What's worse: The Council CEO surreptitiously blocking email or LGNZ giving it the 'excellence' seal?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The details reported by Radio New Zealand this morning about an audit report alleging Horowhenua District Council CEO, David Clapperton, has been surreptitiously monitoring and blocking emails sent to elected officials are made even worse by the fact that Local Government New Zealand's 'Excellence Program' gave the Council a 'competent' mark for 'listening and responding' in an assessment released only last week.
"It is very clear that Mr Clapperton's head needs to roll if this serious misconduct is true", says Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers' Union. "We understand that the Mayor and other elected officials have had to engage their own lawyers to obtain information through the CEO. That is unheard of."
"Questions also need to be asked of LGNZ about why this Council was given a pass rating only last week for 'listening and responding' despite the Council having received this disturbing audit report in March. If blocking ratepayers from contacting elected officials is okay, what the heck does a council need to do to fail LGNZ's assessments?"
According to LGNZ's report, the Horowhenua District Council is 'performing competently across all rated areas', while having 'active communications' and 'developing its areas of engagement'.
"Local government is in crisis, with public confidence at an all time low
according to LGNZ's own research," says Mr Williams
"They claim the 'Excellence Program' is the pathway to
better performance. Here it only looks to be party to the