Bring in the clowns, the BPB thinks you can approve applications or certify compliance for members of your family!

Uh oh, “clowns” might seem a bit harsh but how else do you describe advice in the BPBulletin of 23 November that they are proposing to amend regulations affecting accredited Council employees to let them do things which would now breach a Council’s Code of Conduct. The BPB proposes to:

Introduce an exemption the Council accredited certifiers if they are related to a person involved in the design or construction of an aspect of development. Council accredited certifiers will be able to issue a Part 4A or complying development certificate if related to a person involved in the design or construction of an aspect of development, if the certificate is issued on behalf of the Council, to the Council or to a council employee and the capital investment value of the development does not exceed $5 million.

So far with the accrediting of Council employees, so good. We remain concerned about the potential problems of an employee having a responsibility to their employer and at the same time a responsibility to an accrediting organisation. To our mind, although we could never convinced to Government of this, the principal responsibility of an employee is to their employer - something they seem very capable of understanding in employment generally but not when it comes to setting up parallel authority for a council employee with the BPB.

But this proposal would allow employees to do work as a council employee on applications involving  family members in a way which would be prohibited by the Model Code of Conduct adopted by all councils in the State.

Apparently no Obeids were involved in the drafting of this but this clash between the ethics of working in local government and the “ethics” of the BPB is a bit embarrassing and should proceed no further.

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