IN THE wake of a leaked letter detailing management failures over a $2.5 million council loan, councillors are now pushing for an external audit report to be released sooner than the promised six weeks.
The letter from mayor Rod Kendall to former general manager Phil Pinyon, obtained by the ABC, suggests Mr Pinyon’s mismanagement exposed council to unnecessary risk.
Since council made the loan in 2012 to Douglas Aerospace – the company that entered voluntary administration in June but have since traded its way out – the matter has been marred in controversy.
The leaked letter indicates the loan created conflicts of interest for council and due diligence was not carried out under Mr Pinyon’s watch.
Now, councillors are calling for the “damning” external audit report, of which is mentioned in Cr Kendall’s letter, to be released immediately in the interest of transparency
“It is in the public interest,” Cr Yvonne Braid.
“You can’t have some of the community privy to it and not others.
“It should be released sooner rather than later.”
The letter outlined Cr Kendall believed Mr Pinyon provided inadequate supervision throughout the project, according to the ABC.
Council failed to provide proactive information to its audit and risk committee and also failed to action two council resolutions, the letter also revealed.
Mr Pinyon resigned on September 24, three days after reportedly receiving the letter.
His six-month interim replacement, Alan Eldridge, is the former chair of the audit and risk committee.
Cr Andrew Negline believed Cr Kendall’s sentiments in the letter were “retrospective” and should have been conveyed to Mr Pinyon sooner.
“In my opinion, these conversations should have happened a lot sooner than when they did.
“(The letter) suggests finally the mayor has taken into account what has been in our face the whole time.”
The letter, which cites the external audit report, reveals similar information that suggests Mr Pinyon failed to act promptly after loan repayments were defaulted.
His inaction, according to the letter, meant council could no longer allow him to remain in the role. An adapted form of the report is expected to be released in five weeks, but a closed meeting on Monday will determine when and how much information will be made public.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.