An independent investigation into Dubbo Regional Council's complaints-handing process has uncovered "systemic failures".
In May, councillors unanimously agreed to hire Pinnacle Integrity to look into the way council had been dealing with its code of conduct complaints.
At Monday night's meeting, councillors reviewed the report and adopted a long list of recommendations to improve the complaints process.
While the report is currently confidential, the recommendations are not.
Mayor Stephen Lawrence said the outcomes of the investigation were "grave".
"The findings of the report are incredibly serious. For council to be resolving to accept recommendations such as 'only authorised people should deal with code of conduct complaints', 'serious matters should be dealt with under the code of conduct', speaks volumes about serious systemic failures," he said at the meeting.
The findings of the report are incredibly seriousDubbo mayor Stephen Lawrence
The report also reinforced chief executive officer Murray Wood's responsibility to refer any allegations of alleged misconduct - including those of former staff and councillors - to the Office of Local Government, or other external agencies, which could include the Independent Commission Against Corruption or the police.
Mr Wood said the community could be assured any concerns raised would be addressed appropriately.
Other recommendations were for council to adopt a checklist for how complaints should be handled and for a structured process to be established for staff to make complaints.
Cr Lawrence told the community no one could say they were cleared of wrongdoing based on the report's findings.
"It was never, and could not have been, the role of this investigation to determine individual allegations of misconduct against councillors or former councillors or staff. There are processes for that," Cr Lawrence said.
Council will seek legal advice to see if parts of the independent investigator's report can be made public.
Mr Wood said he understood members of the public were frustrated the findings of the Independent Investigator remain confidential.
However, he said disclosing information from within the investigation was against the recommendations of the investigator, and went against both the code of conduct and the Local Government Act.
Councillor John Ryan also acknowledged the systemic failures highlighted in the report.
But he said it was heartening to know Dubbo Regional Council was now on the right track.
"Ratepayers of Dubbo can rest assured that good things are going to come of this," Cr Ryan said.
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