A $42,000 organisational review of Warrnambool City Council's operations that caused division among the previous councillors will now be superseded by a new "workforce plan".
Chief executive officer Peter Schneider never got a chance to implement any changes recommended in the review he ordered after his contract was terminated mid-last year in a 4-3 vote of councillors.
Last month, the Supreme Court quashed the decision and reinstated him in his old job after almost a year out of the position which meant he was not at the helm at the time when he had foreshadowed implementing the findings of the review.
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The organisational review was to have been completed by June last year but not enacted until the first half of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
And now the review will be replaced by a new workforce plan - a requirement all councils are required to produce by the end of the year under changes to the Local Government Act which was introduced by the state government in October last year.
"This plan will effectively supersede the previous organisational review," the council said.
"The workforce plan will describe the organisational structure of the council, specify the projected staffing requirements for a period of at least four years and set out measures to seek to ensure gender equality, diversity and inclusiveness."
The council said the organisational review had contributed to foundation work for its new workforce plan which it had anticipated as part of the legislative change to the Local Government Act.
"As an organisation review needs to ensure objectivity and a fresh perspective, this work was provided by an external advisor with experience at local government CEO level," it said. "The cost of this work was $42,350."
Mr Schneider had announced an organisational review into resourcing levels in 2019, something that had long been called for by a number of councillors who were concerned the council's operations were unsustainable.
Calls for the review came after the city received special permission to increase rates above the state government-imposed cap.
Plans to implement the findings of that organisational review had been deferred because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but at the time the council had promised to consult staff, unions and other key stakeholders before any major changes were made.
The organisational review was the topic of debate and conflict among councillors, with then mayor Tony Herbert saying in February last year the review was originally to include 30 staff but was widened to 47 when others said they wanted to be involved.
At a July 2020 council meeting, former councillor Sue Cassidy said the review had been a concern for some staff over how it would affect their lives and their future at the council and putting it off would only cause more stress.
In response to questions about the progress of the implementation of the review, The Standard was told that all councils were constantly reviewing how resources - both human and financial - were allocated.
"The council team changes as demands for services, programs and infrastructure change," it said.
"As an example, the introduction of subsidised kindergarten for three-year-olds will bring about changes to the hours our early childhood team will need to deliver. And as vacancies naturally arise, councils have an opportunity to look at how roles are performed and how improvements might be achieved."
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