Views from the sector - mayors

The Inspectorate spoke to current and former mayors seeking their views on the employment cycle of their CEOs.

Key issues that arose from discussions included:

Independent advice

Mayors that were interviewed agreed that gaining independent advice was critical to assist them in the CEO appointment and remuneration process.

Effective performance management

Mayors considered effective performance management of the CEO was vital and needed to be an ongoing process, not a ‘tick and flick’ at the end of each year. Independent assistance in this process was seen as advantageous.

Bonus payments

While mayors rejected the need for bonus payments, they considered the transparency of the CEO contract and developing standard contracts in conjunction with peak bodies was beneficial to the sector and the community.

Council HR departments

Mayors strongly advocated for council HR departments to be removed from the appointment, contracting and performance monitoring processes due to the perception of an inherent conflict of interest.

Mayors did not see a need to change the current maximum contract term of five years for a CEO or further restrict the reappointment terms. They believed relevant measures in the proposed legislative reforms would negate the need for further restrictions.

Overall, mayors emphasised the need to develop professional respectful relationships between the CEO, the mayor and the council as a whole.

All decisions involving the CEO need to be made by the full council. They should not be delegated. All councillors need to be made aware of the specifics of the CEO contract.

What must be remembered is there is enormous variability in the level of skills of councillors particularly in relation to performance monitoring the CEO.

- Metropolitan council mayor