Council’s audit committee minutes signed-off

Updated with comment from Joel Kimber.

Minutes of the council’s Audit and Risk committee (A&R) – an advisory body – dating back to May 2022, were accepted by a majority of Hume City’s 11 councillors at their meeting on Monday 12 February.

In all, the minutes of seven A&R committee meetings were signed-off without debate. It is not procedure to allow so much time to pass for these documents to be signed off.

The council’s acting governance manager, Joel Kimber, says the delays were caused by an “administrative oversight”. Sunbury Life has asked for more details of the oversight.

The minutes, all deemed ‘confidential’ were dated:

  1. 27 May 2022
  2. 29 August 2022
  3. 25 November 2022
  4. 24 February 2023
  5. 26 May 2023
  6. 28 September 2023
  7. Unconfirmed Minutes: 24 November 2023

Sunbury Life asked council why all the minutes are deemed confidential, and so not publicly available.

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Kimber says: “There are some discussions at Audit and Risk that are confidential.”

However, that does not mean each document should be 100% confidential, if only ‘some’ elements of them are deemed as such by A&R committee members.

Cllr Jarrod Bell, who sits on the A&R committee with mayor Naim Kurt, moved that council adopt the minutes, this was supported (seconded) by Cllr Carly Moore.

Cllr Bell, who got a seat on the A&R committee a year ago, said: “Our Audit and Risk committee performs an incredibly important function of governance and management for this organisation. It is an important system of checks and balances.

“We deal with incredibly important things with regard to the good governance of this council. There is a great number of important topics that we cover, which are often confidential, and incredibly sensitive, to ensure the long-term sustainability and good governance of this organisation.”

Cllr Moore reserved her right to speak. Seven councillors were seen to vote in favour of the motion via the council’s video stream of the meeting.