YARRIAMBIACK Shire chief executive Jessie Holmes says she is confident conduct by council staff criticised by Victoria's council watchdog will not return.
She said the municipality was laying the groundwork to make changes to the organisation across the next two years, based on recommendations made in a Local Government Inspectorate report from November.
Following a wide-ranging review of the council's operations, the report revealed staff privately used of ratepayer-funded equipment, the unauthorised sale of plant equipment and consumables and leasing of staff vehicles by council at the Hopetoun depot.
"We are working on getting assistance from Local Government Victoria for things around the external works policies and asset acquisition recommendations," she said.
"The funding application has to be in by the second week of February. We have also scoped out the work we need to do around creating a record management procuring system and digitising the council's permanent records. That will go out to tender on February 6."
Ms Holmes said ratepayers would ultimately foot some of the bill.
"We are getting costings so we can budget for them appropriately for the next few financial years. These are policies and procedures most council have already had in place."
The November report concluded: "Inexperienced and unskilled staff were not provided with an appropriate level of guidance to undertake their duties."
Ms Holmes said it was reasonable staff at the Hopetoun depot believed they were doing nothing wrong.
"They were not advised of the processes and policies to follow," she said. "Now we've got policies in place and they have had training, I'd like to think it wouldn't happen again."
The LGI's former chief municipal inspector David Wolf told the Mail-Times the organisation continued to investigate issues related to financial records connected to a Yarriambiack Shire Council Hopetoun depot social club.
He also clarified why former Hopetoun-based council manager Chris Lehmann was not interviewed as part of the investigation.
"Sufficient information was available to report to council on the issues and make accompanying recommendations," he said.
"Mr Lehmann was also aware of the investigation and had many opportunities as set out in the public notices to provide information if he wished."
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