A redacted report into the way Dubbo Regional Council handled its code of conduct complaints has been released to the public.
The report was created by Pinnacle Integrity. The company was hired by council to investigate if complaints made in the current term of council had been addressed appropriately.
However, the public will only be able to view a redacted version of the report in line with legal advice given to council.
Mayor Stephen Lawrence acknowledged the community was not going to be satisfied with what could be released from the "damming and disgraceful" report.
"The community will of course want to know what sort of allegations were mishandled and why. Bluntly, they will want to know who got the benefit of mishandling and cover up. Sadly this report will not answer those questions, it will only provide further detail on exactly how the mishandling and cover up is perpetrated," he said during Monday night's council meeting.
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However, Cr Lawrence said he wanted it to be clear that there was "no criticism whatsoever" to be made of junior staff members. He said they were performing their duties under the direction of the chief executive officer.
Cr Lawrence reiterated it was the CEO who should be responsible when the complaints process miscarries.
"Our code of conduct procedures became a cover up mechanism. Relatively junior staff were enlisted...to investigate allegations that should by law have been referred to an external independent assessor," Cr Lawrence said.
"This is only one of the miscarriages of process. Another was the use of powers to dismiss complaints without independent investigation; powers that did not exist."
There were numerous recommendations made in the report, most of which council states are either well under way or in the process of being implemented.
It includes ensuring code of conduct complaints are dealt with only by authorised people, extra training around the complaints process and a new structure through which staff can make code of conduct complaints.
Speaking at the council meeting, Cr Lawrence said while the complaints were made during the current term of council, the councillors were unaware due to the confidentiality rules of the code.
He said when the councillors were made aware of the number of serious issues that had arisen, they condemned the "type of misconduct we feared had occurred" and took the steps to establish an independent investigation.
The mayor has again called for a public, independent inquiry with the Independent Commission Against Corruption. He said it was the only way to "do justice to the issues that have plagued this council".
Cr Lawrence also called for the Office of Local Government to address the underlying issues that lead to the need for an independent inquiry.