Improving the Transparency and Accountability of the Local Government Sector
March 5, 2016 1 Comment
I was pleased to see this announcement by Tony Simpson, Minister for Local Government as a first step on improving the transparency and accountability of the Local Government Sector.
Fremantle has been part of a small group of councils including Bassendean, and Victoria Park and ably led by John Carey the Mayor of Vincent pushing a sector wide approach to transparency and accountability reform. There will be more announcements to come in this space but this is a worthwhile first step.
I would add that this puts the Local Government sector well in front of State and Federal levels. I have always thought that this is something that should be uniform across all levels of government. But in the meantime happy for Local Government to lead the way.
MEDIA STATEMENT by Hon Tony Simpson MLA, Minister for Local Government
New disclosure requirements for WA councils
- New legislation requires online declaration of gifts and travel
Online reporting of gifts and travel contributions will be mandated throughout the local government sector under new legislation taking effect today.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said the changes to the Local Government Act were another step forward for transparency and accountability for the State’s local government sector.
“These new measures will bring local government in Western Australia into the modern age,” Mr Simpson said.
“For the first time, elected members and senior staff will be required to disclose gifts and travel contributions within 10 days and for the information to be easily accessible on the council’s website.
“The Western Australian community rightly has high expectations when it comes to the conduct of elected members.
“I am pleased this Government is taking steps to ensure members of the community can hold their council to account.”
Previously, the Local Government Act only required disclosures of gifts and contributions to travel in the receiver’s annual return.
A number of local governments have already started listing travel and gift registers online prior to the passage of legislation.
“I commend these local governments which are leading the charge to improve transparency and accountability and look forward to the whole sector adopting and championing these measures,” the Minister said.
· Changes apply only to gifts and travel with a value exceeding $200, or more than one gift from the same person where the aggregate value is more than $200
· For more information, visit https://www.dlgc.wa.gov.au