Pitchford bites the dust and departs Melbourne

Embattled Chief Executive David Pitchford has called it quits. He has jump ship before being forced to resign.

David Pitchford, one of Australia over paid top executives whose skills do not match his remuneration, has been looking around for a new job ever since the City of Melbourne refused to extend his contract for the full term.

David, king of the designer me a job brigade, will be remembered for the blow-0ut in council expenditure and the rebuilding of the Council top heavy staff structure at Melbourne which under John So has seen Melbourne face a bleak future and possibly bankruptcy.

Both David Pitchford and John So failed to address the staffing crisis at Melbourne. The Council still remains top-heavy with most senior managers having closed ranks and held on to their position.

PITCHFORD NEVER REALLY ADDRESSED THE GOVERNANCE ISSUES IN COUNCIL

Along with Alison Lyons, Pitchford was responsible for the corruption scandal that hit Melbourne with the Traffic Jam Affair which resulted in the State Ombudsman Department doing a raid on the City Offices following the Council’s attempt to cover-up and their refusal to co-operate over their investigation of the Council’s parking fine extortion racket designed to fund the Council’s Staff’s empire. Lyons who was the “Brains behind the councils legal avoidance representation, was the first to go and now Pitchford has made his final farewells.

The Council has one year left of its fixed four-year term of office. And for the second time this term will go through the CEO selection procedures.


Melbourne City Council chief executive David Pitchford to quit
Mary Bolling – Herald Sun reports

MELBOURNE City Council’s top bureaucrat will announce his resignation today, at a press conference at Melbourne Town Hall.

Council chief executive David Pitchford will step down after four years in the role – and only months after being reappointed to the role by councilors.

Lord Mayor John So will not be at the press conference, and it is understood Mr Pitchford will take on a new role offshore.

Mr Pitchford was controversially appointed to the top council officer job in 2003.

It was later revealed he was not the number one candidate.

The bureaucrat came to council after terminating his contract as the Melbourne Commonwealth Games organising committee deputy CEO.

Earlier this year, Mr Pitchford was at the centre of a storm as a critical report recommended the big-spending council cut $4 million from the annual budget.

The report sparked a round of sackings at Town Hall.

Pitchford bites the dust and departs Melbourne

Embattled Chief Executive David Pitchford has called it quits. He has jump ship before being forced to resign.

David Pitchford, one of Australia over paid top executives whose skills do not match his remuneration, has been looking around for a new job ever since the City of Melbourne refused to extend his contract for the full term.

David, king of the designer me a job brigade, will be remembered for the blow-0ut in council expenditure and the rebuilding of the Council top heavy staff structure at Melbourne which under John So has seen Melbourne face a bleak future and possibly bankruptcy.

Both David Pitchford and John So failed to address the staffing crisis at Melbourne. The Council still remains top-heavy with most senior managers having closed ranks and held on to their position.

PITCHFORD NEVER REALLY ADDRESSED THE GOVERNANCE ISSUES IN COUNCIL

Along with Alison Lyons, Pitchford was responsible for the corruption scandal that hit Melbourne with the Traffic Jam Affair which resulted in the State Ombudsman Department doing a raid on the City Offices following the Council’s attempt to cover-up and their refusal to co-operate over their investigation of the Council’s parking fine extortion racket designed to fund the Council’s Staff’s empire. Lyons who was the “Brains behind the councils legal avoidance representation, was the first to go and now Pitchford has made his final farewells.

The Council has one year left of its fixed four-year term of office. And for the second time this term will go through the CEO selection procedures.


Melbourne City Council chief executive David Pitchford to quit
Mary Bolling – Herald Sun reports

MELBOURNE City Council’s top bureaucrat will announce his resignation today, at a press conference at Melbourne Town Hall.

Council chief executive David Pitchford will step down after four years in the role – and only months after being reappointed to the role by councilors.

Lord Mayor John So will not be at the press conference, and it is understood Mr Pitchford will take on a new role offshore.

Mr Pitchford was controversially appointed to the top council officer job in 2003.

It was later revealed he was not the number one candidate.

The bureaucrat came to council after terminating his contract as the Melbourne Commonwealth Games organising committee deputy CEO.

Earlier this year, Mr Pitchford was at the centre of a storm as a critical report recommended the big-spending council cut $4 million from the annual budget.

The report sparked a round of sackings at Town Hall.

Heads begin to roll But CEO and Lord Mayor not held accountable

The Melbourne City Council has began to swing the axe following the recent Ombudsman investigation and report into corruption in the Council administration earlier this year.

Alison Lyon, Council’s former legal and Governance (sic) officer, had escaped review by her early resignation of her position with the City Council, thus avoiding the possibility of being dismissed.

The City Council acting on false legal advise, tried to thwart and hinder the Ombudsman’s investigation. Thankfully the Ombudsman’s department was not going to be intimidated by such tactics and continued with its investigation.

The City Council is renowned for misusing and abusing the legal system to avoid accountability.

The Ombudsman investigation found that the Council administration had acted inappropriately in a corrupt manner bordering on outright deceit. The Council administration when caught-out began a excise of cover-up, lies and denial of the Council’s knowledge and involvement in serious mis-management.

Whilst we welcome the decision of the Council to begin to address the issue of corruption the fact remains that the CEO also should be held accountable for the problems identified. He must be held accountable along with the Council’s Governance department. They can not and should not escape responsibility.

It is incumbent on the Lord Mayor to act independently and call for the resignation of the Council’s CEO and head of Council’s Governance and Finance departments. Failure to do so will only reflect poorly on the elected Council who will continue to be seen to be implicated in the in-house cover-up and attempt to avoid accountability. They are only seen to act when they are caught out.

If the Lord Mayor does not act then the elected Council must take action by holding a open and transparent and open investigation in to the management of the Council.

It is not satisfactory to just just hold secret behind closed door meetings in the hope that the issue will go away. Anything short of an open investigation will only continue to bring the City Council into ongoing disrepute undermining further public confidence in the City of Melbourne.

The Age newspaper reports…

City council removes traffic boss
Rachel Kleinman
August 16, 2006

Branch manager Noel Reid has been removed in favour of troubleshooter Steven Nagle, council chief executive David Pitchford announced yesterday. Mr Nagle will start today.

Mr Reid will be moved to the facilities management branch for the remainder of his contract. He and his deputy each received an official warning.

They had shown poor judgement and were reprimanded for clearly unacceptable behaviour, Mr Pitchford said.

He said the action, in response to a scathing State Ombudsman’s report, would reform the council’s management of parking and traffic.

The Ombudsman’s report in April revealed that a dysfunctional team of parking officers had illegally issued parking fines worth $50,000 between 2002 and last year.

Two new assistant managers will join Mr Nagle, who has worked for the State Government, RMIT University and the Victorian Taxi Directorate.

Australian Services Union industrial officer Leanne Sumpter said morale in the parking and traffic branch was low.

The union has yet to be briefed on the changes.

“At this point I don’t know much,” Ms Sumpter said. “(But) some officers feel attacked from both inside and outside the organisation. Some feel they have been made scapegoats.”

Mr Pitchford said all 160 staff members would have performance reviews and further casualties could not be ruled out.

“There have been problems within this branch for 15 years,” Mr Pitchford said.

“This is an entirely new team and will bring a fresh approach to the way the branch operates.”

The branch would shift its focus from enforcement and fines to customer service.

Mr Pitchford admitted the council might lose revenue through the change.

“I am happy to wear that if it means that we are issuing parking infringement notices for bona fide offences,” he said.

He said these changes were part of a 46-point plan aimed at fixing problems highlighted in Ombudsman George Brouwer’s report.

Two Melbourne councillors, who refused to be named, told The Age last month they doubted Mr Pitchford’s competence in handling the affair.

Their attack came after Mr Brouwer launched a second investigation into allegations that the whistleblowers who triggered the original probe were later intimidated and bullied by senior council staff.

Under the Whistleblowers Protection Act, it is a criminal offence punishable by up to two years in jail to take revenge on or threaten reprisals against a whistleblower.

Lord Mayor John So said yesterday: “Following the Ombudsman’s report, I demanded an assurance from the chief executive to act on the recommendations and address all the issues immediately. I’m happy that action has been taken.”

But council sources have told The Age that, in private, Cr So’s attitude towards Mr Pitchford has cooled in recent weeks and his contract may not be extended beyond September next year.

Heads begin to roll But CEO and Lord Mayor not held accountable

The Melbourne City Council has began to swing the axe following the recent Ombudsman investigation and report into corruption in the Council administration earlier this year.

Alison Lyon, Council’s former legal and Governance (sic) officer, had escaped review by her early resignation of her position with the City Council, thus avoiding the possibility of being dismissed.

The City Council acting on false legal advise, tried to thwart and hinder the Ombudsman’s investigation. Thankfully the Ombudsman’s department was not going to be intimidated by such tactics and continued with its investigation.

The City Council is renowned for misusing and abusing the legal system to avoid accountability.

The Ombudsman investigation found that the Council administration had acted inappropriately in a corrupt manner bordering on outright deceit. The Council administration when caught-out began a excise of cover-up, lies and denial of the Council’s knowledge and involvement in serious mis-management.

Whilst we welcome the decision of the Council to begin to address the issue of corruption the fact remains that the CEO also should be held accountable for the problems identified. He must be held accountable along with the Council’s Governance department. They can not and should not escape responsibility.

It is incumbent on the Lord Mayor to act independently and call for the resignation of the Council’s CEO and head of Council’s Governance and Finance departments. Failure to do so will only reflect poorly on the elected Council who will continue to be seen to be implicated in the in-house cover-up and attempt to avoid accountability. They are only seen to act when they are caught out.

If the Lord Mayor does not act then the elected Council must take action by holding a open and transparent and open investigation in to the management of the Council.

It is not satisfactory to just just hold secret behind closed door meetings in the hope that the issue will go away. Anything short of an open investigation will only continue to bring the City Council into ongoing disrepute undermining further public confidence in the City of Melbourne.

The Age newspaper reports…

City council removes traffic boss
Rachel Kleinman
August 16, 2006

Branch manager Noel Reid has been removed in favour of troubleshooter Steven Nagle, council chief executive David Pitchford announced yesterday. Mr Nagle will start today.

Mr Reid will be moved to the facilities management branch for the remainder of his contract. He and his deputy each received an official warning.

They had shown poor judgement and were reprimanded for clearly unacceptable behaviour, Mr Pitchford said.

He said the action, in response to a scathing State Ombudsman’s report, would reform the council’s management of parking and traffic.

The Ombudsman’s report in April revealed that a dysfunctional team of parking officers had illegally issued parking fines worth $50,000 between 2002 and last year.

Two new assistant managers will join Mr Nagle, who has worked for the State Government, RMIT University and the Victorian Taxi Directorate.

Australian Services Union industrial officer Leanne Sumpter said morale in the parking and traffic branch was low.

The union has yet to be briefed on the changes.

“At this point I don’t know much,” Ms Sumpter said. “(But) some officers feel attacked from both inside and outside the organisation. Some feel they have been made scapegoats.”

Mr Pitchford said all 160 staff members would have performance reviews and further casualties could not be ruled out.

“There have been problems within this branch for 15 years,” Mr Pitchford said.

“This is an entirely new team and will bring a fresh approach to the way the branch operates.”

The branch would shift its focus from enforcement and fines to customer service.

Mr Pitchford admitted the council might lose revenue through the change.

“I am happy to wear that if it means that we are issuing parking infringement notices for bona fide offences,” he said.

He said these changes were part of a 46-point plan aimed at fixing problems highlighted in Ombudsman George Brouwer’s report.

Two Melbourne councillors, who refused to be named, told The Age last month they doubted Mr Pitchford’s competence in handling the affair.

Their attack came after Mr Brouwer launched a second investigation into allegations that the whistleblowers who triggered the original probe were later intimidated and bullied by senior council staff.

Under the Whistleblowers Protection Act, it is a criminal offence punishable by up to two years in jail to take revenge on or threaten reprisals against a whistleblower.

Lord Mayor John So said yesterday: “Following the Ombudsman’s report, I demanded an assurance from the chief executive to act on the recommendations and address all the issues immediately. I’m happy that action has been taken.”

But council sources have told The Age that, in private, Cr So’s attitude towards Mr Pitchford has cooled in recent weeks and his contract may not be extended beyond September next year.

Heads begin to roll But CEO and Lord Mayor not held accountable

The Melbourne City Council has began to swing the axe following the recent Ombudsman investigation and report into corruption in the Council administration earlier this year.

Alison Lyon, Council’s former legal and Governance (sic) officer, had escaped review by her early resignation of her position with the City Council, thus avoiding the possibility of being dismissed.

The City Council acting on false legal advise, tried to thwart and hinder the Ombudsman’s investigation. Thankfully the Ombudsman’s department was not going to be intimidated by such tactics and continued with its investigation.

The City Council is renowned for misusing and abusing the legal system to avoid accountability.

The Ombudsman investigation found that the Council administration had acted inappropriately in a corrupt manner bordering on outright deceit. The Council administration when caught-out began a excise of cover-up, lies and denial of the Council’s knowledge and involvement in serious mis-management.

Whilst we welcome the decision of the Council to begin to address the issue of corruption the fact remains that the CEO also should be held accountable for the problems identified. He must be held accountable along with the Council’s Governance department. They can not and should not escape responsibility.

It is incumbent on the Lord Mayor to act independently and call for the resignation of the Council’s CEO and head of Council’s Governance and Finance departments. Failure to do so will only reflect poorly on the elected Council who will continue to be seen to be implicated in the in-house cover-up and attempt to avoid accountability. They are only seen to act when they are caught out.

If the Lord Mayor does not act then the elected Council must take action by holding a open and transparent and open investigation in to the management of the Council.

It is not satisfactory to just just hold secret behind closed door meetings in the hope that the issue will go away. Anything short of an open investigation will only continue to bring the City Council into ongoing disrepute undermining further public confidence in the City of Melbourne.

The Age newspaper reports…

City council removes traffic boss
Rachel Kleinman
August 16, 2006

Branch manager Noel Reid has been removed in favour of troubleshooter Steven Nagle, council chief executive David Pitchford announced yesterday. Mr Nagle will start today.

Mr Reid will be moved to the facilities management branch for the remainder of his contract. He and his deputy each received an official warning.

They had shown poor judgement and were reprimanded for clearly unacceptable behaviour, Mr Pitchford said.

He said the action, in response to a scathing State Ombudsman’s report, would reform the council’s management of parking and traffic.

The Ombudsman’s report in April revealed that a dysfunctional team of parking officers had illegally issued parking fines worth $50,000 between 2002 and last year.

Two new assistant managers will join Mr Nagle, who has worked for the State Government, RMIT University and the Victorian Taxi Directorate.

Australian Services Union industrial officer Leanne Sumpter said morale in the parking and traffic branch was low.

The union has yet to be briefed on the changes.

“At this point I don’t know much,” Ms Sumpter said. “(But) some officers feel attacked from both inside and outside the organisation. Some feel they have been made scapegoats.”

Mr Pitchford said all 160 staff members would have performance reviews and further casualties could not be ruled out.

“There have been problems within this branch for 15 years,” Mr Pitchford said.

“This is an entirely new team and will bring a fresh approach to the way the branch operates.”

The branch would shift its focus from enforcement and fines to customer service.

Mr Pitchford admitted the council might lose revenue through the change.

“I am happy to wear that if it means that we are issuing parking infringement notices for bona fide offences,” he said.

He said these changes were part of a 46-point plan aimed at fixing problems highlighted in Ombudsman George Brouwer’s report.

Two Melbourne councillors, who refused to be named, told The Age last month they doubted Mr Pitchford’s competence in handling the affair.

Their attack came after Mr Brouwer launched a second investigation into allegations that the whistleblowers who triggered the original probe were later intimidated and bullied by senior council staff.

Under the Whistleblowers Protection Act, it is a criminal offence punishable by up to two years in jail to take revenge on or threaten reprisals against a whistleblower.

Lord Mayor John So said yesterday: “Following the Ombudsman’s report, I demanded an assurance from the chief executive to act on the recommendations and address all the issues immediately. I’m happy that action has been taken.”

But council sources have told The Age that, in private, Cr So’s attitude towards Mr Pitchford has cooled in recent weeks and his contract may not be extended beyond September next year.

Council admits to fleecing motorists for more revenue Council spin doctors go to work and claim no more fine quotas


Melbourne City Council spin doctors go to work. Council admits to fleecing motorists for more revenue and now claims they will call off the dogs. Yeah right we have heard this all before. Its time to put an end to the ripp-off and corrupt practices. the elected Council must begin to govern for Melbourne and stop travelling on luxury ratepayer funded junkets. John So and his team are the biggest spenders of luxury trips of all time. He claimed he was going to scrap his limo but instead he continues to hang on to the benefits of office. The Deputy Lord Mayor’s self drive council funded petrol guzzling limousine should also be scraped and money for private use of the limo refunded to the City. Only then can teh City Coucnil begin to regain public repsect.


City to scrap ticket quotas
Keith Moor
07jun06

MELBOURNE’S parking officers have been bullied for over a decade into using sneaky and overzealous methods to meet daily fine quotas.

City of Melbourne chief executive David Pitchford made the startling admission yesterday and vowed to stop the quota system and change the culture of parking officers away from revenue raising.

Mr Pitchford said it had never been council policy to have quotas, but admitted some managers adopted them.

Some managers threatened parking officers with the sack if they didn’t each issue 30 tickets a day in 2004-05 to reach a $27.5 million target.

Mr Pitchford said some of the council’s 123 parking officers used inappropriate methods of booking people as a result of this pressure.

A council source told the Herald Sun the methods included issuing fake fines on non-existent cars, working late to blitz sporting and entertainment venues and restaurant and nightclub strips, and not reporting unclear and confusing parking signs so they could book those who thought they were legally parked.

Mr Pitchford yesterday revealed a number of council managers had been moved as a result of intimidatory tactics relating to quotas.

He also said he was trying to identify staff who altered council records in a bid to foil an investigation by the Ombudsman into ticket irregularities.

State Ombudsman George Brouwer this year revealed his investigators seized council computers and discovered evidence of staff altering records to try to cover blunders.

Mr Pitchford vowed to end the sneaky and underhanded methods used by some to book motorists.

He promised to instruct parking officers to use more discretion about recently expired meters.

“What I would like to see happen there is if he or she comes up to the meter when it goes into the last minute that he or she would wait there until at least two minutes past and then have a look around to see whether the motorist is nearby,” he said.

“And if the motorist arrives they say ‘that’s fine, but don’t run that close in future’.”

Mr Pitchford said the council would still include a projected parking fine figure in its annual budget, but nobody would be punished if the budget was not met.

He said the City of Melbourne had agreed to adopt all the measures suggested by the Ombudsman to improve the parking fine system.

Council admits to fleecing motorists for more revenue Council spin doctors go to work and claim no more fine quotas


Melbourne City Council spin doctors go to work. Council admits to fleecing motorists for more revenue and now claims they will call off the dogs. Yeah right we have heard this all before. Its time to put an end to the ripp-off and corrupt practices. the elected Council must begin to govern for Melbourne and stop travelling on luxury ratepayer funded junkets. John So and his team are the biggest spenders of luxury trips of all time. He claimed he was going to scrap his limo but instead he continues to hang on to the benefits of office. The Deputy Lord Mayor’s self drive council funded petrol guzzling limousine should also be scraped and money for private use of the limo refunded to the City. Only then can teh City Coucnil begin to regain public repsect.


City to scrap ticket quotas
Keith Moor
07jun06

MELBOURNE’S parking officers have been bullied for over a decade into using sneaky and overzealous methods to meet daily fine quotas.

City of Melbourne chief executive David Pitchford made the startling admission yesterday and vowed to stop the quota system and change the culture of parking officers away from revenue raising.

Mr Pitchford said it had never been council policy to have quotas, but admitted some managers adopted them.

Some managers threatened parking officers with the sack if they didn’t each issue 30 tickets a day in 2004-05 to reach a $27.5 million target.

Mr Pitchford said some of the council’s 123 parking officers used inappropriate methods of booking people as a result of this pressure.

A council source told the Herald Sun the methods included issuing fake fines on non-existent cars, working late to blitz sporting and entertainment venues and restaurant and nightclub strips, and not reporting unclear and confusing parking signs so they could book those who thought they were legally parked.

Mr Pitchford yesterday revealed a number of council managers had been moved as a result of intimidatory tactics relating to quotas.

He also said he was trying to identify staff who altered council records in a bid to foil an investigation by the Ombudsman into ticket irregularities.

State Ombudsman George Brouwer this year revealed his investigators seized council computers and discovered evidence of staff altering records to try to cover blunders.

Mr Pitchford vowed to end the sneaky and underhanded methods used by some to book motorists.

He promised to instruct parking officers to use more discretion about recently expired meters.

“What I would like to see happen there is if he or she comes up to the meter when it goes into the last minute that he or she would wait there until at least two minutes past and then have a look around to see whether the motorist is nearby,” he said.

“And if the motorist arrives they say ‘that’s fine, but don’t run that close in future’.”

Mr Pitchford said the council would still include a projected parking fine figure in its annual budget, but nobody would be punished if the budget was not met.

He said the City of Melbourne had agreed to adopt all the measures suggested by the Ombudsman to improve the parking fine system.

Council admits to fleecing motorists for more revenue Council spin doctors go to work and claim no more fine quotas


Melbourne City Council spin doctors go to work. Council admits to fleecing motorists for more revenue and now claims they will call off the dogs. Yeah right we have heard this all before. Its time to put an end to the ripp-off and corrupt practices. the elected Council must begin to govern for Melbourne and stop travelling on luxury ratepayer funded junkets. John So and his team are the biggest spenders of luxury trips of all time. He claimed he was going to scrap his limo but instead he continues to hang on to the benefits of office. The Deputy Lord Mayor’s self drive council funded petrol guzzling limousine should also be scraped and money for private use of the limo refunded to the City. Only then can teh City Coucnil begin to regain public repsect.


City to scrap ticket quotas
Keith Moor
07jun06

MELBOURNE’S parking officers have been bullied for over a decade into using sneaky and overzealous methods to meet daily fine quotas.

City of Melbourne chief executive David Pitchford made the startling admission yesterday and vowed to stop the quota system and change the culture of parking officers away from revenue raising.

Mr Pitchford said it had never been council policy to have quotas, but admitted some managers adopted them.

Some managers threatened parking officers with the sack if they didn’t each issue 30 tickets a day in 2004-05 to reach a $27.5 million target.

Mr Pitchford said some of the council’s 123 parking officers used inappropriate methods of booking people as a result of this pressure.

A council source told the Herald Sun the methods included issuing fake fines on non-existent cars, working late to blitz sporting and entertainment venues and restaurant and nightclub strips, and not reporting unclear and confusing parking signs so they could book those who thought they were legally parked.

Mr Pitchford yesterday revealed a number of council managers had been moved as a result of intimidatory tactics relating to quotas.

He also said he was trying to identify staff who altered council records in a bid to foil an investigation by the Ombudsman into ticket irregularities.

State Ombudsman George Brouwer this year revealed his investigators seized council computers and discovered evidence of staff altering records to try to cover blunders.

Mr Pitchford vowed to end the sneaky and underhanded methods used by some to book motorists.

He promised to instruct parking officers to use more discretion about recently expired meters.

“What I would like to see happen there is if he or she comes up to the meter when it goes into the last minute that he or she would wait there until at least two minutes past and then have a look around to see whether the motorist is nearby,” he said.

“And if the motorist arrives they say ‘that’s fine, but don’t run that close in future’.”

Mr Pitchford said the council would still include a projected parking fine figure in its annual budget, but nobody would be punished if the budget was not met.

He said the City of Melbourne had agreed to adopt all the measures suggested by the Ombudsman to improve the parking fine system.

So corruption exposed Melbourne City Council must come clean and those responsible held accountable

The Herald Sun Editorial dated April 5, 2006 ( Extract blow) is damming and raises more issues that must be addressed.

Why did the Council fail to cooperate with the State Ombudsman Department? What’s more important is that when this issue was identified nothing was done to address the concerns raised. instead the Council became involved in a cover-up and engaged in a conspiracy of deceit.

If Alison Lyon, Melbourne City Council’s former Legal Officer, had not already resigned then we would be calling for her to be sacked. Ms Lyons resigned earlier this year prior to the release of the Obmbudsman report. Other heads must roll, those responsible for this disgrace conduct and blatant misuse and abuse of authority must be held accountable.

When did Melbourne’s Lord Mayor and other Councillor’s first become aware of the problems and why was there nothing said or done until this issue was exposed by the State Ombudsman department?

Who else was involved in the conspiracy of silence?

These are serious issues pertaining to the administration and cultural environment within the City Council, Council officers believe they are unaccountable and have on many occasions demonstrated there persistence to avoid accountability by consistently refusing to publish information and details of the Council’s administration. They are even prepared to misuse council funds to avoid responsibility and accountability. Much more needs to be said about the goings on in the City Council.

The Herald Sun was critical of Melbourne’s Lord Mayor and Councillors and rightly so. They have been implicated in the fall-out. Too busy jet-setting off, drinking and partying to fulfill their responsibility.

What role did Garry Singer, Melbourne’s Deputy Lord Mayor and John So’s right hand man, play in this cover-up. he was responsible for Council’s finances and the Council’s representative on the City’s internal audit committee.? Surely he was aware of what was going on if not then why not?

John So must demonstrate that he has the ability to not just win smiles and popularity contests he must prove that he is capable of providing good governance.

A full and detailed review needs to be undertaken of the Council’s governance department to try and weed out the corrupt practices and wrong doings. The City Council MUST come clean and provide a fully transparent and accountable administration before the stench becomes to much to bare.

This issue is far from over and more answers must be forthcoming.

The Town Hall bounty hunters
05apr06

MOTORISTS have always suspected it. Now they know.

Melbourne City Council is using parking fines, not to bring traffic order, but as an outrageous revenue raiser.
Anyone who doubted the existence of this Town Hall rort now has the word of the State Ombudsman. who in a report reveals that the city’s 120 parking officers are being deployed as bounty hunters.

The quarry are the unlucky motorists who annually have $27 million dollars ripped from their wallets.

The report says there was evidence of Melbourne City Council managers bullying and harassing parking officers into meeting a quota of 30 fines a day. If they don’t measure up, they risk the sack.

The Ombudsman’s report says that even after legal advice that tickets in Docklands were unenforceable, the council continued to issue them. The report says the council has no policy of making refunds for incorrect or invalid tickets.

Most serious is the allegation that senior council managers sought to obstruct the Ombudsman’s inquiry and that investigators found evidence council staff altered records to cover up the Docklands blunder.

Let’s hear what you plan to do, Lord Mayor John So.

So corruption exposed Melbourne City Council must come clean and those responsible held accountable

The Herald Sun Editorial dated April 5, 2006 ( Extract blow) is damming and raises more issues that must be addressed.

Why did the Council fail to cooperate with the State Ombudsman Department? What’s more important is that when this issue was identified nothing was done to address the concerns raised. instead the Council became involved in a cover-up and engaged in a conspiracy of deceit.

If Alison Lyon, Melbourne City Council’s former Legal Officer, had not already resigned then we would be calling for her to be sacked. Ms Lyons resigned earlier this year prior to the release of the Obmbudsman report. Other heads must roll, those responsible for this disgrace conduct and blatant misuse and abuse of authority must be held accountable.

When did Melbourne’s Lord Mayor and other Councillor’s first become aware of the problems and why was there nothing said or done until this issue was exposed by the State Ombudsman department?

Who else was involved in the conspiracy of silence?

These are serious issues pertaining to the administration and cultural environment within the City Council, Council officers believe they are unaccountable and have on many occasions demonstrated there persistence to avoid accountability by consistently refusing to publish information and details of the Council’s administration. They are even prepared to misuse council funds to avoid responsibility and accountability. Much more needs to be said about the goings on in the City Council.

The Herald Sun was critical of Melbourne’s Lord Mayor and Councillors and rightly so. They have been implicated in the fall-out. Too busy jet-setting off, drinking and partying to fulfill their responsibility.

What role did Garry Singer, Melbourne’s Deputy Lord Mayor and John So’s right hand man, play in this cover-up. he was responsible for Council’s finances and the Council’s representative on the City’s internal audit committee.? Surely he was aware of what was going on if not then why not?

John So must demonstrate that he has the ability to not just win smiles and popularity contests he must prove that he is capable of providing good governance.

A full and detailed review needs to be undertaken of the Council’s governance department to try and weed out the corrupt practices and wrong doings. The City Council MUST come clean and provide a fully transparent and accountable administration before the stench becomes to much to bare.

This issue is far from over and more answers must be forthcoming.

The Town Hall bounty hunters
05apr06

MOTORISTS have always suspected it. Now they know.

Melbourne City Council is using parking fines, not to bring traffic order, but as an outrageous revenue raiser.
Anyone who doubted the existence of this Town Hall rort now has the word of the State Ombudsman. who in a report reveals that the city’s 120 parking officers are being deployed as bounty hunters.

The quarry are the unlucky motorists who annually have $27 million dollars ripped from their wallets.

The report says there was evidence of Melbourne City Council managers bullying and harassing parking officers into meeting a quota of 30 fines a day. If they don’t measure up, they risk the sack.

The Ombudsman’s report says that even after legal advice that tickets in Docklands were unenforceable, the council continued to issue them. The report says the council has no policy of making refunds for incorrect or invalid tickets.

Most serious is the allegation that senior council managers sought to obstruct the Ombudsman’s inquiry and that investigators found evidence council staff altered records to cover up the Docklands blunder.

Let’s hear what you plan to do, Lord Mayor John So.

So corruption exposed Melbourne City Council must come clean and those responsible held accountable

The Herald Sun Editorial dated April 5, 2006 ( Extract blow) is damming and raises more issues that must be addressed.

Why did the Council fail to cooperate with the State Ombudsman Department? What’s more important is that when this issue was identified nothing was done to address the concerns raised. instead the Council became involved in a cover-up and engaged in a conspiracy of deceit.

If Alison Lyon, Melbourne City Council’s former Legal Officer, had not already resigned then we would be calling for her to be sacked. Ms Lyons resigned earlier this year prior to the release of the Obmbudsman report. Other heads must roll, those responsible for this disgrace conduct and blatant misuse and abuse of authority must be held accountable.

When did Melbourne’s Lord Mayor and other Councillor’s first become aware of the problems and why was there nothing said or done until this issue was exposed by the State Ombudsman department?

Who else was involved in the conspiracy of silence?

These are serious issues pertaining to the administration and cultural environment within the City Council, Council officers believe they are unaccountable and have on many occasions demonstrated there persistence to avoid accountability by consistently refusing to publish information and details of the Council’s administration. They are even prepared to misuse council funds to avoid responsibility and accountability. Much more needs to be said about the goings on in the City Council.

The Herald Sun was critical of Melbourne’s Lord Mayor and Councillors and rightly so. They have been implicated in the fall-out. Too busy jet-setting off, drinking and partying to fulfill their responsibility.

What role did Garry Singer, Melbourne’s Deputy Lord Mayor and John So’s right hand man, play in this cover-up. he was responsible for Council’s finances and the Council’s representative on the City’s internal audit committee.? Surely he was aware of what was going on if not then why not?

John So must demonstrate that he has the ability to not just win smiles and popularity contests he must prove that he is capable of providing good governance.

A full and detailed review needs to be undertaken of the Council’s governance department to try and weed out the corrupt practices and wrong doings. The City Council MUST come clean and provide a fully transparent and accountable administration before the stench becomes to much to bare.

This issue is far from over and more answers must be forthcoming.

The Town Hall bounty hunters
05apr06

MOTORISTS have always suspected it. Now they know.

Melbourne City Council is using parking fines, not to bring traffic order, but as an outrageous revenue raiser.
Anyone who doubted the existence of this Town Hall rort now has the word of the State Ombudsman. who in a report reveals that the city’s 120 parking officers are being deployed as bounty hunters.

The quarry are the unlucky motorists who annually have $27 million dollars ripped from their wallets.

The report says there was evidence of Melbourne City Council managers bullying and harassing parking officers into meeting a quota of 30 fines a day. If they don’t measure up, they risk the sack.

The Ombudsman’s report says that even after legal advice that tickets in Docklands were unenforceable, the council continued to issue them. The report says the council has no policy of making refunds for incorrect or invalid tickets.

Most serious is the allegation that senior council managers sought to obstruct the Ombudsman’s inquiry and that investigators found evidence council staff altered records to cover up the Docklands blunder.

Let’s hear what you plan to do, Lord Mayor John So.

So calls for action Only after the Council is caught cheating

John So has called on the Council to take steps to address the corrupt practice of over-charging on parking fines but only after being caught out by the Watchdog, Victoria’s State Ombudsman.

The City Council knew long ago that its practices were corrupt and that it had no authority to fine motorist but they kept mum and failed to report earlier on the issue in the hope of avoiding accountability. It was only when the State Ombudsman undertook a raid on the Council officers that the full extent of the scam came to light. The Council administration should have co-operated with the Ombudsman department but refused to do so.

Having been caught out John So now calls for action. Where was he when this matter was first brought to his attention and why has he waited until now to act?

Council to refund $50,000 of fines

04apr06

MELBOURNE City Council incorrectly pocketed $50,000 in parking fines and did nothing to return the money to motorists, a damning report by the Victorian ombudsman has found.

If not for the ombudsman’s investigations, the council would have happily kept $50,000 in fines that were incorrectly issued, or issued with administrative errors which made them invalid, the report said.
It also said parking officers were forced to meet daily ticket quotas, and faced warnings and possible dismissal if they failed.

Parking fines were the council’s second largest revenue source, and generated an estimated $27.5 million in 2004-05, the report found.

That meant parking officers needed to issue at least 466,000 parking tickets during the course of a year to meet the council’s revenue target, the report said.

Melbourne City Council parking officers working in teams were set a daily average of 30 tickets each, Ombudsman George Brouwer said.

“I understand that if a parking officer did not meet the 30 parking infringements per day average, or keep within five per cent of their group, that they were counselled, warned and may face dismissal,” he said.

“I understand that council uses quotas as a performance management tool.”

The council has since agreed to repay 433 invalid parking fines totalling $50,000.

The Docklands Authority, which controls Melbourne’s riverside precinct where the problems occurred, also has agreed to refund 646 fines worth more than $32,000.

Mr Brouwer found that most parking tickets were issued for “bona fide” offences in the Docklands area, but administrative errors rendered the tickets invalid.

Some parking officers were not properly authorised to issue fines in the Docklands area, while some tickets were incorrectly registered with the courts.

Deputy ombudsman John Taylor said the report had focused on the Docklands area but it had serious implications for 79 other councils in Victoria.

“Melbourne City Council was not following the law in relation to issuing (parking) infringement notices,” Mr Taylor said on ABC radio today.

He described the report as blueprint on how to correctly issue parking tickets.

Melbourne Lord Mayor John So said the council had co-operated fully with the ombudsman’s investigation.

“I have asked the chief executive to ensure all possible steps are taken to fully implement any outstanding recommendations,” Mr So said.

So calls for action Only after the Council is caught cheating

John So has called on the Council to take steps to address the corrupt practice of over-charging on parking fines but only after being caught out by the Watchdog, Victoria’s State Ombudsman.

The City Council knew long ago that its practices were corrupt and that it had no authority to fine motorist but they kept mum and failed to report earlier on the issue in the hope of avoiding accountability. It was only when the State Ombudsman undertook a raid on the Council officers that the full extent of the scam came to light. The Council administration should have co-operated with the Ombudsman department but refused to do so.

Having been caught out John So now calls for action. Where was he when this matter was first brought to his attention and why has he waited until now to act?

Council to refund $50,000 of fines

04apr06

MELBOURNE City Council incorrectly pocketed $50,000 in parking fines and did nothing to return the money to motorists, a damning report by the Victorian ombudsman has found.

If not for the ombudsman’s investigations, the council would have happily kept $50,000 in fines that were incorrectly issued, or issued with administrative errors which made them invalid, the report said.
It also said parking officers were forced to meet daily ticket quotas, and faced warnings and possible dismissal if they failed.

Parking fines were the council’s second largest revenue source, and generated an estimated $27.5 million in 2004-05, the report found.

That meant parking officers needed to issue at least 466,000 parking tickets during the course of a year to meet the council’s revenue target, the report said.

Melbourne City Council parking officers working in teams were set a daily average of 30 tickets each, Ombudsman George Brouwer said.

“I understand that if a parking officer did not meet the 30 parking infringements per day average, or keep within five per cent of their group, that they were counselled, warned and may face dismissal,” he said.

“I understand that council uses quotas as a performance management tool.”

The council has since agreed to repay 433 invalid parking fines totalling $50,000.

The Docklands Authority, which controls Melbourne’s riverside precinct where the problems occurred, also has agreed to refund 646 fines worth more than $32,000.

Mr Brouwer found that most parking tickets were issued for “bona fide” offences in the Docklands area, but administrative errors rendered the tickets invalid.

Some parking officers were not properly authorised to issue fines in the Docklands area, while some tickets were incorrectly registered with the courts.

Deputy ombudsman John Taylor said the report had focused on the Docklands area but it had serious implications for 79 other councils in Victoria.

“Melbourne City Council was not following the law in relation to issuing (parking) infringement notices,” Mr Taylor said on ABC radio today.

He described the report as blueprint on how to correctly issue parking tickets.

Melbourne Lord Mayor John So said the council had co-operated fully with the ombudsman’s investigation.

“I have asked the chief executive to ensure all possible steps are taken to fully implement any outstanding recommendations,” Mr So said.

So calls for action Only after the Council is caught cheating

John So has called on the Council to take steps to address the corrupt practice of over-charging on parking fines but only after being caught out by the Watchdog, Victoria’s State Ombudsman.

The City Council knew long ago that its practices were corrupt and that it had no authority to fine motorist but they kept mum and failed to report earlier on the issue in the hope of avoiding accountability. It was only when the State Ombudsman undertook a raid on the Council officers that the full extent of the scam came to light. The Council administration should have co-operated with the Ombudsman department but refused to do so.

Having been caught out John So now calls for action. Where was he when this matter was first brought to his attention and why has he waited until now to act?

Council to refund $50,000 of fines

04apr06

MELBOURNE City Council incorrectly pocketed $50,000 in parking fines and did nothing to return the money to motorists, a damning report by the Victorian ombudsman has found.

If not for the ombudsman’s investigations, the council would have happily kept $50,000 in fines that were incorrectly issued, or issued with administrative errors which made them invalid, the report said.
It also said parking officers were forced to meet daily ticket quotas, and faced warnings and possible dismissal if they failed.

Parking fines were the council’s second largest revenue source, and generated an estimated $27.5 million in 2004-05, the report found.

That meant parking officers needed to issue at least 466,000 parking tickets during the course of a year to meet the council’s revenue target, the report said.

Melbourne City Council parking officers working in teams were set a daily average of 30 tickets each, Ombudsman George Brouwer said.

“I understand that if a parking officer did not meet the 30 parking infringements per day average, or keep within five per cent of their group, that they were counselled, warned and may face dismissal,” he said.

“I understand that council uses quotas as a performance management tool.”

The council has since agreed to repay 433 invalid parking fines totalling $50,000.

The Docklands Authority, which controls Melbourne’s riverside precinct where the problems occurred, also has agreed to refund 646 fines worth more than $32,000.

Mr Brouwer found that most parking tickets were issued for “bona fide” offences in the Docklands area, but administrative errors rendered the tickets invalid.

Some parking officers were not properly authorised to issue fines in the Docklands area, while some tickets were incorrectly registered with the courts.

Deputy ombudsman John Taylor said the report had focused on the Docklands area but it had serious implications for 79 other councils in Victoria.

“Melbourne City Council was not following the law in relation to issuing (parking) infringement notices,” Mr Taylor said on ABC radio today.

He described the report as blueprint on how to correctly issue parking tickets.

Melbourne Lord Mayor John So said the council had co-operated fully with the ombudsman’s investigation.

“I have asked the chief executive to ensure all possible steps are taken to fully implement any outstanding recommendations,” Mr So said.

Beyond the law Corruption in the Melbourne City Council exposed

The level of abuse and corruption in the Melbourne City Council has been exposed with th4 Victorian Ombudsman staging twice raids on the City of Melbourne to seize documents. The Age

The refusal of the Melbourne City Council to assist the Ombudsman ion its inquiries demonstrates our ongoing concern about the administration of the Melbourne City Council which has been in decline over the least six years ever since Micheal Malouf took over its management.

Answers to questions need to provided as to why the City Council did not co-operate with the Ombudsman enquiry and why was the Council administration involved in a cover-up?

What if any was the role of Alison Lyons, Melbourne City Council’s Legal-Governance Officer in the cover up?

The Melbourne City Council continue to avoid accountability by refusing to provide open and transparent governance. Many decisions are held behind closed doors with basic information associated with the costs of administration and governance withheld.

The revelations and comments published in the Age Newspaper give weight to the need for a independent review of the City’s governance. Alison Lyon’s has left the den, did she jump or was she pushed. Other heads should roll? What knowledge and was the involvement in the cover up can be attributed to John So?

Melbourne’s ratepayers and the public must be provided with more information and full explanation.