Tender rules tighten to ban gifts to staff Keith Platt firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRACT managers at Mornington Peninsula Shire have been banned from accepting “gifts, benefits or hospitality” from companies or individuals supplying the tens of millions of dollars in goods or services bought each year by the shire. The shire has tightened up the rules to avoid conflicts of interest between staff and suppliers following internal audits and receipt of a probity report of its buying and contract procedures. Gifts that have been offered and declined must be recorded in the staff gift register. Staff and advisors directly involved with any tender evaluation panel will need to declare “any relationships or connections they currently have, or previously had, to tenders or their employees”. Declarations in the Related and Conflict of Interest Register would be reviewed by “procurement” and assessed in consultation with “probity” officers.
A report to council’s Tuesday 23 October meeting by strategic procurement manager Gail Mifsud stated that the signed declaration “is to mitigate the person determining the status of their own interest”. If a conflict of interest is found the staff member concerned must be taken off the tender evaluation panel and have no further access to tender information. A member of the shire’s “executive team” could allow the staff member to remain in the panel “if the interest is considered minor or unlikely to influence the evaluation outcome”. The gifts register – available to the public by appointment – lists an “exclusive photographic session voucher” valued at $600 as being declined by a contracts procurement coordinator. A Mornington car sales company made the offer. The shire’s contract auditing and surveillance officer also declined an identical offer. However, two “lunch” meetings valued at $20 and $25 with Procurement Australia were accepted while an invitation to Derby Day was declined.
Five stars for councillors MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire councillors have given themselves the right to stay in fivestar accommodation. An amendment to the Councillor Expenses Reimbursement, Resources and Facilities Policy adopted at the Tuesday 23 October council meeting allows councillors to be reimbursed for “accommodation at a five star venue when they are also attending a conference or event in their official capacity at the same five star venue”. A report by senior policy advisor Anthea
Hastie said it was “important that the councillor role attracts and retains a wide cross section of people and the policy recognises individual needs and circumstance”. The policy being amended was adopted on 24 July and will be reviewed by council at the next municipal election, October 2020. Ms Hastie said the policy change “will allow councillors to be provided with appropriate reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses performing their duties as a councillor”.
All aboard: Enthusiastic yachties get into the spirit of the Mornington Yacth Club open day. Picture: Supplied
Season opening ‘ranks with the greats’ “ONE of Mornington Yacht Club’s greatest opening weekends ever” is how CEO Wayne Holdsworth described the feedback from members, guests and visitors at the club’s season launch on Sunday 21 October. Fine weather and a 100-metre banner saying Family, Friendship, Sailing marked the opening of the club’s 73rd sailing season. “Our members have embraced the theme of family and friendship and that of being great role models in our community,” M Holdsworth said. “Commodore Bret Levenspiel and the board have worked hard to form a positive vision for the club and the members have certainly shown their endorsement with record attendance numbers.” The opening weekend started on the Friday evening with the club’s annual cocktail party. “The club was buzzing with a crowd we have not seen for a long time. The cocktail party was not limited to members and it was great to have new faces come along and join in on the fun,”
Mr Holdsworth said. “All were talking about the wonderful surprise they got when seeing the banner for the first time.” The banner was sponsored by the Mornington Yacht Club Foundation which is giving nonmembers 10 learn-to-sail vouchers valued at $300. Anyone interested can register at the office on 5975 7001 or email office@morningtonyc. net.au The winner of the ORCV winter series, Mark Nicholson’s Javelin, was the official boat for the traditional sail past. The day also marked the christening of Sailability’s new power boat Joe Karam in recognition of long-serving volunteer and coxswain in the Sailability team. “Sailability is a big program for the club and it’s all about contributing to our community,” Commodore Levenspiel said. “It brings the joy of sailing to people of all abilities from all over the peninsula.”
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30 October 2018