CEO contract up for renewal next year

In what has become Melbourne’s worst kept secret – rumours are abound that Kathy Alexander will not be reappointed CEO next year when her contract expires in 2013.  It is well known that Robert Doyle and his team are not happy with Alexander’s performance.

Sources in the Council’s Governance Department have long been expressing the view that Robert Doyle does not support Kathy Alexander, with reports of ongoing conflict between the CEO and the Office of the Lord Mayor. 

The City Council under Kathy Alexander has been criticised for its lack of openness and transparency with more and more decisions of Council being made behind closed doors and without public accountability. A situation which could leave the City Council open to allegations of corruption and loss of public confidence.

There is no register or public record of decisions made under delegation.

Melbourne’s new CEO Not John’s first choice could be a good sign

Melbourne City Council has a new CEO.

The Age Newspaper reports that Kathy Alexander, former head of Victoria’s Women’s and Children’s Health has secured one of Australia’s Highest paid public service jobs.

The Age reports that Kathy Alexander was not John So’s first choice with claims that John preferred to have appointed insider “Jobs for the boys” Geoff Lawler. Information provided via the City Elf (hidden way in the Council Governance department) tells a different story. It appears that Garry Singer was driving the show and that John So’s comments were a way of passing the buck in order to ease Mr Lawler’s pain and pride. Personally we think it is good that the Council has looked outside the City Council for its leadership. The CEO needs to remain at a distance and not get too cosy in propping up the “design me a job” senior management team. Mr Lawler would have been the least of our considerations for the top job, his handling of Melbourne’s strategic development plan was one of the worst in Melbourne’s history not to mention many of the policies he has pursued.

Melbourne needs a hard headed business person to drive the council, reduce costs and improve the City Council’s efficiency.

It is way to early to make a judgement on the chosen candidate but hopefully she will not be a social development of the designer job set. There is a lot that needs to be done to restore the City Council to the top of the tree. The City Council is way too small and inbred. Ideally the new CEO should be looking at expanding the City boundaries and establishing a greater City of Melbourne.

The other issue that needs review is the Council’s representative mandate.

The community is crying out for effective represetation and falsely placing the blame on lack of local representation on the current representative model. The problem is not so much the syructiure of the elected Council but more the issue of related to the direct election Lord Mayor and the policies, or more to the point lack of policies and the ability of the current City Councillors.

The City Council has virtually wasted the last three years and achieved very little under the stewardship of the former CEO, David Pitchford and John so. The Council needs to open up its committee structure and invite experts and local representatives to sit on the Council’s statutory advisory committees. The current situation where all committees have Councilors only on them MUST be addressed.

Melbourne has not had an effective CEO since Elizabeth Proust and Andy Friend vacated the Council chambers.

Time will tell whether the City Council has made the right choice and if they new appointment is worth the high salary and generous bonuses paid.

Melbourne’s new CEO Not John’s first choice could be a good sign

Melbourne City Council has a new CEO.

The Age Newspaper reports that Kathy Alexander, former head of Victoria’s Women’s and Children’s Health has secured one of Australia’s Highest paid public service jobs.

The Age reports that Kathy Alexander was not John So’s first choice with claims that John preferred to have appointed insider “Jobs for the boys” Geoff Lawler. Information provided via the City Elf (hidden way in the Council Governance department) tells a different story. It appears that Garry Singer was driving the show and that John So’s comments were a way of passing the buck in order to ease Mr Lawler’s pain and pride. Personally we think it is good that the Council has looked outside the City Council for its leadership. The CEO needs to remain at a distance and not get too cosy in propping up the “design me a job” senior management team. Mr Lawler would have been the least of our considerations for the top job, his handling of Melbourne’s strategic development plan was one of the worst in Melbourne’s history not to mention many of the policies he has pursued.

Melbourne needs a hard headed business person to drive the council, reduce costs and improve the City Council’s efficiency.

It is way to early to make a judgement on the chosen candidate but hopefully she will not be a social development of the designer job set. There is a lot that needs to be done to restore the City Council to the top of the tree. The City Council is way too small and inbred. Ideally the new CEO should be looking at expanding the City boundaries and establishing a greater City of Melbourne.

The other issue that needs review is the Council’s representative mandate.

The community is crying out for effective represetation and falsely placing the blame on lack of local representation on the current representative model. The problem is not so much the syructiure of the elected Council but more the issue of related to the direct election Lord Mayor and the policies, or more to the point lack of policies and the ability of the current City Councillors.

The City Council has virtually wasted the last three years and achieved very little under the stewardship of the former CEO, David Pitchford and John so. The Council needs to open up its committee structure and invite experts and local representatives to sit on the Council’s statutory advisory committees. The current situation where all committees have Councilors only on them MUST be addressed.

Melbourne has not had an effective CEO since Elizabeth Proust and Andy Friend vacated the Council chambers.

Time will tell whether the City Council has made the right choice and if they new appointment is worth the high salary and generous bonuses paid.

Melbourne’s new CEO Not John’s first choice could be a good sign

Melbourne City Council has a new CEO.

The Age Newspaper reports that Kathy Alexander, former head of Victoria’s Women’s and Children’s Health has secured one of Australia’s Highest paid public service jobs.

The Age reports that Kathy Alexander was not John So’s first choice with claims that John preferred to have appointed insider “Jobs for the boys” Geoff Lawler. Information provided via the City Elf (hidden way in the Council Governance department) tells a different story. It appears that Garry Singer was driving the show and that John So’s comments were a way of passing the buck in order to ease Mr Lawler’s pain and pride. Personally we think it is good that the Council has looked outside the City Council for its leadership. The CEO needs to remain at a distance and not get too cosy in propping up the “design me a job” senior management team. Mr Lawler would have been the least of our considerations for the top job, his handling of Melbourne’s strategic development plan was one of the worst in Melbourne’s history not to mention many of the policies he has pursued.

Melbourne needs a hard headed business person to drive the council, reduce costs and improve the City Council’s efficiency.

It is way to early to make a judgement on the chosen candidate but hopefully she will not be a social development of the designer job set. There is a lot that needs to be done to restore the City Council to the top of the tree. The City Council is way too small and inbred. Ideally the new CEO should be looking at expanding the City boundaries and establishing a greater City of Melbourne.

The other issue that needs review is the Council’s representative mandate.

The community is crying out for effective represetation and falsely placing the blame on lack of local representation on the current representative model. The problem is not so much the syructiure of the elected Council but more the issue of related to the direct election Lord Mayor and the policies, or more to the point lack of policies and the ability of the current City Councillors.

The City Council has virtually wasted the last three years and achieved very little under the stewardship of the former CEO, David Pitchford and John so. The Council needs to open up its committee structure and invite experts and local representatives to sit on the Council’s statutory advisory committees. The current situation where all committees have Councilors only on them MUST be addressed.

Melbourne has not had an effective CEO since Elizabeth Proust and Andy Friend vacated the Council chambers.

Time will tell whether the City Council has made the right choice and if they new appointment is worth the high salary and generous bonuses paid.

let the Hunt begin Friday’s closing date for head design me a job City

Last Friday was the closing date for applications of Melbourne CEO Designer me a job City.

It is understood the a few “want to be” In-house applicants have put their name in the hat hoping that their name will be the one chosen to feather the bed of their colleagues.

Current acting CEO Geoff Lawler would have to be one of the most unsuccessful choices to make, his approach to adopting Melbourne’s Strategic Plan, a con game of pin the tail on the strategy, would have to be remembered as one of the most stupid ill-considered and poorly executed exercises in strategic planning ever on record.

Lawless’s idea of Strategic goal setting was to ask selected participants to place up to five issues they considered important on a white board and from the placement and content pin together a Strategic plan that misrepresented the true facts and concerns raised, but he got away with it. Lawless may have a chance as he has been the compliant force behind Melbourne’s ill-fated push for a car-less city. Something small retail business in Melbourne dread. Large Retails stores have already deserted the city center in favour of the car frinedly suburban shopping centers. Lawless stagegy at work.

Another in-house applicant is Scott Chapman. Scott is the most travelled of the City Directors he was the one that come up with the idea of a world shopping Spree tour for Council staff to check out the competition. Whilst Scott comes with numerous appraisals the question is can he stand alone and say no to the “design me a better job” senior staff who are hungry for a better life style paid for by the ratepayers of Melbourne.

It is understood that Linda “It’s not accounted until it is acquitted ” Weatherston is looking for a new job. She has the unfortunate position in that she is the only non male gender in the senior management design team. But she is no Elizabeth Proust and rumour has it she is looking for a job in with one of the international NGO aid agencies. Best of luck, Melbourne will be the better for the change of career.

Rob Adams is another name that has been mooted around but again Rob’s credibility took a major blow back in the 1990’s when Bamboo Rob compromised his integrity and bowed down under pressure and supported the disastrous ill-considered relocation of Melbourne’s Museum from the City Centre to the outskirts. Like Denton Cork and Marshal Robs tenure needs serious review. It is time Melbourne adopted a new design guru and someone that has not been compromised to the extent Rob has. The other factor that rules Rob out is that he really does not have the commercial business skills required for the top job so he not a real contender.

The City Council is best once again looking outside of the City, finding someone that is not tainted by the in-house “design me a job crowd” someone that can provide professional guidance and management of a major capital city.

Melbourne has not had much luck in appointing the best of the best since Elizabeth Proust and Andy Friend vacated the job. The rot set in under former Geelong CEO Michael Malouf. The Council lost all integrity and professionalism, staff numbers went thorough the roof as the council embarked on empire building and the sought of corruption and lack of professionalism that creeps in when staff begin to lose perspective and professional standards decline. Without any doubt Malouf’s reign of terror was the seed of destruction and decline of Melbourne golden age of administrators. It has been all down hill since then.

Will John So get it right the second time around.

John is once again looking to find a replacement CEO for the City. Dissapointed Applicants for the top job can always rely on the fact that the process of head hunting will inevitably involve a breach of confidentiality as information on the selection process and applicants is widely discussed around the corridors and coffee spots where staff so often spend most of their time chatting was opposed to doing their job. Any disappointed applicant can rest assured that they can take legal action against the City Council who will inevitably settle out of court for an undisclosed sum of money as opposed to face a possible court ruling against the City Council and the need to payout even more in compensation. (Roumours have ot that a concerened applcant recioved a hefty sum of monye in compendation for the Council’s head hunting skills or lack there of)

The problem with the Council’s selection process is that staff are required to provide secretarial support for the selection committee and inevitable those staff will report back to their boss the outcomes of deliberations. After all it is in the interest of the secretarial staff to keep their boss happy and accustomed to the designer job life style they are use to.

A more professional approach would be to contract out the secretarial support to the head hunting agency thus placing all responsibility for confidentiality out of reach of the City administration.

Christmas is renowned for the time when administration make the worst of the worst decisions.

A time when the community’s attention span is at its lowest. Having made a decision the administration will inevitably either try and forget it or will dutifully implement the resolution on their return in the new year when hopefully Melbourne will make the right choice and fid someone worthy of the $300.000 plus bonuses salary.

Happy Christmas

let the Hunt begin Friday’s closing date for head design me a job City

Last Friday was the closing date for applications of Melbourne CEO Designer me a job City.

It is understood the a few “want to be” In-house applicants have put their name in the hat hoping that their name will be the one chosen to feather the bed of their colleagues.

Current acting CEO Geoff Lawler would have to be one of the most unsuccessful choices to make, his approach to adopting Melbourne’s Strategic Plan, a con game of pin the tail on the strategy, would have to be remembered as one of the most stupid ill-considered and poorly executed exercises in strategic planning ever on record.

Lawless’s idea of Strategic goal setting was to ask selected participants to place up to five issues they considered important on a white board and from the placement and content pin together a Strategic plan that misrepresented the true facts and concerns raised, but he got away with it. Lawless may have a chance as he has been the compliant force behind Melbourne’s ill-fated push for a car-less city. Something small retail business in Melbourne dread. Large Retails stores have already deserted the city center in favour of the car frinedly suburban shopping centers. Lawless stagegy at work.

Another in-house applicant is Scott Chapman. Scott is the most travelled of the City Directors he was the one that come up with the idea of a world shopping Spree tour for Council staff to check out the competition. Whilst Scott comes with numerous appraisals the question is can he stand alone and say no to the “design me a better job” senior staff who are hungry for a better life style paid for by the ratepayers of Melbourne.

It is understood that Linda “It’s not accounted until it is acquitted ” Weatherston is looking for a new job. She has the unfortunate position in that she is the only non male gender in the senior management design team. But she is no Elizabeth Proust and rumour has it she is looking for a job in with one of the international NGO aid agencies. Best of luck, Melbourne will be the better for the change of career.

Rob Adams is another name that has been mooted around but again Rob’s credibility took a major blow back in the 1990’s when Bamboo Rob compromised his integrity and bowed down under pressure and supported the disastrous ill-considered relocation of Melbourne’s Museum from the City Centre to the outskirts. Like Denton Cork and Marshal Robs tenure needs serious review. It is time Melbourne adopted a new design guru and someone that has not been compromised to the extent Rob has. The other factor that rules Rob out is that he really does not have the commercial business skills required for the top job so he not a real contender.

The City Council is best once again looking outside of the City, finding someone that is not tainted by the in-house “design me a job crowd” someone that can provide professional guidance and management of a major capital city.

Melbourne has not had much luck in appointing the best of the best since Elizabeth Proust and Andy Friend vacated the job. The rot set in under former Geelong CEO Michael Malouf. The Council lost all integrity and professionalism, staff numbers went thorough the roof as the council embarked on empire building and the sought of corruption and lack of professionalism that creeps in when staff begin to lose perspective and professional standards decline. Without any doubt Malouf’s reign of terror was the seed of destruction and decline of Melbourne golden age of administrators. It has been all down hill since then.

Will John So get it right the second time around.

John is once again looking to find a replacement CEO for the City. Dissapointed Applicants for the top job can always rely on the fact that the process of head hunting will inevitably involve a breach of confidentiality as information on the selection process and applicants is widely discussed around the corridors and coffee spots where staff so often spend most of their time chatting was opposed to doing their job. Any disappointed applicant can rest assured that they can take legal action against the City Council who will inevitably settle out of court for an undisclosed sum of money as opposed to face a possible court ruling against the City Council and the need to payout even more in compensation. (Roumours have ot that a concerened applcant recioved a hefty sum of monye in compendation for the Council’s head hunting skills or lack there of)

The problem with the Council’s selection process is that staff are required to provide secretarial support for the selection committee and inevitable those staff will report back to their boss the outcomes of deliberations. After all it is in the interest of the secretarial staff to keep their boss happy and accustomed to the designer job life style they are use to.

A more professional approach would be to contract out the secretarial support to the head hunting agency thus placing all responsibility for confidentiality out of reach of the City administration.

Christmas is renowned for the time when administration make the worst of the worst decisions.

A time when the community’s attention span is at its lowest. Having made a decision the administration will inevitably either try and forget it or will dutifully implement the resolution on their return in the new year when hopefully Melbourne will make the right choice and fid someone worthy of the $300.000 plus bonuses salary.

Happy Christmas

let the Hunt begin Friday’s closing date for head design me a job City

Last Friday was the closing date for applications of Melbourne CEO Designer me a job City.

It is understood the a few “want to be” In-house applicants have put their name in the hat hoping that their name will be the one chosen to feather the bed of their colleagues.

Current acting CEO Geoff Lawler would have to be one of the most unsuccessful choices to make, his approach to adopting Melbourne’s Strategic Plan, a con game of pin the tail on the strategy, would have to be remembered as one of the most stupid ill-considered and poorly executed exercises in strategic planning ever on record.

Lawless’s idea of Strategic goal setting was to ask selected participants to place up to five issues they considered important on a white board and from the placement and content pin together a Strategic plan that misrepresented the true facts and concerns raised, but he got away with it. Lawless may have a chance as he has been the compliant force behind Melbourne’s ill-fated push for a car-less city. Something small retail business in Melbourne dread. Large Retails stores have already deserted the city center in favour of the car frinedly suburban shopping centers. Lawless stagegy at work.

Another in-house applicant is Scott Chapman. Scott is the most travelled of the City Directors he was the one that come up with the idea of a world shopping Spree tour for Council staff to check out the competition. Whilst Scott comes with numerous appraisals the question is can he stand alone and say no to the “design me a better job” senior staff who are hungry for a better life style paid for by the ratepayers of Melbourne.

It is understood that Linda “It’s not accounted until it is acquitted ” Weatherston is looking for a new job. She has the unfortunate position in that she is the only non male gender in the senior management design team. But she is no Elizabeth Proust and rumour has it she is looking for a job in with one of the international NGO aid agencies. Best of luck, Melbourne will be the better for the change of career.

Rob Adams is another name that has been mooted around but again Rob’s credibility took a major blow back in the 1990’s when Bamboo Rob compromised his integrity and bowed down under pressure and supported the disastrous ill-considered relocation of Melbourne’s Museum from the City Centre to the outskirts. Like Denton Cork and Marshal Robs tenure needs serious review. It is time Melbourne adopted a new design guru and someone that has not been compromised to the extent Rob has. The other factor that rules Rob out is that he really does not have the commercial business skills required for the top job so he not a real contender.

The City Council is best once again looking outside of the City, finding someone that is not tainted by the in-house “design me a job crowd” someone that can provide professional guidance and management of a major capital city.

Melbourne has not had much luck in appointing the best of the best since Elizabeth Proust and Andy Friend vacated the job. The rot set in under former Geelong CEO Michael Malouf. The Council lost all integrity and professionalism, staff numbers went thorough the roof as the council embarked on empire building and the sought of corruption and lack of professionalism that creeps in when staff begin to lose perspective and professional standards decline. Without any doubt Malouf’s reign of terror was the seed of destruction and decline of Melbourne golden age of administrators. It has been all down hill since then.

Will John So get it right the second time around.

John is once again looking to find a replacement CEO for the City. Dissapointed Applicants for the top job can always rely on the fact that the process of head hunting will inevitably involve a breach of confidentiality as information on the selection process and applicants is widely discussed around the corridors and coffee spots where staff so often spend most of their time chatting was opposed to doing their job. Any disappointed applicant can rest assured that they can take legal action against the City Council who will inevitably settle out of court for an undisclosed sum of money as opposed to face a possible court ruling against the City Council and the need to payout even more in compensation. (Roumours have ot that a concerened applcant recioved a hefty sum of monye in compendation for the Council’s head hunting skills or lack there of)

The problem with the Council’s selection process is that staff are required to provide secretarial support for the selection committee and inevitable those staff will report back to their boss the outcomes of deliberations. After all it is in the interest of the secretarial staff to keep their boss happy and accustomed to the designer job life style they are use to.

A more professional approach would be to contract out the secretarial support to the head hunting agency thus placing all responsibility for confidentiality out of reach of the City administration.

Christmas is renowned for the time when administration make the worst of the worst decisions.

A time when the community’s attention span is at its lowest. Having made a decision the administration will inevitably either try and forget it or will dutifully implement the resolution on their return in the new year when hopefully Melbourne will make the right choice and fid someone worthy of the $300.000 plus bonuses salary.

Happy Christmas

Send in the Clowns David Pitchford calls for ministerial inquiry into breach of confidentiality

Melbourne City Council Chief Executive Officer, David Pitchford, has called for a ministerial inquiry into what he alleges is a branch of confidentiality under the provisions of the Victorian local Government act.

Earlier the Melbourne City Council had received a $300,000 efficiency report from experts Earnst and Young consultants.

In order to prevent the details of the report becoming public the City Council’s CEO had declared the report confidential thus preventing ratepayer’s right to know the details of the recommendations. It is understood that the report has recommended up to 10 million dollars in savings, including the reorganisation and reduction in Council Staff, can be made to the Council’s recurrent budget.

Reports in the media, earier this month, have given rise for concern by the David Pitchford, Melbourne’s CEO, that Council’s right to confidentiality had been breached.

David Pitchford in his report to Tuesday’s Council meeting, which was brought forward one week in order to discuss issues related to Council finances, had expressed concern that:-

An article on the front page of The Age newspaper on 9 May 2007 (See insert), there are a number of quotes and assertions made by the journalist which could imply that one or more Councillors had possibly breached Section 77 (1) of the Act.

The article states:

  • ‘However, one councillor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, has described the report as “a bombshell” ’.
  • ‘A second councillor told The Age the Ernst & Young consultants had “identified
    some very serious inadequacies within certain departments” ‘.
  • ‘”It implies what a lot of us have been wanting: a shrinkage of directors,” the councillor said.’

Mr Pitchford is apparently of the belief that such benign words constitutes a possible breach of the local government act that also imposed sever penalties including dismissal of Councillors should they be found guilty of breaching the provision of the local governement act.

Guilty of what? Discussing the issues confronting Councils budget and finances in general terms in the course of public debate.

The report to Council made no mention of the fact that the Lord Mayor, John So had just yesterday made mention of details of information contained in the report that Council want hidden, leaving the question is the CEO being a tad bias and overreacting by seeking to intimidate the Council for passing general comment on a document that is in the public interest and should be made public.

Transcript 3AW Morining Radio: Neil Mitchell (8:35AM 23 May 2007)

The following is a transcript of John So on Melbourne Radio 3AW. I leave iot upt to you to read and decide. Does John So really know anything about budgets and fiscal policy?

NEIL MITCHELL: So you’re not going to cut $4.2 million?
JOHN SO: This is not cutting. This is a saving…
NEIL MITCHELL: How are you going to save $4.2 million?
JOHN SO: It’s very… I mean that’s like any business. I run business. As a business operator, I definitely can identify ways, ways to do things more effectively, more efficiently and every budget you factor into 10 per cent increases in like, you get the budget now. I mean the Family Needs funding has increased by 10 per cent and these…
NEIL MITCHELL: Okay, but are you going to cut any spending at all?
JOHN SO: No, no. We have significantly increased the services right through the city.
NEIL MITCHELL: How much are you going to pick up by productivity improvements?
JOHN SO: $4.2 million.
NEIL MITCHELL: So you are going to save $4.2 million somehow, but you’re not going to cut it. So you want to say save, rather than cut, right?
JOHN SO: Oh yeah, absolutely.
NEIL MITCHELL: Okay, are you going to save any jobs? Are you going to cut any jobs? Are you going to reduce staff anywhere? Oh for God’s sake.
JOHN SO: [indistinct] administration where we’ll drop into the overall [indistinct] organisation and how, you know, where they can identify productivity gains…
NEIL MITCHELL: But what does that mean? Are you going to cut staff or not? Are you going to cut staff or not?
JOHN SO: We – there are some – yes, there is places that will be new, that staff can be relocated to it elsewhere. But this is – the report hasn’t come in…
NEIL MITCHELL: Well, then, come on, are you going to cut staff or not? Relocate, where to? Within the same organisation? Are we playing games here, $4.2 million or are we…
JOHN SO: That $4.2 million as I say, we identify as a core, and we will, and the positivities are core savings but this something that neither have been factored in. it’s a year process. At the moment, I can’t give you the figures.
NEIL MITCHELL: No I don’t want figures. I want a principle. Are you going to cut staff? Hello.
JOHN SO: Yes, we get some staff redundants. Yes of course.
NEIL MITCHELL: Can you tell me how much the budget is on marketing and public relations?
JOHN SO: I haven’t got the figure in front of me. Have you?
NEIL MITCHELL: Do you know how much it’s increased since 2001?
JOHN SO: In that area, that’s what we will be [indistinct]. You can find something but I think that we will do it, yes.
NEIL MITCHELL: Yeah, I know but has it increased significantly since 2001?
JOHN SO: Oh yes. It has…
NEIL MITCHELL: What percentage, roughly?
JOHN SO: There has been significant increase in many areas but not just the marketing, but in the events and that the events is based on the number of activities in the city centre.
NEIL MITCHELL: Okay, thank you very much for your time.
JOHN SO: Okay, nice talking to you Neil.
NEIL MITCHELL: Councillor John So, the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne. Look, there’s not just a language barrier there. I mean John So’s a little hard to understand but his English is pretty good. It’s not just a language barrier there, it’s a political barrier. I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. But I do know the City Councils is headed for the red. Deficit. I suspect I know why.

Send in the Clowns David Pitchford calls for ministerial inquiry into breach of confidentiality

Melbourne City Council Chief Executive Officer, David Pitchford, has called for a ministerial inquiry into what he alleges is a branch of confidentiality under the provisions of the Victorian local Government act.

Earlier the Melbourne City Council had received a $300,000 efficiency report from experts Earnst and Young consultants.

In order to prevent the details of the report becoming public the City Council’s CEO had declared the report confidential thus preventing ratepayer’s right to know the details of the recommendations. It is understood that the report has recommended up to 10 million dollars in savings, including the reorganisation and reduction in Council Staff, can be made to the Council’s recurrent budget.

Reports in the media, earier this month, have given rise for concern by the David Pitchford, Melbourne’s CEO, that Council’s right to confidentiality had been breached.

David Pitchford in his report to Tuesday’s Council meeting, which was brought forward one week in order to discuss issues related to Council finances, had expressed concern that:-

An article on the front page of The Age newspaper on 9 May 2007 (See insert), there are a number of quotes and assertions made by the journalist which could imply that one or more Councillors had possibly breached Section 77 (1) of the Act.

The article states:

  • ‘However, one councillor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, has described the report as “a bombshell” ’.
  • ‘A second councillor told The Age the Ernst & Young consultants had “identified
    some very serious inadequacies within certain departments” ‘.
  • ‘”It implies what a lot of us have been wanting: a shrinkage of directors,” the councillor said.’

Mr Pitchford is apparently of the belief that such benign words constitutes a possible breach of the local government act that also imposed sever penalties including dismissal of Councillors should they be found guilty of breaching the provision of the local governement act.

Guilty of what? Discussing the issues confronting Councils budget and finances in general terms in the course of public debate.

The report to Council made no mention of the fact that the Lord Mayor, John So had just yesterday made mention of details of information contained in the report that Council want hidden, leaving the question is the CEO being a tad bias and overreacting by seeking to intimidate the Council for passing general comment on a document that is in the public interest and should be made public.

Transcript 3AW Morining Radio: Neil Mitchell (8:35AM 23 May 2007)

The following is a transcript of John So on Melbourne Radio 3AW. I leave iot upt to you to read and decide. Does John So really know anything about budgets and fiscal policy?

NEIL MITCHELL: So you’re not going to cut $4.2 million?
JOHN SO: This is not cutting. This is a saving…
NEIL MITCHELL: How are you going to save $4.2 million?
JOHN SO: It’s very… I mean that’s like any business. I run business. As a business operator, I definitely can identify ways, ways to do things more effectively, more efficiently and every budget you factor into 10 per cent increases in like, you get the budget now. I mean the Family Needs funding has increased by 10 per cent and these…
NEIL MITCHELL: Okay, but are you going to cut any spending at all?
JOHN SO: No, no. We have significantly increased the services right through the city.
NEIL MITCHELL: How much are you going to pick up by productivity improvements?
JOHN SO: $4.2 million.
NEIL MITCHELL: So you are going to save $4.2 million somehow, but you’re not going to cut it. So you want to say save, rather than cut, right?
JOHN SO: Oh yeah, absolutely.
NEIL MITCHELL: Okay, are you going to save any jobs? Are you going to cut any jobs? Are you going to reduce staff anywhere? Oh for God’s sake.
JOHN SO: [indistinct] administration where we’ll drop into the overall [indistinct] organisation and how, you know, where they can identify productivity gains…
NEIL MITCHELL: But what does that mean? Are you going to cut staff or not? Are you going to cut staff or not?
JOHN SO: We – there are some – yes, there is places that will be new, that staff can be relocated to it elsewhere. But this is – the report hasn’t come in…
NEIL MITCHELL: Well, then, come on, are you going to cut staff or not? Relocate, where to? Within the same organisation? Are we playing games here, $4.2 million or are we…
JOHN SO: That $4.2 million as I say, we identify as a core, and we will, and the positivities are core savings but this something that neither have been factored in. it’s a year process. At the moment, I can’t give you the figures.
NEIL MITCHELL: No I don’t want figures. I want a principle. Are you going to cut staff? Hello.
JOHN SO: Yes, we get some staff redundants. Yes of course.
NEIL MITCHELL: Can you tell me how much the budget is on marketing and public relations?
JOHN SO: I haven’t got the figure in front of me. Have you?
NEIL MITCHELL: Do you know how much it’s increased since 2001?
JOHN SO: In that area, that’s what we will be [indistinct]. You can find something but I think that we will do it, yes.
NEIL MITCHELL: Yeah, I know but has it increased significantly since 2001?
JOHN SO: Oh yes. It has…
NEIL MITCHELL: What percentage, roughly?
JOHN SO: There has been significant increase in many areas but not just the marketing, but in the events and that the events is based on the number of activities in the city centre.
NEIL MITCHELL: Okay, thank you very much for your time.
JOHN SO: Okay, nice talking to you Neil.
NEIL MITCHELL: Councillor John So, the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne. Look, there’s not just a language barrier there. I mean John So’s a little hard to understand but his English is pretty good. It’s not just a language barrier there, it’s a political barrier. I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. But I do know the City Councils is headed for the red. Deficit. I suspect I know why.

Send in the Clowns David Pitchford calls for ministerial inquiry into breach of confidentiality

Melbourne City Council Chief Executive Officer, David Pitchford, has called for a ministerial inquiry into what he alleges is a branch of confidentiality under the provisions of the Victorian local Government act.

Earlier the Melbourne City Council had received a $300,000 efficiency report from experts Earnst and Young consultants.

In order to prevent the details of the report becoming public the City Council’s CEO had declared the report confidential thus preventing ratepayer’s right to know the details of the recommendations. It is understood that the report has recommended up to 10 million dollars in savings, including the reorganisation and reduction in Council Staff, can be made to the Council’s recurrent budget.

Reports in the media, earier this month, have given rise for concern by the David Pitchford, Melbourne’s CEO, that Council’s right to confidentiality had been breached.

David Pitchford in his report to Tuesday’s Council meeting, which was brought forward one week in order to discuss issues related to Council finances, had expressed concern that:-

An article on the front page of The Age newspaper on 9 May 2007 (See insert), there are a number of quotes and assertions made by the journalist which could imply that one or more Councillors had possibly breached Section 77 (1) of the Act.

The article states:

  • ‘However, one councillor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, has described the report as “a bombshell” ’.
  • ‘A second councillor told The Age the Ernst & Young consultants had “identified
    some very serious inadequacies within certain departments” ‘.
  • ‘”It implies what a lot of us have been wanting: a shrinkage of directors,” the councillor said.’

Mr Pitchford is apparently of the belief that such benign words constitutes a possible breach of the local government act that also imposed sever penalties including dismissal of Councillors should they be found guilty of breaching the provision of the local governement act.

Guilty of what? Discussing the issues confronting Councils budget and finances in general terms in the course of public debate.

The report to Council made no mention of the fact that the Lord Mayor, John So had just yesterday made mention of details of information contained in the report that Council want hidden, leaving the question is the CEO being a tad bias and overreacting by seeking to intimidate the Council for passing general comment on a document that is in the public interest and should be made public.

Transcript 3AW Morining Radio: Neil Mitchell (8:35AM 23 May 2007)

The following is a transcript of John So on Melbourne Radio 3AW. I leave iot upt to you to read and decide. Does John So really know anything about budgets and fiscal policy?

NEIL MITCHELL: So you’re not going to cut $4.2 million?
JOHN SO: This is not cutting. This is a saving…
NEIL MITCHELL: How are you going to save $4.2 million?
JOHN SO: It’s very… I mean that’s like any business. I run business. As a business operator, I definitely can identify ways, ways to do things more effectively, more efficiently and every budget you factor into 10 per cent increases in like, you get the budget now. I mean the Family Needs funding has increased by 10 per cent and these…
NEIL MITCHELL: Okay, but are you going to cut any spending at all?
JOHN SO: No, no. We have significantly increased the services right through the city.
NEIL MITCHELL: How much are you going to pick up by productivity improvements?
JOHN SO: $4.2 million.
NEIL MITCHELL: So you are going to save $4.2 million somehow, but you’re not going to cut it. So you want to say save, rather than cut, right?
JOHN SO: Oh yeah, absolutely.
NEIL MITCHELL: Okay, are you going to save any jobs? Are you going to cut any jobs? Are you going to reduce staff anywhere? Oh for God’s sake.
JOHN SO: [indistinct] administration where we’ll drop into the overall [indistinct] organisation and how, you know, where they can identify productivity gains…
NEIL MITCHELL: But what does that mean? Are you going to cut staff or not? Are you going to cut staff or not?
JOHN SO: We – there are some – yes, there is places that will be new, that staff can be relocated to it elsewhere. But this is – the report hasn’t come in…
NEIL MITCHELL: Well, then, come on, are you going to cut staff or not? Relocate, where to? Within the same organisation? Are we playing games here, $4.2 million or are we…
JOHN SO: That $4.2 million as I say, we identify as a core, and we will, and the positivities are core savings but this something that neither have been factored in. it’s a year process. At the moment, I can’t give you the figures.
NEIL MITCHELL: No I don’t want figures. I want a principle. Are you going to cut staff? Hello.
JOHN SO: Yes, we get some staff redundants. Yes of course.
NEIL MITCHELL: Can you tell me how much the budget is on marketing and public relations?
JOHN SO: I haven’t got the figure in front of me. Have you?
NEIL MITCHELL: Do you know how much it’s increased since 2001?
JOHN SO: In that area, that’s what we will be [indistinct]. You can find something but I think that we will do it, yes.
NEIL MITCHELL: Yeah, I know but has it increased significantly since 2001?
JOHN SO: Oh yes. It has…
NEIL MITCHELL: What percentage, roughly?
JOHN SO: There has been significant increase in many areas but not just the marketing, but in the events and that the events is based on the number of activities in the city centre.
NEIL MITCHELL: Okay, thank you very much for your time.
JOHN SO: Okay, nice talking to you Neil.
NEIL MITCHELL: Councillor John So, the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne. Look, there’s not just a language barrier there. I mean John So’s a little hard to understand but his English is pretty good. It’s not just a language barrier there, it’s a political barrier. I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. But I do know the City Councils is headed for the red. Deficit. I suspect I know why.