Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chief Executive Contract

When Dr. Kennedy's last contract was renewed there was quite a roar about it.

The question is why:
  • Was it because of lack of consultation?
  • Was it because of job performance?

The issue then becomes:

  • What do we expect when the next CEO contract is up for renewal?
  • What should we be looking for in a CEO?
  • Who should be part of the Selection Process?


  1. We elect our councillors and so I see it as part of their job to represent us in selecting the CEO that supports their objectives. Maybe they do not have the right objectives (see discussion thread on Endorsing Councillors)

  2. I quite like the idea of having a ratepayer representative on the interviewing panel. Hopefully this person would have an objectivity unclouded by not being a part of the local government industry, not be blinded by CV's and be willing to research whether the candidate has a history we should know about.
    Richard Horvath

  3. Yes, at least one ratepayer on the selection committee. This would also be a good idea on some other committees also. But maybe we are not giving our representatives the right direction to work on our behalf. (See and comment on endorsing councillors)

  4. We need a CEO who is going to balance the budget not one who is going to give us a bunch of jibber jabber about why it can’t be done and why our rates have to increase each year. We need some fiscal restraint.

  5. Chief Executive Officer - Performance Review

    Council undertakes an annual performance review of the Chief Executive Officer. The formal review provides the opportunity for all councillors to provide feedback to the CEO on his performance over the review period.

    It provides the opportunity to identify developmental opportunities, to recognize achievements and what is working well, and to identify and address any differences of priority or perception that may develop over time, as will inevitably occur given the breadth and complexity of the roles and functions undertaken for the community by Council. Providing clear detailed feedback on the areas of critical performance makes it possible to celebrate successes and identify areas requiring attention in the coming year.

    The performance review process is as follows:

    Step 1 A written self assessment report is prepared by the CEO and provided to all Councillors along with a verbal presentation.

    Step 2 All Councillors complete a written assessment of the CEO’s performance against the agreed performance criteria.

    Step 3 The Facilitator compiles all comments and ratings and presents these in a report to the Advisory Committee (which consists of three councillors appointed by Council) for identification of key performance issues and strengths.

    Step 4 The Facilitator prepares a summary report based on the key issues and strengths identified in Step 3.

    Step 5 The Advisory Committee meets with the CEO for the review discussion providing him with the summarized feedback of Council.

    Step 6 A report summarizing the review discussion and including recommendations is presented by the Advisory Committee to Council’s Special Purposes Committee.

    Step 7 Council’s Special Purposes Committee considers the report and resolves on the final review outcome.

    CEO Appointment/ Reappointment

    Under the Local Government Act there are two options available to Council in appointing a chief executive officer (CEO). They are:

    • In a situation where Council considers the current CEO to be performing satisfactorily, on the basis of the established review process, to reappoint the CEO for a further contract term. (This is a common occurrence across local government)

    • Where the CEO does not seek reappointment, or where Council determines that it wishes to advertise, to initiate an advertising/recruitment process. (The current CEO may apply.)

    Where Council decides to reappoint the CEO, the reappointment process involves the following steps:

    • Council resolves to give public notice of an intention to consider are appointment resolution, and authorizes the giving of a public notice to this effect;

    • Council gives public notice of an intention to consider what would become a reappointment resolution. This public notice needs to state that such a resolution would result in the reappointment of the CEO without the position being advertised. There are no relevant regulations to which the public notice must conform; and

    • Council resolves to reappoint the CEO. This resolution cannot be made until at least 14 days have elapsed since the giving of the public notice.

    Dr Michael Kennedy OAM is currently appointed as the Mornington Peninsula Shire
    Council’s Chief Executive Officer until 8 February 2012.

  6. MornPen CEO:Performance Review Criteria #1

    Community Relations and Engagement:

    As Council’s principal advisor, and as champion of Council’s policy and service delivery objectives, the CEO will lead and guide the Shire’s engagement with the Mornington Peninsula’s diverse communities so that Council policy/strategy development reflects an understanding of community needs, expectations and priorities, and is seen to do so. This requires that the CEO:

    • Creates processes/opportunities for engagement with the community:

    o At a “whole of Peninsula” and local level

    o At a strategic and more operational level

    o With resident. Business, environmental and other interest groups, and

    o At council’s initiative and in response to community requests

    • Ensures open responsive working relationships with all resident interest groups, so that “shared focus on shared goals” is achieved wherever possible and

    • Ensures that Council communicates as effectively as possible what it is doing and why it is doing it, recognizing the challenge of achieving engagement with the less interested as well as the most interested

    Government/Stakeholder Relations Advocacy:

    As council’s principal advisor and champion of Council’s policy and service delivery objectives, the CEO will lead and guide advocacy with governments, their agencies and other stakeholders to secure policy support and financial support for Council’s objectives. This requires that the CEO:

    • Develops and maintains effective working relationships at political and bureaucratic levels with all relevant ministries and departments

    • Actively contributes to sector-wide peak bodies (MAV, Interface, etc.) in advocacy and policy development

    • Develops and maintains effective working relationship with local, State, and Federal MP’s and

    • Develops and maintains effective working relationships with relevant agencies, utilities, industry organizations, etc. (Melbourne Water, Vitoria Police) and advocates on Council’s behalf to achieve Council’s intended outcomes whenever possible

    Council/Organization Governance/Process:
    Recognizing that:

    Council has significant policy-forming and decision-making responsibilities across a very wide range of complex policy issues
    Council is committed to a well informed, collegiate, consensus-focused approach, and to open, transparent decision-making
    Councilors’ time is a scarce resource

    • Provides processes to facilitate a positive, mutually supportive working relationship within Council and between Council and the Shire organizational team

    • Ensures that reports, briefings and presentations to council are well focused, timely and appropriately comprehensive
    • Ensures councillors are alerted to issues of importance, of a political, strategic, or more immediate or local nature, at whole of Council or individual ward/local levis, as they arise, as appropriate

    • Ensures the organizational team is responsive to requests from councillors for information or assistance

    • Provides pragmatic , workable solutions for Council to facilitate policy/strategy implementation that response to local community needs

  7. MornPen CEO:Performance Review Criteria #1

    Organizational Leadership:

    • Creates and sustains an organizational culture focused on

    o Shared commitment to serving the community

    o Innovation and continuous improvement

    o Valuing the contribution of every team member regardless of “rank”

    o Optimizing individual and (more importantly) collective organizational performance

    o Striving to see each issue as the community sees it

    • In and environment of ageing workforce and potential skills shortages

    o Understands contemporary recruitment, development and retention issues and develops and implements a long-term human resources/organization development strategy which addresses the shire’s immediate and long term needs (e.g. traineeships, professional development, retention strategies, succession planning, etc.)

    • Address the health and well-being needs of the Shire’s organizational team, recognizing that tin a large and diverse workforce, striving to meet the community’s high expectations, that pressures, conflicts, and tensions will arise, working strategically to minimize their incidence, and to address issues when the do arise

    Policy/strategy Development:

    • Develops and maintains a policy framework/methodology which addresses social, economic and environmental objectives in a connected, joined up way, consistent with council’s Commitment to a sustainable Peninsula

    • Ensures that policy/strategy development is objective, evidence based, rigorous and equitable, whilst responding to the varied needs and circumstances of the Peninsula’s diverse communities

    • Strives to be strategically far sighted in early identification of, and response to, emerging policy issues (e.g. climate change, early years development)

    Policy Implementation, Service Delivery/Responsiveness:

    • Ensures that systems and procedures are in place to implement Council policies/strategies on a timely, responsible and cost-effective basis including Council’s capital works program

    • Ensures that contractual relationships reflect council’s intended service delivery expectations and provide mechanisms to ensure the achievement of Council’s specified objectives

    • Ensure that systems and processes are in place to respond effectively to service requests, telephone contact, and correspondence, within agreed timelines

    • Ensures that service delivery standards and methods are under continuous review and are adapted to changing community needs and expectation (e.g. use of electronic technology where it enhances service delivery/availability

    Financial Management:

    • Ensures the budget preparation process reflect Council’s policy/strategy objectives and priorities as set out in Council’s Community Plan and other approved policies and strategies.

    • Ensures optimal use is made of community funds and resources, including indentifying and elimination of waste, and opportunities for cost-saving

    • Ensures ongoing management of performance against budget, whilst addressing unexpected needs or circumstances when the arrive

    • Ensures financial performance is reported regularly (monthly) to Council and that and adverse trends are identified and auctioned.

  8. MornPen CEO:Performance Review Criteria #3

    Risk Management:
    Seeks to ensure that all risks, financial and non-financial, whilst not entirely avoidable, are minimized, including:

    • Ensuring a whole-of-organization appreciation of the need to identify and address risk management as a responsibility of every director, manager, team leader, and team member

    • Ensuring Council’s risk management focus is embraced by all contracted organizations and individuals

    • Ensuring that the physical and financial risks in public liability, occupational health and safety, and other risk categories are addressed both strategically an operationally

    • Seeking to ensure compliance with all relevant legislation

    • Ensuring audit processes identify and respond to all financial and non-financial risk exposures

    Reporting Process:

    • Reports monthly to Council and the community on all of the activities of the Shire, in a formal agreed to by Council

    • Strives to ensure that reports to Council are timely, accurate and comprehensive, whilst identifying critical issues for consideration by Council

    • Updates Council on issues of importance, in a timely basis, as and when appropriate

    Professional Development:Takes all steps necessary to:

    • Maintain a appreciation of the external community/political environment and emerging issues that may impact on Council policy/Strategy development or service deliver

    • Maintain an awareness/appreciation of relevant developments in leadership/management thinking

    • Embrace every opportunity for personal and/or organizational development, including welcoming the ideas and thinking of Council and when appropriate, other parties.