Moira Council to meet CEO favourites

Former chief executive Gary Arnold
Former chief executive Gary Arnold

MOIRA Council will take the next step in the search for its next chief executive officer tomorrow when interviews with short-listed candidates are conducted.

The council met recruitment consultants, Jo Fisher Executive, on Tuesday night to finalise those remaining in contention to replace deposed former chief Gary Arnold on a full-time basis.

The recruiting campaign comes after the council botched its appointment of an independent probity auditor.

A one-month delay in the probity audit starting has been created after the council failed to call for tenders for the task as required under the Local Government Act.

In late January, mayor Peter Mansfield confirmed Albury-based Rob Salisbury & Associates would conduct the independent probe after being selected from three other options following an expressions of interest process.

The decision to appoint the Albury firm was made at a special council meeting.

Cr Mansfield said some of his councillor colleagues had raised concerns about the process with the Local Government department.

He said the council was advised of the oversight in not going to tender last Friday.

“Our process was flawed and we’ve rectified it,” he said.

“We understood when we did it initially we were right, but we weren’t.

“Whatever happened it was overlooked.”

The department advice came in the lead-up to a council meeting on Monday night when it called for tenders.

Cr Kevin Bourke had submitted a notice of motion with the support of Cr Marie Martin wanting council to approve the process already undertaken to appoint the probity auditor.

But Cr Bourke agreed to withdraw his motion and moved a separate motion for the acting chief executive Peter Bertolus to advertise for tenders.

“It has delayed the appointment of a probity auditor by three or four weeks,” Cr Mansfield said.

“It was passed unanimously that the tendering process proceed.

“On that basis all councillors would like to see a probity audit done.”

Cr Mansfield confirmed interviews for a replacement chief would be held on Saturday, but wouldn’t divulge how many candidates were in contention.

The council had agreed to pay Rob Salisbury & Associates $60,000 to carry out the independent audit.

The incoming chief executive will be responsible for implementing the audit findings.