Thursday, December 27, 2012

City of Melbourne: Secret Registers not available on the internet

The City of Melbourne is required by law to maintain a number of registers that contain important public information. Whilst some registers are made public and published on line many are not.

The Council under pressure, be it somewhat reluctant, has published a list of councillor Expenses and travel register.  The Councillor expense register is somewhat misleading as creative accounting had removed some of the costs that were previously included and have now been removed from the expense list.   The Councillor Expense register is a list of money paid to Councillors in addition to the allowances already paid.

Missing from the new Councillor expense list is money reimbursed to Councillors for overseas travel and the cost of internal catering and the Lord Mayor's "Free Booze bar"

We want to start a campaign for full public disclosure and publication of all registers that are required to be maintained to be accessible via the Council's web site and not hidden away behind an administrative wall  designed to limit public access to this information.  The cost alone of granting administrative access to the registers warrants the information being freely accessible via the internet.

Details of the allowances fixed for the Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and councillors under Section 74 or 74A of the Local Government Act 1989. View the Allowances page Yes
The total annual remuneration for all senior officers in respect of the current financial year, set out in a list that states: Contact Council Business No
(i) ranges of remuneration of senior officers, where the difference between the lower amount and the higher amount in each range must not exceed $10,000; and
(ii) the number of senior officers whose total annual remuneration falls within the ranges referred to in subparagraph (i).
Details of overseas or interstate travel (but not interstate travel over land lasting less than 3 days) undertaken in an official capacity by councillors or any member of Council staff in the previous 12 months.  The register includes the names of the councillors or Council staff and the date, destination, purpose and total cost of the overseas or interstate travel. View the Travel Register page Yes
Updated quarterly.
Names of Councillors and Council officers who were required to submit interest returns during the financial year and the dates the returns were submitted. Contact Council Business No
If you would like to view the register complete this form and send to Council Business.
Agendas for and minutes of ordinary and special meetings held in the previous 12 months except if the minutes record parts of meetings which have been closed to members of the public under Section 89 of the Act. View Agendas, reports and minutes Yes
A list of all special committees established by the Council and the purpose for which they were established. Contact Council Business No
A list of all special committees established by the Council which were abolished or ceased to function during the financial year Contact Council Business No
Minutes of the meetings of special committees which were established under section 86 of the Act and held in the previous 12 months, except if the minutes record parts of meetings which have been closed to members of the public under section 89 of the Act. View Agendas, minutes and reports Yes
The register of delegations kept under Sections 87, 88 and 98 of Local Government Act 1989 and the date on which the last review took place under Section 98(6). Contact Council Business No
Submissions received over previous 12 months under Section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989.  Contact Council Business No
Agreements to establish regional libraries under Section 196 of Local Government Act 1989. There were no agreements to establish regional libraries during the financial year. No
Details of all property, finance and operating leases involving land, building, plant, computer equipment or vehicles entered into by the Council as lessor or lessee, including the name of the other party to the lease and the terms and value of the lease. Contact Council Business No
Register of Authorised Officers appointed under Section 224 of Local Government Act 1989. Contact Council Business No
A list of donations and grants made by the Council during the financial year, including the names of persons or bodies which have received a donation or grant and the amount of each donation or grant. Contact Council Business No
A list of the names of the organisations of which the Council was a member during the financial year and details of all membership fees and other amounts and services provided during that year to each organisation by the Council. Contact Council Business No
A list of contracts valued at: Contact Council Business No
$150,000 or more for the purchase of goods and services; and
$200,000 or more for the carrying out of works,
for which the Council entered into during the financial year without first engaging in a competitive process and which are not contracts referred to in Section 186(5) of the Act.
A written record of an assembly of Councillors (for a period of 12 months after the date of the assembly). View Council meeting reports Yes
(Presented to Council Meetings).
Election campaign donation returns for inspection at the office of the Council during normal office hours. Contact Council Business No

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