Moira Shire Council send out rates notices with incorrect figures.ROB HENSON August 27, 2014 3:13am
Moira Shire Council has apologised for a rates error that would potentially have cost $500
Moira Shire chief executive Mark Henderson said the mistake resulted from human error and a lack of control systems to double-check the figures.
The Courier understands the Capital Improved Value figure council used was for the previous financial year, resulting in only a 2.5 per cent rate increase rather than the planned 5.5 per cent increase.
‘‘We should have had better controls in place, we apologise for any inconvenience,’’ Mr Henderson said.
He said reactions to the gaffe had been mixed.
‘‘From ‘The sky’s going to fall in, and this is the most catastrophic thing that’s ever happened’, through to ‘That was stupid, don’t let that happen again’.
‘‘The latter being what I think is more relevant to this situation.
‘‘I guess if you’re looking for an upside, we didn’t overcharge people.
‘‘Unfortunately, when you don’t charge them enough and multiply it by 17
It comes in the same week council voted against a 1100-signature petition calling for an independent probity audit into council’s operations.
But Mr Henderson said he did not think the rates error and independent probity audit were connected in any way.
‘‘The independent probity audit would look at a whole range of things, it’s more about financial viability — whether you’re in the right business, whether you’re doing it well, or are you too expensive.
‘‘This (rates mistake) is an internal checking process of a billing system, not something that a probity audit would remotely go near.’’
Mr Henderson said internal controls would be improved through increased oversight.
‘‘The rates officer will do the work, finance manager sign off on it, then director of corporate (governance) will sign off again.’’
When Mr Henderson sent an internal memo to councillors about the mistake last week, at least one councillor leaked the email to the media. It’s a move Mr Henderson said was ‘‘not a good look for council’’.
‘‘What does it say about the person (councillor) that does that? I think you should make that judgment, not me,’’ he said.
‘‘Is that an example of good governance at work? No.’’
Mr Henderson said launching an independent probity audit was not appropriate as it would potentially interfere with an ongoing Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission investigation.
Mr Henderson said he was not at liberty to discuss the IBAC investigation’s progress.
The IBAC investigation was started after it was alerted to an internal report from council into payments above $150
The report found 42 potential breaches out of 65 aggregated payments tested for the period July 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013.
UPDATE: The CFA has clarified a fire, which destroyed a Benalla shed, occurred next to a motorcycle clubhouse.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
MY LIFE as a mum is crazy.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
The usual yellow and black colours at Katamatite Recreation Reserve will be replaced this Mother’s Day as pink will be the colour of choice.
Jake has babies to thank for surviving cancer.
Fonterra suppliers are reeling after the announcement of a big cut in the milk price from $5.60/kg to $5 for the full current year.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.