Vetting councillor motions would breach code of ethics: CEO
GYMPIE Regional Council CEO Bernard Smith has strenuously rejected the assertion that under new standing orders introduced to the council in 2016, he was given the authority to veto proposed items of "general business" submitted by elected councillors.
The council's communications department yesterday issued this statement, at the invitation of The Gympie Times, to clarify the perception that items submitted for the agenda had to be approved by the CEO.
"Correction regarding Saturday's Gympie Times regarding the council's CEO ability to vet and approve notified motions put forward to council meetings by councillors:
"The Gympie Regional Council CEO does not and cannot vet or dismiss any notified motions at council meetings put forward by councillors, contrary to information reported in The Gympie Times on Saturday, 22 February, 2020.
"CEO Bernard Smith stated that for him to withhold a notified motion or change a notified motion without the approval of the councillor putting it forward would amount to a breach of the code of conduct.
"Occasionally minor changes are made to a notified motion with the approval of the councillor to correct grammar or clarify the intent, however the CEO has no ability to interfere in the putting forward of a notified motion on a legitimate topic to do with the roles and responsibilities of the council under the act.
"In four years, there's only been one notified motion that has been removed as the motion was a conflict of interest for that councillor.
"It is important to remember that it is a decision of councillors to remove or introduce general business at council meetings, not the CEO, nor staff.
"Should the new council wish to reintroduce general business, this is what will happen."