Vincent calls for Local Government Sector to Raise the Bar on Transparency

Published: Wednesday, 20 April 2016 at 12:00:00 AM

The City of Vincent Council last night adopted its "Raising the Bar" Discussion Paper to stimulate discussion and feedback among local governments on a range of measures designed to improve transparency and accountability across the sector in W.A.

The paper outlines a raft of best practice reform examples from both interstate and overseas, calling for updates to the Local Government Act 1995 and recommending thirteen specific reforms to W.A Local Governments.    

Mayor John Carey, who introduced the motion, said the best way to build confidence in the Local Government sector was to drive improvement from within.

 “A number of these recommendations can be implemented by Local Governments immediately. The sector shouldn’t fear these reforms, instead it should embrace greater transparency and accountability to build confidence in the sector and raise the bar across all tiers of Government”. 

“There are a number of areas in which the current Local Government Act and its regulations don’t facilitate the highest standards of transparency. Councils need to demonstrate leadership in improving the public’s access to information.”     

The recommended reforms include:

  • Recommendation 1: Greater Oversight and Consistency in Financial Reporting
  • Recommendation 2: Easier Ratepayer Access to Information and Public Online Reporting
  • Recommendation 3: Public Reporting of Travel Undertaken by Councillors and Staff
  • Recommendation 4: Disclosure of Councillor Allowances and Expenses
  • Recommendation 5: Public Reporting of Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest
  • Recommendation 6: Leasing Arrangements
  • Recommendation 7: Improving Transparency and Accountability of Council Meetings
  • Recommendation 8: Creating a Genuine Opportunity for Ratepayers to Have Their Say
  • Recommendation 9: Mandatory Training of Councillors
  • Recommendation 10: Greater Transparency within Senior Executives in Local Government
  • Recommendation 11: Better Governance Regarding the Appointment of Chief Executive Officers
  • Recommendation 12: Greater Transparency and Accountability in Council Elections
  • Recommendation 13: Greater Transparency in the Selection of Mayors

The Discussion Paper: Raising the Bar – New Transparency Reforms for W.A Local Government can be accessed here.

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