A report in the Courier Mail this week highlights the lack of transparency and openness in the Ipswich City Council as the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) continues its proceedings. The veil of secrecy and corruption allegations have led to the CEO standing down with Gary Kellar former Logan Council CEO now standing in as Ipswich Council CEO.
OSCAR has been seeking greater transparency in the proceedings of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council (SCRC) which had 102 closed Council sessions since April 2016 as opposed to the Noosa Council which has 10 closed sessions in the same period.
OSCAR on behalf of members has found it necessary to undertake expensive Rights to Information applications to get information from SCRC on the Twin Waters West and Mooloolaba Master Plan as these were not made freely available.
OSCAR’s objectives are to have the Noosa Council and the Sunshine Coast Regional Council achieve and maintain:
- Transparent and accountable governance, including community consultation that is respected and acted upon.
Hopefully the proceedings by the CCC will start to raise the veil of secrecy and address the concerns of alleged unhealthy relationships with developers that exist in some Councils. We can only hope this is a wake up call with more transparent accountable governance and cultures.
Please read more on this news article on the Ipswich City Council developments.
HIDING public documents to avoid scrutiny, the overuse of closed council sessions, and poor publication of the councillors’ register of interests are among a swag of Ipswich City Council practices that have fostered a culture of secrecy.
An independent report released yesterday lists a series of damning allegations against the council, which has seen two of its senior officers and its former mayor charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission.
The report was commissioned by suspended chief executive Jim Lindsay, who has since been charged with corruption.
All 19 recommendations in the report were adopted by the council in a bid to increase transparency, the lack of which was heavily criticised in the report.
“There is a common theme across these areas of a lack of transparency in the conduct of council business, which prevents effective public scrutiny,” the report said.
“In a number of cases, these practices not only prevent convenient discovery of documents and decisions that should have high public visibility, they actively discourage enquirers by the circuitous nature of the searches required to obtain information.”
The report was prepared by Reinforcements Management Consulting. One of its consultants, Gary Kellar, a former Logan City Council chief executive, has temporarily filled the void left by Lindsay.
The case of former mayor Paul Pisasale, who resigned following CCC raids, was mentioned in Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday morning.
He has been charged with five offences, including extortion and attempting to pervert justice.
The case will be before the court again on November 13.