- Posted by IanMuttonAdmin
- On December 26, 2021
- North Sydney Council election, North Sydney Mayor
Reporting Council’s Finances – Truth a Casualty in the Election Campaign
In the campaign some references were made to Council’s financial reporting that were unfair and, to my mind, reflected badly on Council. It was inferred that information was being withheld from Councillors. It’s something that has weighed on my mind – I’m concerned that the record be set straight. To this end it helps to understand Council’s process when it comes to financial reporting.
In the second half of 2021 financial reporting to Council included:
- Audited Financial Statements
- Annual Report
- End of Term Financial Report
- Financial Services for year ended 30 June 2021
- Special Rate Rise Report
- Quarterly Operations Plan
- Quarterly Budget Review
- Investment and Loan Borrowing
- Amended Long Term Financial Plan
Each of these statements/reports/plans was backed with significant data packages.
Council procedures allow councillors to attend and ask questions at:
- Council meetings
- Governance and Finance Committee meetings
- Legal and Planning Committee meetings
- Briefings given by Council staff
- Audit, Improvement and Risk Committee meetings
The number of opportunities given Councillors/candidates for Mayor to attend these meetings and their attendances at those meetings (2020/21) are set out in the following table.
As I said at the start, it’s just wrong to suggest that reporting does not allow Councillors to understand the financial implication of their decisions.
Further, the opportunity exists to raise matters directly with Council staff. To be candid, the flow of information to those who want it, is impressive and it’s mischievous for anyone to suggest otherwise.
There’s one other issue that concerns me – in the coming a year Councillors will need to address the move by the State Government to exclude Councillors from attendance at Audit, Improvement and Risk Committee meetings. I simply don’t understand why the State Government is doing this.