FLASHBACK. A council meeting in the Mullumbimby chambers in 1999 with Tom Wilson in the mayor's chair. Photo Gary Chigwidden / Byron Shire News
FLASHBACK. A council meeting in the Mullumbimby chambers in 1999 with Tom Wilson in the mayor's chair. Photo Gary Chigwidden / Byron Shire News Gary Chigwidden

Byron to educate staff after sackings

Corruption detected among five Byron Shire council staff had resulted in the introduction of improved policy and processes which had been approved by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), acting council general manager Ray Darney said.

Mr Darney said the council would continue to educate staff on the code of conduct and corruption prevention, including information on the consequences of misconduct, as recommended in the ICAC report released on Tuesday.

A former Byron council staff member, Robert Vagne, was named in the ICAC report as one of 22 council employees across NSW to have engaged in corrupt conduct.

ICAC found Mr Vagne had received $500 worth of gift vouchers from R&R Tape Supplies.

Mr Darney said Mr Vagne was one of two staff members who were sacked and three who faced disciplinary action after council launched its own corruption investigation in December 2010.

"A council investigation plan was submitted to ICAC who entrusted council to undertake the investigation and agreed to the process," he said.

"The ICAC investigation involved the staff member who resigned prior to council's investigation being concluded."

The outcome of the investigation was reported to council and ICAC in June 2011.

"It was disappointing to have had staff members involved in this type of misconduct. However, the investigation resulted in number of policy and process improvements," Mr Darney said.

The ICAC report did not recommend criminal charges be brought against Mr Vagne.



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