Bayswater councillors take steps towards transparency and accountability

Bayswater councillors take steps towards transparency and accountability

CITY of Bayswater council took steps to become more transparent and accountable at a meeting on Tuesday night.

Council supported a motion by Councillor Dan Bull that asked officers to prepare a report to minimise the City’s number of confidential items.

An accountability and governance portal on the City’s website will be created, with the amount of confidential items set to be reduced and council to examine best practice accountability measures from around Australia.

Cr Bull said less public scrutiny meant an increase in trust towards council.

“Nobody likes confidential items,” he said.

“I can’t find any legislation that says there is a need to go behind closed doors.”

The dedicated portal would link to online registers, show councillor sitting fees and meetings attendances per year, the number of employees the City paid more than $100,000 and the state transparency, disclosure or accountability measures currently adopted.

The City recently started an online gift register, interstate travel register and caretaker election policy.

Instances where councils could close their doors to the public, according to the Local Government Act, included if the item was a matter affecting an employee, a contract or if legal advice was obtained.

Cr Catherine Ehrhardt successfully moved for officers to write a report on examples of best practice accountability measures adopted by other Australian local governments.