MITCHELL Shire Council officers will assess the effectiveness of a newly-adopted procurement policy during the next 12 months after councillors voted to adopt it last month.

The policy outlines the responsibilities of council management and staff during the procurement of goods and services. It is the second update to the policy this year and was written with Northern Region of Councils.

Under the new policy, limits for financial decisions delegated to council officials have increased, from $300,000 to $500,000 for chief executive Brett Luxford, from $100,000 to $200,000 for directors, and from between $20,000 and $50,000 to between $40,000 and $75,000 for managers. Other changes included a mandatory external probity process for projects worth more than $2 million and increased tender thresholds.

Cr Louise Bannister moved council adopt the changes, with an additional requirement that council staff report back in 12 months to assess the outcomes of the new policy.

Cr Fiona Stevens said the increased financial delegations would reduce red tape by allowing staff to operate more independently.

“This set of councillors are very conscious of transparency with the way money is spent, but we’re also conscious that our senior executives have to be in a position where they can conduct their business,” she said.

“If limitations to that ability are too great, then it’s costly because they have to come back for approval and apply for extensions.

“This is allowing them to do their job more efficiently but also keeping checks and balances to ensure the appropriateness of how the money is spent. Just because they have the potential to spend the money, doesn’t mean they have to spend the money, and they still have to work within the budget.”

Cr Stevens said the staff report in 12 months would provide feedback on the effectiveness of the policy, and said councillors could change it if there was ‘any indication of it being problematic’.

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