Issue - meetings
Update in Relation to the Suspension of Council Officers
Statutory Officers Preliminary Investigation - Preliminary Report/Reports from the Independent Investigator
- Restricted enclosure 2 , View reasons restricted (8/2)
- Restricted enclosure 3 , View reasons restricted (8/3)
- Restricted enclosure 4 , View reasons restricted (8/4)
A report by the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development updated the Committee on the suspension of the Council’s three current Statutory Officers (The Acting Chief Executive (and Head of Paid Service), The Director of Law, HR and Asset Management (and Monitoring Officer), and The Acting Director of Finance (and Section 151 Officer)) and the preliminary investigation that had been carried out. It also sought agreement on the way forward.
The report set out the background, the procedure for investigating Statutory Officers, timescales and the four options available. Appended to the report were reports of three preliminary investigations relating to each Statutory Officer.
The Preliminary Investigator was invited into the meeting on three separate occasions to answer Members’ questions on each of his three reports on each of the three Statutory Officers. In each of the three cases the Committee had regard to the:
- findings of the Preliminary Investigator;
- role of the Statutory Officer in the context of corporate governance;
- specific issues raised and explored by the Preliminary Investigator;
- representations made by the Statutory Officer;
- role of the Designated Independent Person and if appointed the process to be followed, the fact that the process was outside the control of the Council, the possible time it could take to complete the process (up to eighteen months),the possible outcomes and associated costs;
- whether or not any formal investigation through the Designated Independent Person would reach a finding of gross misconduct;
- ongoing negotiations in relation to risks and the potential costs of litigation; and
- the fact that the Council is going through significant change.
(1) the progress of the preliminary investigation be noted;
(2) in the case of the Director of Law, HR and Asset Management (and Monitoring Officer), Mr Bill Norman, the Committee concluded, after having considered the preliminary investigation report, that there was no case to answer.
(3) in the case of the Acting Chief Executive (and Head of Paid Service), Mr Ian Coleman, that after considering the report, and the representations by the independent investigator in relation to the risks and the uncertainty of progressing the matter to a satisfactory and timely conclusion, the decision as to whether or not to move forward with the investigation be deferred whilst further options concerning Mr Coleman’s employment position be explored. (4:3 - Councillors Rennie, Hornby and Mitchell voted against the motion).
(4) in the case of the Acting Director of Finance (and Section 151 Officer), Mr David Taylor Smith, after considering the report, and the representations by the independent investigator, the Committee concluded that there was not a case to answer under the statutory process. However other matters needed further consideration. (6:1 - Councillor Rennie voted against the motion.)
- Appendix One, item 4 PDF 45 KB
- Appendix Two, item 4 PDF 53 KB
- Appendix Three , View reasons restricted (4/4)
A report by the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development updated the Committee on the suspensions of the Council’s three current Statutory Officers, following the publication of the Audit Commission’s Public Interest Report into the Highways and Engineering Services Contract Award and Management. The report also informed on progress being made in respect of the preliminary investigation and sought the Committee’s agreement on a proposed way forward.
(1) the progress being made in respect of the preliminary investigation be noted; and
(2) the way forward in relation to the three Statutory Officers, as outlined in paragraph 5.6 of the report, be agreed.