A push by some councillors to publicly release aspects of a confidential staff survey has been blocked by Warrnambool City's chief executive officer.
CEO Peter Schneider said to release the results would be "unethical", "a betrayal of trust" - a sentiment a number of staff had made very clear to him.
Cr Mike Neoh had signalled his intention to bring a notice of motion to Monday's council meeting for sections of the survey to be made public - a move which had the backing of three other councillors.
But Cr Neoh said the move was thwarted by Mr Schneider who ruled it was "not in the realm of councillor duties".
"That's it in a nutshell. Can't do anything," he said.
"The notice of motion has been rejected by the CEO.
"If that's the ruling, that's the ruling. Councillors don't have any opportunity once that ruling's been made."
Cr Neoh said it was disappointing that the survey's high level trends weren't available.
"I think there was a bit of scaremongering about individual comments being released or accessed, which was never the case," he said.
"I was talking about high level trends which council needs to work on, so from that point of view it's disappointing."
Mayor Tony Herbert and Cr Peter Sycopoulis raised concerns about the staff having completed the survey under the promise that it was confidential, to now face calls for some of it to be made public.
Cr Robert Anderson said he didn't believe it was healthy for the staff for the survey results to be released.
"It's a confidential thing," he said.
He said while one person had backed the call to release the results, the majority of the feedback he'd got from the public was that it was confidential and should be kept in-house.
Cr Anderson said other organisations did not release their internal staff surveys.
Cr Neoh said by publicly releasing just the trends of the survey, it would act like a community-monitored key performance indicator which could be improved upon.
"If it was out there it would be like a KPI for us to make sure we had transparency in trying to address the trends," he said.
Mr Schneider said the notice of motion to release the findings of the staff survey was not in the spirit of the Local Government Act 2020.
He said the Act stated ]the CEO was "responsible for all staffing matters, including appointing, directing, managing and dismissing members of council staff".
Mr Schneider also said the release of the survey, in his view, would not be in the best interests of staff.
"Council staff members undertook the survey on the understanding that it was for internal use only and not to be published in the mainstream or social media," he said.
"Therefore, to release the findings would be unethical and a betrayal of trust, a sentiment a number of staff have made very clear over the past couple of days."
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