Central Coast Council has adopted an amended Councillor Expenses and Facilities Policy that will result in more than half a million dollars’ worth of budgeted savings.
Changes to the policy were made based on low claims from previous years and to align with other similar sized councils, reflecting a more reasonable level of reimbursements that can be claimed by the mayor and councillors each year.
Administrator Dick Persson said that current councillors’ expenditure had not been excessive and the updated policy would continue to provide accountability and transparency of councillor spending into the future.
“In order for elected officials at any level to carry out their duties, there needs to be access to recoup costs when carrying out official council business.
“This policy explicitly sets out what can be claimed, ensures there are strict processes, limits amount and frequency, and stipulates the requirement of public record of all claims, helping to assure there are no private or political benefits gained,” Persson said.
Changes were made earlier in the year following an internal audit in accordance with the provisions of the policy, with a further review to set limits in line with community expectations.
The draft policy was placed on public exhibition earlier this year with no submissions received.
It is noted that the mayor and councillors to whom this policy applies are currently suspended.
Media release, Nov 24
Central Coast Council