Council tight-lipped over senior manager investigation

Photo: ODT Files
Photo: ODT Files
The Dunedin City Council has refused to disclose the terms of reference for an investigation into the conduct of a senior manager.

The Otago Daily Times requested the information after a King’s Counsel was appointed by the council.

In response to a request under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA), the council said it "neither confirms nor denies the existence or non-existence of information asked for about a claimed investigation".

It "will therefore not be responding to any of your questions related to this request about a claimed investigation".

The investigation’s existence was revealed by the ODT last month and has never been contested by the council.

Staff and councillors have also not publicly confirmed the appointment of the KC.

In its response to the LGOIMA request, the council referred to sections in the Act about the existence of information and conclusive reasons for withholding it.

In particular, it cited a clause indicating making the information available could "prejudice the maintenance of the law, including the prevention, investigation, and detection of offences, and the right to a fair trial".

The manager at the centre of the investigation has not responded to invitations to comment.

Questions about how serious or trivial the matters might be have not been answered and no indication has been provided about the broad subject matter.