The activities and functions carried out by local government entities (entities) are diverse and involve a great deal of interaction with local communities. It is therefore essential that they recruit the right people.
Entities need sound, consistently applied employee screening processes to confirm the identity, integrity and academic credentials of potential employees. The screening process usually involves undertaking referee checks, checking criminal backgrounds and verifying employment history and educational qualifications. It is also important that entities continue to monitor employees, to identify changes in their circumstances which may impact their duties. The rigour of the processes may vary depending on the duties of the role and the related risks of employing the wrong person.
We previously performed this audit in 2015 for state government entities and found many instances where identity, qualifications, criminal backgrounds and right to work in Australia were not checked prior to employment.
All of the 8 entities we audited need to improve their policies and practices for screening employees.
We found many instances where entities did not check the identity, right to work in Australia, employment history, qualifications and criminal backgrounds of employees prior to their commencement. We also found instances where entities did not obtain a working with children check for positions which required it. These findings create a risk that an entity may employ inappropriate or unqualified staff.
Only the Shire of Boyup Brook and the City of Melville were monitoring their employees for all significant changes to their status which could impact their employment.