Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Taupō council accepts Ombudsman’s improvement call

Taupō District Council has welcomed Ombudsman Peter Boshier’s report into its meeting and workshop practices and accepts the report’s findings.

In August last year, the Ombudsman launched an investigation into Council practices around meetings and workshops and whether some were being held in private without appropriate justification.

The Ombudsman looked at the practices of eight different councils from around the country, including Taupō.

Taupō District Council says it was heartened by the Ombudsman’s report summary, which stated that the Council’s processes are generally robust and that the Council “appears to have an open culture, underpinned by respectful working relationships between staff and elected members”.

“I have identified a number of positive Council practices, in particular its culture around conducting its business with openness and transparency,” the Ombudsman wrote.

While Mr Boshier was generally complimentary of Council’s practices and made no formal recommendations, his report did identify some areas for improvement.

These include improvements to record-keeping, staff training and making workshop materials more available to the public. The Council says it is working its way through the action points and has already made good progress.

Council chief executive, Julie Gardyne said Taupō District Council was committed to conducting business in an open, transparent manner.

“It has always been Council’s practice that workshops, briefings and meetings are open by default unless it is reasonable to exclude the public,” Mrs Gardyne said.

“We welcome anyone interested in Council business to attend Council meetings, workshops and committee meetings around the district and our Council meetings and recorded workshops are also available to view on our YouTube channel.”

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