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News / New report a 'wakeup call' to council leaders

New report a 'wakeup call' to council leaders

New report a 'wakeup call' to council leaders

Posted November 18, 2019

The Chief Ombudsman says his latest report into official information practice at local authorities is a wakeup call for all council leaders about the importance of an open and transparent workplace culture–and their accountability for achieving that.

Peter Boshier last week released Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act compliance and practice at Christchurch City Council. His investigation identified serious concerns among Council staff about the behaviour of some members of the Executive Leadership Team to keep negative information from elected members and the public.

‘During my investigation, a number of staff from different parts of Council raised concerns with me about the behaviour of some members of the leadership team. I found the then-CE’s failure to take adequate action in response to these concerns was unreasonable’, Mr Boshier says.

Mr Boshier made the formal recommendation that Christchurch City Council immediately review the leadership team’s involvement in controlling the flow of information to the public and elected officials. He says the Council has accepted this recommendation and already started making changes.

‘I’m confident that the new Chief Executive and leadership team is serious about ensuring the behaviours identified during this investigation will not be tolerated at Christchurch City Council’, Mr Boshier says.

Note: When Gold FM spoke with the Office of the Chief Ombudsman recently about concerns related to requests for not only official but personal information held by Hauraki District Council we were told a number of investigations into council practices in New Zealand are underway.

Anyone is able to make a complaint about access to official information to the Office of the Ombudsman.