A change that would allow CEO Bernard Smith to vary contracts up to 20 per cent within budget has been delayed so councillors can gather more information.
A change that would allow CEO Bernard Smith to vary contracts up to 20 per cent within budget has been delayed so councillors can gather more information.

Council ‘needs more info’ on new CEO power

A PROPOSAL to give Gympie council chief executive Bernard Smith the ability to vary contracts has been delayed for further debate.

The change would have allowed Mr Smith to approve contracts changes under delegation by up to 20 per cent.

He would not be able to approve any increase higher than what the council had budgeted for the work.

The council’s staff report said it would give flexibility to deal with contract variations without needing to call a special meeting or incur extra costs or time delays.

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Governance officer Brian Hayes said the request for this change was made by the council’s procurement arm.

Councillor Dan Stewart proposed a 10 per cent limit on the CEO’s ability to vary council contracts.
Councillor Dan Stewart proposed a 10 per cent limit on the CEO’s ability to vary council contracts.

Mr Hayes said the 20 per cent limit was seen as the “high end” of any potential change.

And he stressed to councillors this did not give Mr Smith free rein.

But Councillor Dan Stewart said 20 per cent “seems like a high figure”.

“I can understand the need to keep things going, but 20 per cent seems like a large figure,” he said.

Mr Stewart moved the delegated power be approved with a 10 per cent limit, but Bob Fredman then asked the matter be held over for more discussion.

“We need to understand it all,” Mr Fredman said.

“I have some idea about how this all works but I need the 100 per cent package.”

He was supported by Mal Gear, Mayor Mick Curran, Dan Stewart and Hilary Smerdon.

Mr Curran said “any budget blowout should come back to council”.

Gympie Times


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