The Dunedin City Council has named the independent chairwoman
of its new audit and risk subcommittee, tasked with ensuring
risk is being managed appropriately within the organisation.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said in a statement Susie Johnstone,
of Balclutha, had been appointed.
The council adopted a new committee structure at its
inaugural meeting last year, and last week approved the new
audit and risk subcommittee's operational scope.
The subcommittee will be responsible for risk management,
internal control, business continuity and will have oversight
of governance policies in areas such as sensitive
expenditure, fraud, conflict of interest and protected
It will also oversee insurance, procurement, risk, and health
and safety and include oversight of the annual report.
The subcommittee has an advisory role and its recommendations
will be made directly to the council.
The subcommittee is made up of deputy mayor Cr Chris Staynes
and Crs Richard Thomson and Hilary Calvert.
Mrs Johnstone is managing partner of accounting firm Shand
Thomson, the Otago Polytechnic Council's deputy chairwoman
and a director of REANNZ (Research and Education Advanced
Network New Zealand Ltd).
She is also a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of
Chartered Accountants, and a member of its governance
committee, and has also served on the boards of Tourism New
Zealand, the Southland, Otago and Southern District Health
Boards, the New Zealand Blood Service and the New Zealand
Mr Cull said the council was ''very fortunate'' to have
recruited someone of Mrs Johnstone's calibre to the
''Her skills, attributes and knowledge will be of huge
benefit to the subcommittee's work.''
Mrs Johnstone said in a statement she was looking forward to
her new role, and supported the ''increasing focus'' on the
governance aspects of audit and risk.
''These matters tend to fly below the radar until something
doesn't go so well, so the council is to be commended for
taking the initiative in this area.''
A second independent member is to be confirmed and
advertising for the role was due to begin shortly.
The council's full committee structure and operational scope
were also under review, but the new subcommittee's
operational scope was required in the meantime so it could
begin work, a report to councillors from corporate services
group manager Sandy Graham said.
The council's code of conduct and the process for resolving
breaches were also under review.
The council approved an interim measure allowing any other
standing committee chairman to become a member of the
committee when a complaint was against any current member,
i.e. the mayor or deputy mayor, and to allow a single
independent member to sit alone to determine a code of
conduct matter provided all parties agreed.
The ability to hear conduct matters in public was also added
to the scope of the committee.
The full changes to the committee structure and operational
scope manual, as well as some alterations to the operational
scope of chief executive and those retained by council
following legislative changes, will be presented to the
council this month.