Friday, October 27, 2006

Council efficency in avoidance

City Council delays publication of report

The time is 2:00PM on Friday October 27, 2006

The City of Melbourne is supposed to have publish the latest financial statements on Councillor expenses and Staff Overseas and Interstate travel by now but hasn't. And why you might ask? Could it have something to do with media deadlines.. or is that being too cynical...

As part of the City of Melbourne’s general policies on accountability and transparency the City of Melbourne will publish Councillor Expenses, The Travel Register and the Non-City of Melbourne Passengers register no later than 1pm on the last Friday of the month after the end of each quarter of the financial year.

According to David Pitchford, Melbourne's CEO, this information should be available no later then 1PM today... but no sign of it at present. Efficiency is not the Council's high point when it comes to publishing Council expense data. Information is withheld, reports denied and in some cases doctored and items go missing.

Update 4:00PM

The Council Governance Office, following a letter of complaint sent to the City Council, has just published an updated link...

The link refers to the March Quater data and not the September Quater as claimed.

Councillor expenses not yet available eve though they have had one month to finalise the information.
Update 5:00PM

The publication of Councillor expense statements are till outstanding. The City Council's Governance department is responsible for the publication of this infomation. Ms Linda Weatherston Manger of Council's Governance continues to bring the City Council into disrepute. City Councillors have expressed dissatisfaction at the ongoing problems associated with the governance department and the publication of Councillor expense statements. Councillor expenses are fast becoming an issue of concern related to the State Election with the State Government ultimately responsible for Local Government expenditure. The task of publishing this information is not difficult but the Council administration seem to have a problem every quater with the same issues... If the Council Gvernance department can not manage to get this issue right then it is time for the CEO to undertake a staff review to address the issue
Update: 6:30PM
After hours of delay and publication of outdated information the City of Melbourne has managed to publish the Travel register. The register which is akin to an electronic whiteboard still is missing a unique sequential record ID which leaves it subject and open to abuse with information readily removed or edited without any trace or record making virtually impossible, if not difficult, to audit. the good news is that the media are aware of the deceit having independently verified the above concerns.
Councillor expense statement has also just been published... over 5 hours late

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