KEPT IN THE DARK – Dirt digger deal done dirt cheap: councillor furious

SHOALHAVEN City Council faces more embarrassment in the wake of a scandal over the way an excavator was sold to the son of a senior manager for about half the best tender.While council has moved into damage control following revelations one of its senior staff members manipulated the tender process, its senior managers are under increasing pressure to explain why they kept the scandal, and results of the ICAC investigation, from elected councillors.Cr Gareth Ward became aware of the situation in recent months through a third party and lashed out at council general manager Russ Pigg for not disclosing it.He immediately moved to ensure elected councillors were notified of any future ICAC findings against council or its staff.“The general manager has no right to withhold this from the councillors and public,” Cr Ward said.“I am deeply disturbed that that the elected members of the community were not informed about this, particularly after ICAC investigated and found the complaints were substantiated.”Cr Ward was aghast that senior staff members had decided not to report the matter to councillors.While council managers had responsibility to handle routine staff matters, “this is a matter of corrupt activity that should have seen the light of day rather than being kept quiet”, Cr Ward said.The ICAC findings were based on an internal council investigation into the matter, and Cr Ward said he would be pushing for that report to be made public.While that report had the potential to cause further embarrassment for council, Cr Ward said he was not concerned.“Sunlight is the best antiseptic,” he said.Meanwhile, Mr Pigg has released a statement to try to clarify the situation with the excavator’s sale.Mr Pigg said while it was not normal practice to make public comment on staff related matters, he felt he must do so given the public statements made by Grant Schultz.“Council was first notified of an allegation concerning a staff member in relation to the disposal/sale of an impounded plant item on September 21, 2010,” Mr Pigg said.This was the day before ICAC was notified of the situation.“After the allegation was made, the ICAC was advised and consulted prior, during and after a comprehensive investigation of the allegations was conducted,” Mr Pigg said.Mr Pigg said while he was obviously concerned with the nature of the allegations he was “extremely confident” council had followed the proper processes in dealing with the matter.“Council promotes ethical conduct and honesty to the highest order and any breaches are dealt with severely.”Further to this, council staff were instructed to amend the procedures involved in the disposal of impounded articles and vehicles.Mr Pigg confirmed Mr Martin had resigned following the investigation.However, questions remain unanswered about why no moves have been undertaken to recover the excavator, why the issue has not been reported to police for possible further investigation, and why no punitive action has been taken against former ranger services manager David Martin.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲培训学校.