Wednesday 29 July 2009

A shambles and a coverup

It's nothing less than a shambles and a cover-up.

Discrete personal issues. Give me a break.

Acting CEO of Cairns Regional Council Peter Tabulo has again restated that the controversial Henry Report, will not be released.

However he has given some of the sanitised information to the Cairns Post under their Freedom of Information request.

The former CEO Noel Briggs held his own investigation, alongside that of Jim Henry QC, into the commercial arrangement between Council and Prime Radio 4CA.

"The report prepared by Jim Henry SC to assist the former CEO in relation to a discrete issue and associated communications will not be released," Tabulo said.

The Cairns Post asked for...
  • “All correspondence including emails and records of telephone conversations with the radio station management or its representatives”

    “All emails and written reports on the matter including emails sent between Mayor Val Schier or her office and communications manager Kerie Hull”

    “Details of the action taken by CEO Noel Briggs to resolve the situation plus memoranda, emails, records or telephone conversations, or letters on the subject written by him”
Tabulo has refused to release most of the information requested, however has decided to release publicly some information, particularly by Councillors who were interviewed.

“In fact there were two investigations conducted upon the advice of Council’s lawyers, one by the CEO into the actual ‘cash for comment’ matter, and the Jim Henry Report solely commissioned for the purpose of determining factual and discrete issues relevant to the performance and/or conduct of the employee(s) involved."

“The advice given by Council’s lawyers and the Henry Report are the subject of legal professional privilege which at no time has been waived. I have concluded that certain employment issue documentation is privileged from production in legal proceedings and accordingly exempt from the request by the Cairns Post,” Peter Tabulo said.

“It is in the public interest to ensure that Council operations are conducted in a professional and fair manner in accordance with industrial relations legislation and employment laws in a manner that affords appropriate confidentiality to the persons subject to the investigations and those who assisted in the process."

Councillors seem to forget that they are the ones running the show, not the staff, no matter what advice they are given. If the majority of the Councillor vote to release the full Executive Summary, for instance, then it would have to be released. It is their (our) Council, not anyone elses.

“Any release of information relevant to their involvement and/or the information they have provided has the potential to have a substantial adverse effect on management or assessment by Council or the conduct of its industrial relations," Tabulo said.

"The Councillors had been informed of the process and by virtue of the provisions of the Local Government Act. Councillors are not involved in the decision making process as it relates to employment and industrial relation issues involving staff, that is the sole domain of the CEO”.

It's not over for Blake and Bonneau.


Mel.South Side said...

Forget all the tommy-rot the past and present CEO's are suggesting in connection with the Henry Report.
The fact is the Councillors are the people who should be deciding if the report should be made public,and not swept under the carpet.If by chance some staff are named in the report,it may be possible to black out certain names
if required,this of course does not include Councillors who may be named in the report.
Councillors,if you have any backbone, take a vote on releasing the report in full,this will indicate the council troublemakers who should be asked to resign.
Also beef up your request to have the Briggs total payout detailed and made public,this is information
ratepayers are entitled to have,in order that possible action may be taken on this matter.
One further matter,Ms Hull was supposed to have been given the bullet some weeks ago,if not why not,is she still receiving her salary or not,get with it Councillors and Mayor.

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

I think Mr. Tabulo has been practising Rudd-speak - ie. how to say absolutely nothing whilst sounding very meaningful, and whilst revealing absolutely NO information during the comment. I think he gets an A+, as far as I'm concerned.
It could be, campers, that there is legal ramifications in the Henry report that need to be played out pending the removal of the Hullster, & hopefully her Cohort in Spin, Sonja Anderson. There may also be matters outstanding re Noel 'Black & Gold' Briggs.
If they want to wait until these, & whomever else needs removing, are dispatched to Centrelink, fine. We can wait. Then the Henry Report (all $17,000 worth of it) should be released. This is where Mayor Val gets it wrong - ie. letting Tabulo control the process. She's always banging on about transparency. Why cannot she assure us the report will be released after legal & employment issues are cleared up. But no - she leaves it up to Tabulo's Russ-speak. Boring, boring, we're all going to sleep waiting.
And when are we getting the new CEO? Have the adverts gone out. After all, Tabulo is only Acting CEO, & Let Us Not Forget, he's been the head of the Evil Planning Department for a LONG time.