It’s indeed a head-scratcher these days that elected officials publicly balk at proposed intiatives that introduce transparency into their expense claims. A few of the CSRD directors appear to be dragging their feet (they are portraying this otherwise) on senior staff proposals to introduce modern policies on expenses accountablity and on handing out grants prior to elections. Two thoughts in particular …
From The Observer article CSRD directors balk at new expense policy (Brouwer: July 23 2014):
Over the past several years, it has become apparent that the regional district needs to clarify and revisit their policies around expenses and grants in aid to ensure they’re consistent, fair and transparent,” he said.
Thought#1 – Call me old-fashioned if you will but I want to be re-assured that all politicos are expensing public monies appropriately. The vast majority of our elected officials do so but the need for scrutiny and transparency is re-inforced far too regularly by examples in the news. Clear guidelines and the transparency and immediacy associated with technology are two tools to let the sunlight in and increase accountability.
What are those itemized expenses? Who is claiming accomodation that may or may not be reasonable etc etc etc?
Those recalcitrant CSRD directors needed to endorse the proposals rather than defer them for further discussions. The claim that there was only a week to review the policy proposal is indeed incredibly weak. Time to get with the accountability times folks.
Thought #2: I’m all over this – in fact, I’m taking credit for Salmon Arm council recently implementing this based on my suggestions.
Following the meeting, Salmon Arm Coun. Debbie Cannon voiced her opposition to the deferral.
“It was clearly an old policy from the ’80s and we need to look after the dollars better – and we have to have limits on what expenses can be,” she said, expressing her belief that, like Salmon Arm councillors, CSRD directors’ remuneration and expenses should be posted on the regional district’s website where it can be accessed by members of the public.
* Underlining is mine
Your inner and balanced accountabilty thoughts?