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Corruption and misconduct: is Local Council adequately equipped?

PolicyPoint has announced the general release of a white paper aimed at helping Local Councils optimize their compliance approach. The paper, “Australian Local Councils – the need for a Compliance Culture” suggests the consequences of recent Council breaches – eg loss of public confidence, sackings and criminal convictions - showcases the need for Councils to bolster their compliance-readiness by creating a compliance culture. The paper then proposes a four-point strategy for achieving a compliance culture throughout the organisation.
  • 28 April, 2009 18:27

<p>“While there is – quite rightly – loud, public condemnation of governance, compliance and ethical breaches by those holding Council powers, it is important to remember that context is key to these breaches,” commented Don Eade, Business Development Manager - Government, PolicyPoint.</p>
<p>“Councils operate in increasingly complex environments – and, as budgets become tighter, most simply don’t have enough resources to maintain the high level of oversight needed for the early detection of breaches. This paper seeks to help Councils boost their ability to detect breaches early: by harnessing all staff to the task of ensuring compliance – in effect, creating a compliance culture,” he said.</p>
<p>PolicyPoint’s White Paper outlines a four-point strategy for achieving this goal:</p>
<p>(a) Appointing a corporate compliance professional with dedicated resources who reports directly the City Manager and has direct access to the council,
(b) Implementing a program for teaching employees about the policies and procedures that they must know in order to do their job efficiently, safely and within the guidelines set by the council, law and regulators,
(c) Implementing internal controls and procedures that ensure wrongdoing is discovered, and
(d) Instituting a hotline or system that facilitates accurate and timely reporting of compliance issues without retribution.</p>
<p>Ultimately, concluded Eade, Councils are exposed to governance, compliance and ethical ‘grey areas’ almost daily. The most logical buffer, he said, is ensuring that staff remain alert to their compliance obligations and the organisation’s commitment to compliance – thereby creating an environment that throws breaches into stark relief and triggering processes for remediation.</p>
<p>The PolicyPoint white paper, “Australian Local Councils – the need for a Compliance Culture” is available from www.policypoint.com.</p>
<p>Or visit PolicyPoint at CeBIT, 12-14 May - stand S40 – contact info@policypoint.com for your complimentary entry pass.</p>

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