The Beagle Editor, The Office of Local Government appears to have shown its colours by openly supporting Eurobodalla Council in such a way that, to my mind, presents as a mockery to open and transparent and accountable government. Either they are showing sympathy for their Local Government cousins or pure laziness. What is clear is that they appear indifferent to any recognition of wrong doing by a Eurobodalla Council whatever the circumstance. When they were advised that via a letter of an article in the Beagle "The conundrum of CON16/009" they replied with the following:
The above response has several major indicators that the officer who wrote it did so without actually carrying out due care or consideration. Regarding: "I also note that the relevant item of business (Council's decision to buy the bowling club) was considered at a meeting on 26th April 2016" Mr Davies, it is impossible for you to note this as it is NOT written anywhere in the minutes nor does item CON16/009 appear in the agenda, nor was it mentioned at all in the live streaming footage. Mr Davies, it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to "also note the relevant item was considered because there is NO EVIDENCE that it was. And that is the issue - that Council inserted a CON16/009 Property Matter into their minutes that DID not otherwise exist with ANY REFERENCE AT ALL on the agenda or in the actual Council meeting. Mr Davies, it is correct that your office wrote to Council on July 13th, 2017 providing guidance on another matter - that of the General Manager failing to advise the public of the description of two Confidential Matters that she simply referred to as Personal Matters in the agenda; masking the fact that the Personal Matters were specifically about her review and reappointment.
Your advice was again reiterated by yourself in an email to Council on July 24th, 2017
While the OLG can be satisfied that Council has taken the appropriate action in response to your advice it ONLY DID so in regards to the Confidential Matters pertaining to THAT one session of Council, specifically that of the Personal Matters associated with the General Managers review and reappointment. In a Mayoral Minute it was stated that Council, on your advice would remedy the minutes however irrespective of this being a long time practice of Council's no Confidentials prior to September 2016 were revisited. Mr Davies, do you expect the public to raise Codes of Conduct on the General Manager for each and every failure to describe, as required, the general description of a Confidential Matter and to rectify the minutes to reflect all the detail of the determination with the exception of those elements that are in fact confidential? It brings us to the fact that the meeting of April 26th, 2016 is one such example where Council DID NOT take the appropriate action as per your advice. Or was that advice case specific? Mr Davies, you were made aware of the fact that CON16/009 was NOT an item in the agenda of the Council meeting of April 26th, 2016. You were provided with links to the Agenda of that meeting, links to the live streaming archive of that meeting and links to the minutes of that meeting which includes the anomalous item CON16/009 Property Matter with NO DESCRIPTION and all you can advise in your letter is that a member of the Public take out a GIPA to access those minutes. Surely this is a matter that would see the OLG request those minutes and begin its own investigation. Mr Davies, is this really what the OLG does in the face of evidence being provided that minutes of a Council meeting are false and that the Confidential Matter of CON16/009 was apparently so confidential that it was not notified at all in the agenda nor discussed during a Council meeting and appears simply referred to as Property Matter on the very last page of the meetings minutes? Name and address supplied