CITY of Stirling councillors passed a notice of motion for increased transparency, including public gift registers, at a council meeting last week.
The motion, put forward by Councillor Stephanie Proud, stated the City should publish an up-to-date gift register on the City’s website, develop and maintain a public register of all conferences attended, report the usage of corporate credit card use and investigate the use of a planning application register.
Cr Proud said perception was an issue and the city should align itself with the State Government’s Open Data Policy.
“Why wouldn’t you have transparency?” Cr Proud asked. “We are already transparent but it is not always seen by all. It is for the perception of our public who are our customers and our reason for being.”
Cr David Michael said a gift register was already available.
“People have to go up to the third floor of the building to view it, it may be a bit daunting for some,” Cr Michael said.
“No one is hiding a thing, we are open, it is a good thing to be transparent.”
Cr Michael agreed with the proposed motion and said it was a “no-brainer.”
Cr Caddy said it was a timely move considering recent scrutiny facing local governments.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said the City should be commended for increasing transparency.
“The Government is progressing legislation to increase transparency and accountability, but I encourage all councils not to wait for the legislation to pass, but to get on with listing gifts and travel on line as soon as possible,” Mr Simpson said.