s expenditure and guidance on how the administration ensures consultants are used appropriately.

Cr Innes also requested a report into the level and number of contracts issued to non-Ballarat firms.

He said the report should specifically address the process involved and the selection criteria.

“In my wanderings before the election, there is a perception out there in the community that the council spends a lot of money on consultants and I’d like to clarify that,” Cr Innes said.

“There is also a perception that we seem to have a lot of contracts issued to non-Ballarat firms.”

Cr Samantha McIntosh said it was important the council was financially responsible.

“We need to review these items as often as we need to,” Cr McIntosh said.

Both of Cr Innes’ report motions were carried unanimously.

In September, The Courier requested details on Ballarat City Council contractors from October 2008 until June 30, 2012, but was given only partial access to information.

While a 79-page list of council contractors was issued, the council’s governance and information services executive manager Annie De Jong ruled that providing some of the requested information would be an unreasonable diversion of council resources and could disclose personal details.

fiona.henderson@thecourier.com.au

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