THE Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has ruled Orange City Council staff Peter Evans and Peter Lewis engaged in corrupt conduct.
Last year the two council staffers accepted gifts including iPods and vouchers. The men have since resigned from council.
Council spokesperson Allan Reeder said ICAC was critical of evidence that suggested the men were unaware they could not accept gifts.
He said since the incident council has adopted recommendations from ICAC to ensure it does not happen again.
Staff undertook rigorous induction and training to underline situations in which accepting gifts was appropriate, he said.
“A blanket ban would not work because in some situations it is culturally appropriate,” he said.
“For example council deals with cultural arrangements with sister cities.”
Another situation would include council’s childcare centres. He said it would be appropriate for staff to accept end of year gifts from children.
The recommendations include; that council communicates to suppliers the clear set of rules that states they cannot offer council staff gifts, that council reviews its code and practices and communicates them in a way that the intended audience can clearly understand and that council ensures that staff training has a focus on disciplinary consequences of accepting gifts.
“It’s normal business practice to offer gifts in order to secure sales,” Mr Reeder said.
“The challenge for Orange City Council is to educate suppliers that practice is out of bounds.”
Mr Reeder said there are some recommendations from the report that are yet to be put in place but would be brought before council at the November meeting.