Wednesday 3 June 2009

May I seek your indulgence

Former Cairns Councillor, Ross Parisi has written an open letter to all Cairns Regional Councillors, about the secret meeting that is being held today:

  • 2nd June 2009

    Re: Henry Special Investigation Report

    Dear Councillor,

    If I may seek your indulgence in highlighting several items of interest concerning the ‘Cash for Comment’ Special Investigation.

    I understand on Wednesday 3rd June at a closed meeting of the Cairns Regional Council, the CEO will be tabling his Executive Report on the Henry Investigation. Not to be tabled is the Henry Investigation Report in its entirety.

    As per the CEO letter dated the 29th May to all Councillors, the CEO indicated he would not be tabling the latter Report per see, as Staff members were interviewed and assurances were given by the CEO to Staff that their evidence would not be made public. This assurance I believe was beyond his authority as CEO in the circumstances and may have erred in law.

    I see no problem with the implementation of a Staff confidentiality policy when it relates to matters pertaining to personnel employments details. However, I do not believe this confidentiality extends to matter otherwise and certainly not to matters covered by this investigation.

    If one were to extend this confidentiality clause, then it could very well be extended to matters to do with maladministration and matters pertaining thereto. I am certain it was not the intent of the Staff confidentiality policy at the time of adoption to protect Staff in matters similar to what is now before Council.

    Notwithstanding, the above assertions, a mute point does remain: when does the Private interest of an individual exceed the overall Public interest, in so much as to prevent the tabling of the Henry Report.

    There is a disturbing amount of public disquiet arising as a result of this matter and allegations of a lack of transparency have been levelled at the proposed action/s of the CEO.

    Furthermore, the veracity of the evidence contained within the Henry Report is in itself challenged on the premise that the personal interviews were not conducted under Oath. Therefore, what legal weight can be apportioned to such evidence heard.

    Another matter of community disquiet is that the author of the proposed Executive Report is the CEO, who by his own admission on the local ABC is part of the investigation. It is my belief that a possible conflict of interest can be made against the CEO.

    If this is so, the CEO ought to exclude himself and not to be present in the Chamber while the Councillors are deliberating on the evidence relating to the CEO, other than to make a personal submission relating to matters raised concerning his actions.

    It is my assertion that Council should request Investigator Henry to make the necessary recommendations arising from his primary report for Council to consider.

    Council should record in its Minutes, resolutions to encapsulate the intent and letter of the above mentioned observations.

    It should be noted that the ultimate authority does rest with Council and Councillors on all matters pertaining to all issues raised herein and not with the CEO.

    Wishing you well in Council’s deliberations. Thank you for taking the time and effort to read this email.

    I look forward to your acknowledgment.

    Ross Parisi


nocturnal congress said...

Well said Ross.

Syd Walker said...

I second that. Well said!

colin riddell said...

I third that, top letter well said !