A new chief executive officer is a step closer after councillors selected a recruitment agency to press ahead with the search for a fresh face to head up the City of Ballarat.
The mayor Cr Ben Taylor introduced two urgent items into the ordinary council meeting on Wednesday night in a move to push the recruitment of an interim CEO forward.
A replacement would step into the role that is currently occupied by acting CEO Neville Ivey, who has been in that post since the former CEO Justine Linley went on leave two weeks ago.
It followed the release of an Ombudsman's report on May 14, which outlined concerns over recruitment, procurement and purchase card use at the council.
Councillors subsequently terminated Justine Linley's contract by a majority vote, as well as setting out their intention to recruit an interim CEO at a special council meeting on Monday May 18.
Councillors first voted to hear the urgent items.
Under the first item, the Mayor Cr Ben Taylor said he would write to the Ombudsman outlining the actions the council planned to take in response to the 79-page report, as well as the steps that had already been taken.
The one councillor who voted against was Cr Grant Tillett, who queried the four-paragraph length of the response. "For a 74 page [sic] report and you are giving her two paragraphs? he said. "Good luck with that. "
The second urgent item was to engage an agency to assist council to appoint the new interim CEO. Councillors unanimously voted to appoint a company called Sal Corp.
Earlier in the week, Cr Taylor told media he hoped there would be candidate names put forward by the end of the week, with interviews potentially taking place next week.
Under local government law, the CEO of municipalities in Victoria is the one person who is employed by the elected councillors. The CEO is then responsible for overseeing the rest of the organisation.
The interim CEO's term would be approximately six to nine months, with the recruitment process for a permanent CEO due to take place after a new council is elected in October.
The brief for Sal Corp includes finding an experienced CEO, preferably one who has previously been an interim CEO.
The incomer will be expected to lead a review into including recruitment, purchase card and procurement policies and practices, as well as ensure good governance and work with the next Council on the recruitment of a permanent CEO.
THE COURIER'S FULL COVERAGE:
- City of Ballarat ombudsman report: 'jobs for mates' allegations regarding Ballarat Council executives
- Ombudsman report into Ballarat council: councillors express disappointment
- Ombudsman report into City of Ballarat: Councillors told to scrutinise CEO behaviour
- City of Ballarat ombudsman report: The intriguing finer details
- Council executive resigns after scandalous Ombudsman report
- City of Ballarat CEO Justine Linley sacked by councillors
- Ombudsman's report into Ballarat Council: What next for council officers?
- Ombudsman report pressures Ballarat Council to change complaints process
- Ombudsman's report: More woes for City of Ballarat with queries over acting CEO
- External concerns raised over City of Ballarat recruitment in early 2016
- Why the three of us voted against sacking the CEO
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.