Thursday, November 18, 2010

Transparency and the new Town Council website

The last recommendation in the ISA 260 report - The Report of Those Charged with Governance says:
The Auditors have said key documentation should be published on the website. This should include (so means more than) accounts and reports (notice the plurals so just not the current report). What is Key Documentation? This of course will vary depending on how transparent the Town Council wants to be.

Currently, the Town Council has published only certain Council/Committee agendas/minutes, constitution and the Forward Plan versions 3. This doesn't even come close to any definition of Key Council Information.

The minimum should be that the Town Council publishes:
Agendas/Minutes of all Council/Committee Meetings. Appendices sent on request.
All monthly payment reports.
Last 3 Annual Accounts and Annual Reports.
Last 3 versions of the Forward Plan.
Draft Full Budget and Final Budget.

The Town Council could become more Transparent by publishing:
Agendas/Minutes to all Council/Committee/Working Group Meetings. Agendas published before and minutes within 2 weeks of the meeting. All appendices to be published.
The last 3 Annual Accounts and Annual Reports.
All monthly payment reports.
Last 3 versions of the Forward Plan.
Quarterly reports.
Draft Full Budget and Final Budget.

Where can the Town Council put this information. Currently, there is no part of the new website where most of this information can be published.
There is no where on the website to put this information. Here is some advice for the Town Council. Take a deep breath and publish. If you feel that you will come under attack for the decisions that you make then don't take those decisions. If you make a decision stand by it.

This blog thrives on the secrecy of our Councils.

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