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From the CEO - Fiskville hearing update
Today I, along with CFA Acting Chair John Peberdy, gave evidence at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the former Fiskville Training College.
A number of current and former CFA employees, including Michael Wootten, Euan Ferguson and Lex de Man, also gave evidence to the inquiry this week.
During today’s hearing, I had the opportunity to outline actions I have put in place to ensure that what happened in the past is not repeated in the future.
Ernst and Young has conducted an audit of all recommendations made by CFA’s Board and the Joy Report into Fiskville to ensure they have been implemented fully and will be sustained over time.
I have also asked Ernst and Young to review our current corporate governance framework, in terms of the design and whether it operates effectively, as well as looking into whether other improvements need to be made, using Fiskville as a case study.
We are also introducing an Intelligence Unit at CFA to identify issues or risks and make sure solutions are implemented quickly.
A transcript of my hearing is expected to be published on the Inquiry's website.
I understand how important Fiskville was to our members and the broader organisation. It was an iconic place which many of you had a deep emotional attachment to, and I understand its closure will be felt for some time.
While the Inquiry has heard some negative issues within the training context, this is just one small aspect of the organisation as a whole and shouldn’t cast a shadow over the real value and contribution of the organisation to the Victorian community, nor over our talented, committed and first-class training staff.
What we have seen at Fiskville was a failure of systems and processes, not our people. We need to understand what went wrong and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
We are also seeking to put another submission to the Inquiry addressing some of the claims heard by the panel.
CFA continues to support the Inquiry. We are not expecting any more witnesses to be called, and the panel’s final report is due by 31 March, 2016.
I want to personally thank those people who have given their time and effort to provide evidence at the hearings.