I’d be surprised if one per cent of readers understood the Administrator’s “explanation” of the Council’s $175 million deficit (“Solving restricted funds mystery a challenge for inquiry”, PP 028).
This is because it is couched in administrative bafflegab, designed to obscure rather than illuminate what is going on.
Apparently, we are still using restricted funds for unrestricted purposes, although we’re not really doing so, because we didn’t get the Minister’s permission (or, perhaps, we did), but the Minister’s permission was not needed, because, once something illegal has been done, the Administrator can carry on doing the same thing by just passing a resolution for himself.
On top of that, of course, expenditures aren’t coming out of restricted funds, because that money was paid back out of the loan we borrowed, although how we paid back $175 million out of a $100 million loan isn’t quite clear.
The problem is, then, handed off to the Commissioner who will make all clear (or, possibly, not) when her report is presented, although we’ll never be allowed to see the contents of submissions made to her that might have influenced her findings, since we’re not adult enough for that.
What could be more transparent?
As has been clear from the beginning, we shall never know what went on with the Audit and Risk Committee, with Central Coast Council, with the NSW Audit Office, with Council servants or with the independent auditors, because all consideration of what is important has been excluded from the Commissioner’s terms of reference.
In the meantime, the Administrator goes on his merry way, selling off property without even telling us what price we’re getting for our assets, negotiating loans that we’re not allowed to know the terms of and lobbying IPART behind our backs for rate increases that the community is against.
Democracy – it’s wonderful.
Email, Sep 26
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy