There is a large number of “very serious” matters with the operations and affairs at the City of Perth, according to a new probe.

The inquiry was launched earlier this year after turmoil surrounding gifts and expenses scandals, infighting and accusations of bribery.

The chaos led to the eventual suspension of the entire council.

The inquiry will report on operations and affairs at the council, and determine whether the council should be reinstated or dismissed.

The inquiry held its first public hearing this week, providing an update on the progress of the investigation so far and call for community submissions.

The inquiry has already collected almost 3 million electronic documents, 90 electronic devices and interviewed more than 40 people.

It has also issued 35 notices for documents and information.

“What is clear from the investigation to date is that there are a large number of very serious matters which have arisen for investigation,” said counsel assisting the panel, Kim Lendich.

“They are complex, often overlap, and endemic at the city.”

Ms Lendich said the culture of the organisation would be a major focus.

“The inquiry must consider whether there has been a failure of good government, the prospect of good government in the future,” she said.

“A failure to be open and accountable is not good government.”