RE: Bathurst Council Assigns Delegates And Adopts Policies (January 24).
That council has adopted an Audit and Risk Charter, an Internal Activity Charter, as well as a Conduct and Procedures Policy certainly is commendable.
Time will tell as to whether these instruments have any teeth or, more importantly, whether anyone has it in them to actually drive these instruments sufficiently hard to the point of restoring public good faith in local government.
OTHER RECENT LETTERS:
The stage for this excellent endeavour was set by the O'Farrell state government when swept to record-breaking power on promises of good governance and transparency.
However, things don't look so good when the NSW Ombudsman needed to make clear to the State Government that a "cultural shift" is needed to make speaking up in the public sector an "easy, normal and safe thing to do" - in other words, work toward not leaving everything to the senior bureaucracy; be fearless to challenge them even though job advancement may be in their hands.
As for councillors, to ensure the proper working of the charters and policy adopted, you need to enact a council policy that reflects the minister's advice to get own legal advice otherwise the long-awaited "cultural shift" lamented by the Ombudsman and the wider public will never come to fruition, good intentions or not.