Moira Shire staff changes continue with Director Corporate Governance Alison Coe tendering her resignation, two months after Mark Henderson began as CEO.FIONA BLICK August 12, 2014 3:10pm
Mr Henderson made the announcement last week, saying Ms Coe had taken on the role of Director with Latrobe City Council in Gippsland.
“Ms Coe has made a valuable contribution to Moira Shire over the past three years and I congratulate her on the appointment to a regional city,” Mr Henderson said.
Ms Coe leaves Moira Shire Council at a time of financial turbulence.
A petition calling for an independent probity audit on the fiscal and operation aspects of the shire, handed to council by a concerned community group in July, is currently ‘laying on the table’ after council failed to enact on a unanimous decision made at the February meeting to call for tenders for an independent audit.
In addition, the Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO) in its latest report moved the shire’s financial risk assessment from low to medium concern.
In the VAGO report Moira Shire recorded the highest self-financing risk figure out of all large shire councils in Victoria, the third highest indebtedness rating and the worst liquidity ratio.
This report was released four months after Moira Shire’s Chief Financial Officer Adrian Pawar resigned citing claims of widespread financial mismanagement, claims vehemently denied by then CEO Gary Arnold as “utter nonsense”.
Mr Arnold was dismissed by Moira Shire Council in October last year.
Ms Coe’s resignation also comes on the back of details of an internal audit report, issued to council in May and identifying 42 potential breaches of the Local Government Act, being leaked to media outlets in June.
The breaches included payments of more than $150,000 that were not subject to the required tender process.
At the July council meeting, CEO Mark Henderson said given the magnitude of the breaches he had recommended this issue to the Independent Broad-based Anticorruption Commission (IBAC).
Mr Henderson did not give any indication on who would be put into the Acting Director Corporate Governance role while a permanent replacement for Ms Coe is found.
Born and bred in Wangaratta Ms Coe had worked as the CEO of the Melbourne General Practice network and the State Library of Victoria.
Ms Coe began working at Moira Shire in July 2011, replacing previous Director Corporate Governance Chris Cowley.
In other staff news Mark Foord, previously Acting Director Shire Development and Liveability, has returned to his normal role of Executive Engineer.
This position will be now filled by Andrew Close, a previous employee of Moira Shire Council, who has returned to take up the Acting Director’s role.
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Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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