City of Melbourne
Please find attached a copy information recently published on the City of Melbourne -Holding them to account blog http://melbournecouncil.blogspot.com
I wish to express concern that the Council administration had failed to publish a copy of my submission dated December 24, 2005 or a copy of any report pertaining to item 6.1 listed in the agenda for next Tuesday's Finance and Corporate Performance committee meeting.
How can the public know what matters are being discussed by the committee if the administration withhold
Can you please publish and consider the attached article in association with item 6.1 and include a copy in the minutes of the meeting.
Anthony van der Craats
Tuesday's missing report: Item 6.1 City of Melbourne Finance and Corporate Performance Committee Meeting - Tuesday February 7, 2006
Response to our letter dated December 24, 2005
The City of Melbourne Finance and Corporate Performance (sic) first meeting for the year meeting is on next Tuesday February 7, 2006
Missing from the agenda/reports is the response to my letter dated December 24th, 2005. ( I wonder why the response and a copy of my original letter was not included in the committee papers?). (More abuse and mismanagement). How can I or members of the public respond or make a submission if we are kept in the dark as to the Council response or what was asked of them?
For the record I have reprinted below the contents of the letter under discussion? We have since forwarded more items of correspondence on this topic which also has not been listed.
The letter sent in December raises a number of issues related to the publication of the Council's Travel Register and issues related to Council expenses. Such as the need to ensure that the Travel Register contains a Record ID number so as to assist in the audit of the Travel Register and avoid any misuse and wrong doing such as unauthorised removal or alteration of information previously recorded.
The Council's Travel Register is effectively an Electronic Whiteboard. Previously, before the days of the electronic media, the Council's Travel Register was written and recorded in a bound book. The new Travel Register is in the form of an excel spreadsheet print-out.
Our letter also expresses concern about the decision of the Council late last year to hold illegal behind closed door meetings. Councillor Fraser Brindley moved a motion that information related to the cost and expense of Council's in-bound missions be presented to a closed information briefing session as opposed to being tabled at an open Council committee meeting. So much for honouring the Greens' election pledge
"The Greens support the integrity of local government as an independent
level of government enabling full and active participation of the community
in governance of issues at the local level. Such governance should embrace
open and consultative decision - making, and provide for clear reporting of
Council’s activities." - November 2004
(Shame Fraser Shame)
This is one of the most offensive actions I have seen the Council do in a long time - and I have seen many offensive and highly questionable things done by the City of Melbourne - like the time they held a committee meeting to discuss the development of Federation Square and when myself and the media turned up to attend the meeting Cr Peter (McClown) McMullin quickly cancelled the meeting and held a private discussion instead. Alison Lyon's, Councils Legal Officer, failed to mention that the Local Government act requires all meeting of Council to be open to the scrutiny of the public. (Section 89)
It seams that the Council administration forget that they have a public responsibility and that meetings of Council are
supposed to be open and accessible to the public.
The Public have a right to know information related to the costs of Council's expenditure.
The original motion proposed by Cr. Fiona Snedden requested a report be tabled on the costs of Council's inbound missions. We congratulate Cr Snedden in requesting this information but we think this information should be made public and not just presented to Councillors in closed session at illegal meetings and our letter requests that this information be tabled at the March Finance and Corporate Performance (sic) meeting.
In addition we have requested that the costs of internal catering per department per month be and available
including a breakdown of costs involved in the supply of alcohol. We understand that such a report already exists but is never tabled at Council meetings.
We have also requested that the costs associated with the lord Mayor and deputy Lord Mayor's limousine be included and recorded in the Councillor expense statements (under the item Local Travel). It is wrong and misleading for the expense statements to not include this information. We would also like to know how much fuel is being consumed and hope that the costs also include the cost of free inner city parking at Town Hall.
Given that the City of Melbourne has recently resolved to make Melbourne a "car free city" we think they should start
by scraping the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor's limousines.
(Note to Fraser Brindley: Please read the Greens' Policy Statement and commitment to the electorate. We are looking forward to you taking action to fulfil you election promises and scrap the Lord Mayor's car and driver. Whilst you are at it remove Council funded vehicles or lease agreements from any remunerations package offered to staff including free car-parking in the Council car park - after all we want a car free city - no?)
Anthony van der Craats
- - Copy of missing letter dated December 24 --
The Lord Mayor and Councillors
City of Melbourne
Please find attached the latest posting on the "Melbourne City Council - holding them to account" blog for your information. http://melbournecitycouncil.blogspot.com I request that this letter along with the content printed below be referred to the next meeting of the Council's Finance and Corporate Performance Committee for listing and consideration.
In addition I request that the next meeting of the Council's Finance and Corporate Performance Committee consider the following recommendations:
1. Council in-bound missions Council review it decision to refer documents of management pertaining to council expenses on in-bound missions to the closed unofficial Councillor Information Exchange Session and that the management report detailing the expenses of in-bound missions be tabled in open session of the City of Melbourne's Finance and Corporate Performance committee. held in March 2006
2. Publication of the Council's Travel register
Council review its decision to publish the Council's Travel register on its internet site on a quarterly basis and recommend that Council publish the Travel register within 24 hours of any addition or update to the register.
2.1 the Travel register be amended to include a record id number for each entry so as to assist in the identification and audit of the register to minimise any fraud, deletion or omission.
2.2 the Travel register include a break down of costs outlining the cost of travel, accommodation, conference fees and sundry expenses along with the allocated budget and reference to the instrument of authorisation approving the travel undertaken.
2.3 the Travel register in fulfilment to the Council's commitment of maintaining a sustainable environment include a
tabulated record of the estimated amount of Co2 emissions generated as a result of the travel undertaken by Council staff and Councillors. This information can ascertained by using a Co2 calculator readily available on the internet. such as Sustainable Travel International https://www.myclimate.co.uk/STI/op_carbonoffsets_offset.html
3. Cost of in-house catering report
That a report be tabled in open public session at the Council's Finance and Corporate Performance committee meeting in March 2006 detailing in-house catering expenses for each department since December 1 2004 to March 1, 2006
4. Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayors Local travel expenses
4.1 That a report be tabled in open public session at the Council's Finance and Corporate Performance committee meeting in March 2006 detailing the costs associated with the lease, depreciation, maintenance, petrol consumption of the Lord Mayor's Limousine (including the salary of the Lord Mayor's driver) along with any other local travel expenses paid for by the City Council since December 1 2004 to March 1, 2006
4.2 That a report be tabled in open public session at the Council's Finance and Corporate Performance
committee meeting in March 2006 detailing the costs associated with the lease, depreciation, maintenance, petrol consumption of the Deputy's Lord Mayor's vehicle with any other local travel expenses paid for by the City Council since December 1 2004 to March 1, 2006
4.3 That the costs associated with the lease, depreciation, maintenance, petrol consumption of the Lord Mayor's
Limousine (including the salary of the Lord Mayor's driver) along with any other local travel expenses paid for by the City Council since December 1 2004 be listed and recorded in the published Councillor expense statements under the category of local travel.
4.4 That the costs associated with the lease, depreciation, maintenance, petrol consumption and the Deputy Lord Mayor's vehicle provided by the City of Melbourne along with any other local travel expenses paid for by the City Council since December 1 2004 be listed and recorded in the published Councillor expense statements under the category of local travel.
Should you require further information I can be contacted via return email
Anthony van der Craats