The new interim chief executive officer at the City of Ballarat has been confirmed as Janet Dore.
Councillors voted unanimously to appoint Ms Dore at a special council meeting called at 4pm at town hall on Wednesday.
It will be the second time Ms Dore has been the chief executive officer at the City of Ballarat, having held the post for five years from 1994 until 1999.
Ms Dore's total remuneration package will be $350,000 pro rata, with the position in place until a permanent new CEO is put in place or for a maximum of 12 months.
"It is great to have Janet on board," said the mayor Cr Ben Taylor.
"We've been very clear and decisive with our action.
"We've gone through a thorough process. They were all excellent candidates. Janet's experience, her knowledge and her presentation were exemplary for us as a council.
"We have full confidence in what she's put together as a plan [to] deliver what's needed for the organisation."
Ms Dore was the first CEO at the newly amalgamated council, and remained the only woman to have held the top job until Justine Linley was appointed in 2016.
Now Ms Dore will return to a post that was left vacant when a majority of councillors voted to terminate Ms Linley's contract with immediate effect last month.
It followed the publication of a highly critical 79-page report by the Victorian Ombudsman, which outlined its findings on a series of allegations about Ms Linley recruiting and promoting friends and former colleagues to senior positions within council.
The report also focused on the actions of Terry Demeo, who resigned from his post as director of infrastructure and environment a few days after the report was tabled in state parliament on May 14.
Ms Dore will replace the acting CEO Neville Ivey, who will return to his previous duties as director of community development. She is expected to remain in the post, which officially starts on Friday morning, until councillors recruit a permanent chief executive.
That process will not take place until a new council has been elected following a postal ballot for local governments across the state on October 24.
The appointment follows weeks of turmoil at the City of Ballarat, with significant question marks over the executive team at the council as a result of the Ombudsman's report. As well as the departure of Mr Demeo and Ms Linley, two of the council's remaining directors are also likely to feel undermined by its findings.
While the Ombudsman took care not to question the capabilities of the directors, who were unnamed, the report was critical of the processes that led to their appointment. One was a former colleague of Ms Linley's at Northern Grampians Shire, while the other was an acquaintance from the local government association LG Pro.
The Ombudsman's report was the second major report reflecting poorly on City of Ballarat culture within the space of nine months.
An IBAC report published in September last year outlined the findings of Operation Royston. It investigated the systems in place at the City of Ballarat, which allowed a corrupt sports manager to siphon off more than $184,000 of ratepayer money.
Two other members of the current executive team, also unnamed, featured in that IBAC report. While there was no suggestion of wrongdoing on their part, the report queried the effectiveness of the council's internal investigations.
In the more than two decades since she worked at the City of Ballarat, Ms Dore has held a series of high-profile positions at government organisations. As well as being general manager at the City of Newcastle in New South Wales for eight years, she was also the CEO of the Transport Accident Commission from 2007 to 2015 .
From 2015 to 2018, she was the chair of the Committee for Ballarat. More recently she acted as the municipal monitor for the Ararat Rural City Council, after a report criticised that council's governance and community engagement.
Councillors in Ballarat have said one of the key tasks of the new interim CEO will be to review existing recruitment, procurement and purchase card policies.
The Courier understands Ms Dore comes into the role with a mandate to make significant changes.
THE COURIER'S FULL OMBUDSMAN REPORT 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?
- Troubled waters at town hall
- 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
- Ombudsman's Report: Recruitment agency selected in search for interim CEO
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