Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Call for Ombudsman to Investigate Sydney CEO Sacking

MEDIA RELEASE Lord Mayor gags debate on calls for review by Ombudsman

Liberal Councillor Shayne Mallard has called on the City of Sydney Council to refer the circumstances surrounding the departure of the former CEO Mr Peter Seamer to the NSW Ombudsman for further independent investigations.

In a firey debate at tonight's Extra-ordinary Council meeting, Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP used her casting vote on every occasion to stymie debate centred on her role in the shock departure of former CEO Mr Peter Seamer.

"Clover Moore lectures about government openness and accountability but refuses to apply her own standards to her administration of the City," Shayne Mallard said.

In tonight's debate Councillor Mallard forshadowed a motion to refer the whole Seamer affair to the NSW Ombudsman for a genuinely independent review.

"The manner in the which the Lord Mayor has handled the resignation of the former CEO should be investigated by an independent external body such as the NSW Ombudsman" , Shayne Mallard said.

"Councillors have been kept in the dark about the Lord Mayor's relationship breakdown with the CEO. Mr Seamer was well respected by most members of the Council, Council staff ,City businesses and respected in the Local Government sector as a professional person" Councillor Mallard said.

"The fact that he has been given a generous payout negotiated by Clover Moore means that his resignation was a deal and he was paid hush money. The Lord Mayor has consistently refused to provide more information about her role in Seamer's departure to Councillors in spite of the requirement to properly consult with the elected Council."

The questionable payout , Lord Mayor's actions and the added costs for finding a third replacement CEO in the less than three years are serious financial issues that ought to be investigated by the independent Ombudsman.

The Lord Mayor's behaviour during the days surrounding Mr Seamer's departure also need further independent scrutiny.

"Ratepayer's money was used to silence Mr Seamer and tie the hands of the Councillors in legal red tape and the ratepayer's should know the facts ", Shayne Mallard added.

Councillor Mallard also called upon Council staff and anyone with relevant information to provide this to the Ombudsman and advises that they should do so without fear of retribution from the Council Administration.

Shayne Mallard's Proposed Motion:

Council notes with concern the circumstances and actions taken by the Lord Mayor surrounding the departure of the former CEO Mr Peter Seamer. Council is not convinced by the explanations offered by the Lord Mayor and is concerned that the Lord MayorÂ’s conduct has been unreasonable, unjust, unethical and potentially illegal. Council therefore resolves to refer all material regarding the circumstances surrounding the departure of Mr Seamer including but not limited to the Lord MayorÂ’s meeting with Mr Seamer on 4 April, consultation with Councillors on 4 April and subsequent public and private actions, to the NSW Ombudsman who has the jurisdiction to independently investigate and adjudicate the actions taken by the Lord Mayor and in doing so restore public confidence in the administration of the City of Sydney. Council calls upon all Council staff and other parties with relevant information to provide this to the Ombudsman without fear of retribution from CouncilÂ’s administration.

RELEASE ENDS 1st May 2006.

1 comment:

Shayne Mallard said...

Thanks for the postive feedback David. I will be writing to the NSW Ombudsman today outlining a case for him to investigate the actions of the Lord Mayor - particularly misleading the Council and using ratepayer's funds to cover this affair up with secrecy and lawyers. I was not suprised that Clover Moore would oppose a debate about a referral to the Ombudsman as she has been a total hypocrite throughout this issue.

On the blog - please pass the link around as I welcome good feedback and since I do not have any budget for marketing (as compared to Clover Moore's millions) it is one cost effective way to communicate.