Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

In Novem­ber 2012 the cur­rent Coun­cil re­ferred a com­plaint to the then Crime and Mis­con­duct Com­mis­sion (CMC), al­leg­ing that for­mer Coun­cil em­ploy­ees know­ingly un­der­took in­el­i­gi­ble works through the 2010 Nat­u­ral Dis­as­ter Re­lief and Re­cov­ery Ar­range­ments (NDRRA) pro­gram and fraud­u­lently claimed NDRRA funds for those works. The CMC as­sessed a large vol­ume of ma­te­rial, and in Au­gust 2013 an in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volved ex­am­in­ing a large num­ber of doc­u­ments, in­ter­view­ing more than 40 wit­nesses and li­ais­ing with other gov­ern­ment agen­cies. On Mon­day, the CCC an­nounced it found no ev­i­dence that the Coun­cil em­ploy­ees com­mit­ted fraud in un­der­tak­ing the works or in ap­ply­ing for NDRRA fund­ing. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion found that the NDRRA guide­lines were open to dif­fer­ent in­ter­pre­ta­tions and the Coun­cil em­ploy­ees had an hon­est and rea­son­able belief that the works were within guide­lines. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion also found that a range of other fac­tors con­trib­uted to the Coun­cil’s over­spend on 2010 dis­as­ter re­cov­ery works. In Septem­ber 2013, the CMC re­ceived another com­plaint from the cur­rent Coun­cil. This com­plaint al­leged that for­mer Coun­cil em­ploy­ees failed to cor­rectly record a loan of more than $10 mil­lion in fi­nan­cial state­ments; used the bor­row­ings on a cash flow ba­sis, in breach of loan con­di­tions and Coun­cil pol­icy; and mis­led Coun­cil­lors about the Coun­cil’s fi­nan­cial po­si­tion. The CMC as­sessed the com­plaint and in Oc­to­ber 2013 an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into this was launched. Both in­ves­ti­ga­tions are now closed and the CCC will take no fur­ther ac­tion.

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