Public Statement by COR CEO Wayne Rylands

Published on 19 July 2023

Council Meeting

As you may be aware through my previous public statements, City of Ryde (‘Council’) has been assisting the Office of Local Government (OLG) and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) with their ongoing inquiries into the mismanagement of funds contained in Council’s ‘restricted reserves’.

Council staff have developed an Action Plan(PDF, 363KB) with the assistance and guidance of the OLG who have now approved Council sharing the Plan with Councillors, our Audit Risk and Improvement Committee, staff and the Community.

It should be noted that Council has already undertaken a number of important actions, with the oversight of the OLG:

  1. Council’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has reversed and returned funds to the relevant Restricted Cash Reserves within Council. This was an action endorsed by the OLG and Council Resolution. The return of funds to correct accounts will not adversely impact rates or any Council services provided to the community. Further details of this is on Council’s website and contained in my previous public statement.
  2. A new Cash Reserves Policy for the future utilisation of Council’s restricted reserves funds, was adopted by Council on 27 June 2023. This is also now available on Council’s website.
  3. An external Review of Council’s Voluntary Planning Agreements (VPA) and the financial implications and liabilities to Council has commenced and is ongoing.

On June 30, Council provided the OLG with extensive materials in relation to the ongoing external investigation into the alleged mismanagement of ‘restricted reserves’.

The OLG is reviewing these materials and Council staff are continuing to co-operate with the OLG on any further lines of enquiry it may require.

On 17 July 2023, I, as the CEO briefed members of Council’s Audit Risk and Improvement Committee (ARIC) on the Action Plan. All Councillors were then briefed on 19 July 2023.

The Action Plan(PDF, 363KB) aims to ensure that best practice systems and structures are implemented to achieve greater governance, accountability and transparency around Council’s funds and practices.

With inquiries by the OLG and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) still ongoing, no further comment can be made by Council.