If it looks like a junket, sounds like a junket

It is a Junket

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle is off to London to give a 45 minute “Keynote Speech” at the inaugural  Policing Global Cities Conference on July 9. Robert Doyle is one of a number of City Mayors invited to mingle with Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who opens the conference on the day before

International conferences are big business and there are a number of organisations popping-up offering a variety of events at exotic international locations for every sector.

Robert Doyle, who had previously campaigned on a “No junket” platform, has abandoned his promise yet again and has sought rate payer funding to attend the two day event costing over $15,000.  The costs are partly funded by the City of London event organisers who are making a contribution to Robert Doyle’s airfare travel ($4,700) and providing free accommodation. The City of Melbourne picking up the remaining costs.

Last night the City Council approved the allocation of an additional $6,000 towards the cost of Robert Doyle’s airfare plus $1,720 for an additional two days accommodation  and a further $1,800 expenses and incidentals.

The proposed overseas travel was approved by all Councillors including the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor except Councillor Jackie Watts who rightly questioned the value of the trip to the City.

No doubt those Councillors who approved the junket are expecting they too will be given an all expenses overseas paid holiday to “represent the City” Greens Councillor Cathy Oak regularly travels to an ICLEI Conferences twice a year and managed to talk the City Council to fund the costs associated with ICLEI 3rd party executive costs. (Will Greens Cr Rohan Leppert apply to attend a Global Occupy protest event in New York or London in the not too distant future)

In accordance with the City of Melbourne “Staff and Councillors travel policy” the Lord Mayor CEO and Directors may travel Business Class

A quick look at the going price for an airfare from Melbourne to London  on July 5 shows the list price of travel to cost up to  $12,000 with China Southern Airways and Singapore Airways being the cheapest at $7462 and $8879 respectively.  The cost of economy travel is less than $2000.  Looks like the Melbourne City Council approved Travel agent is making a hefty profit on the deal.

The costs even cheaper had the City of Melbourne booked the flight earlier.  Robert Doyle has known about the planed trip as far back as February this year and had only just decided to seek Council approval at the least minute

The City of Melbourne “you scratch my back”  travel opportunities, with an international travel bill exceeding 1 milllion dollars a year, is the envy of all Victorian Local Governments

The City ratepayers also pick up the tab for inbound travel of those invitees invited to visit Melbourne. Reverse hospitality. Strangely, but not unexpected, the City of Melbourne keeps the names of inbound travel recipients a secret in its published travel register for fear of someone joing the dots.

The Greater City of London covers a much larger population and area of administration. It also has its own police force (affectionately referred to as Bobbies). Melbourne on the pother hand is much smaller a few square Kms,the size of a British borough, concentrated on the City Centre. Melbourne City Council has no policing powers other then small fleet of by-laws officers and fleet of security guards. Policing in Melbourne is the responsibility of the State Government not the City of Melbourne

Junkets Away: Most Travelled 2008-2012

The Melbourne City Council – High Cost Travellers
(Above $10,000)
Dec-2008 to December 2012

Total amount spent:

 $      1,200,714.00
Interstate and Overseas Travel
Name Cost
Kathy Alexander $83,671.25
Jane Sharwood S66,423.46
Robert Doyle $55,254.80
Peter Clarke $50,736.55
Alister Paterson $39,768.80
Susan Riley $27,084.08
Brian Shanahan $25,010.37
Scott Chapman $24,836.87
Amelia Bitsis $23,271.23
Kevin Louey $22,715.35
David Campbell $21,683.73
Geoff Robinson $21,167.06
Martin Cutter $20,903.21
Fran Kerlin $20,872.83
Barry McGuren $19,730.73
Simon Spain $18,031.48
Rob Adams $16,229.47
Cathy Oke $15,917.67
Janey Chu $15,540.04
Geoff Lawler $14,641.91
Krista Milne $12,891.08
Ken Ong $12,829.19
Rob Moore $12,820.80
Ralf Pfleiderer $12,113.28
Janina Harding $11,685.78
Alex Fearnside $10,963.06
Ian Winter $10,800.52
Shane McIllory $10,300.73
Michelle Isles $10,153.39

Individual Trips costing over $10,000
Name Cost From To
Kathy Alexander $32,199.83 07-Jun-12 19-Jun-12
Scott Chapman $24,181.87 20-Mar-09 04-Apr-09
Peter Clarke $20,566.58 10-Oct-09 17-Oct-09
Peter Clarke $18,159.67 28-Sep-10 07-Oct-10
Fran Kerlin $17,994.00 19-Jul-12 03-Aug-12
Robert Doyle $17,264.62 12-Dec-09 22-Dec-09
Amelia Bitsis $16,076.79 12-Dec-09 22-Dec-09
Janey Chu $15,540.04 13-Oct-10 23-Oct-10
Alister Paterson $14,167.41 12-Dec-09 22-Dec-09
Barry McGuren $14,127.15 23-Jul-12 29-Jul-12
Geoff Robinson $13,097.13 15-Mar-10 25-Mar-10
Brian Shanahan $12,676.53 12-Dec-10 18-Dec-10
Rob Moore $12,496.50 04-Apr-11 10-Apr-11
Jane Sharwood $12,254.89 11-Dec-10 18-Dec-10
Peter Clarke $11,431.66 05-Apr-11 09-Apr-11
Kevin Louey $11,313.63 17-Oct-10 27-Oct-10
Kathy Alexander $11,225.83 17-Oct-10 26-Oct-10
Susan Riley $11,157.38 17-Oct-10 26-Oct-10
Martin Cutter $11,134.51 13-Aug-11 20-Aug-11
Robert Doyle $10,782.34 08-Oct-11 14-Oct-11
Jane Sharwood $10,642.64 17-Oct-10 23-Oct-10
Jane Sharwood $10,519.00 19-Feb-12 27-Feb-12
Geoff Lawler $10,425.00 14-Nov-09 22-Nov-09
Alex Fearnside $10,092.49 12-Jun-09 26-Jun-09
Ralf Pfleiderer $10,000.00 07-May-12 29-May-12

 * Note: The City of Melbourne titles or departments as such we can not produce a High Cost Travelled Departments.  The Council goes out of its way to avoid disclosure and accountability 

State MP’s breach a warning to City Coucnillors

An Ombudsman investigation into rorts, misuse and abuse of MP travel allowances has found that Frankston MP Geoff Shaw used his parliamentary vehicle and fuel card for commercial use and allowed others to use the car for interstate business trips for his hardware store.

 The Ombudsman’s findings should send a shiver through the spines of Melbourne City Councillors, Carl Jetter take not.

City Councillors have long been the focus of criticism for misuse and abuse of Councillor allowances.

Unfortunately City Councillors do not come under the same level of public scrutiny.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has done nothing to reign in the misuse and abuse. Free booze, unfetted allowance claims and growing costs to ratepayers continue unabated.

State MP’s breach a warning to City Coucnillors

An Ombudsman investigation into rorts, misuse and abuse of MP travel allowances has found that Frankston MP Geoff Shaw used his parliamentary vehicle and fuel card for commercial use and allowed others to use the car for interstate business trips for his hardware store.

 The Ombudsman’s findings should send a shiver through the spines of Melbourne City Councillors, Carl Jetter take not.

City Councillors have long been the focus of criticism for misuse and abuse of Councillor allowances.

Unfortunately City Councillors do not come under the same level of public scrutiny.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has done nothing to reign in the misuse and abuse. Free booze, unfetted allowance claims and growing costs to ratepayers continue unabated.

State MP’s breach a warning to City Coucnillors

An Ombudsman investigation into rorts, misuse and abuse of MP travel allowances has found that Frankston MP Geoff Shaw used his parliamentary vehicle and fuel card for commercial use and allowed others to use the car for interstate business trips for his hardware store.

 The Ombudsman’s findings should send a shiver through the spines of Melbourne City Councillors, Carl Jetter take not.

City Councillors have long been the focus of criticism for misuse and abuse of Councillor allowances.

Unfortunately City Councillors do not come under the same level of public scrutiny.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has done nothing to reign in the misuse and abuse. Free booze, unfetted allowance claims and growing costs to ratepayers continue unabated.

Costing Councillors

Source. Sydney Morning Herald

HOW much do the elected members of local councils spend on themselves out of ratepayers’ money? In today’s electronic world most now have a mobile phone and a computer or iPad at public expense to help them do their job, but what about other benefits such as mayoral cars, taxis, hospitality and trips to conferences?

This information is tucked away in councils’ statutory annual reports which must show the cost of facilities provided to councillors and their expenses.

An analysis of these figures – which do not include mayoral and councillor allowances that typically cost a council another $200,000 to $400,000 a year – shows Camden has Sydney’s most frugal councillors, spending just $6592.59 on facilities and expenses in 2010-11.

The biggest spender on councillors is Hurstville, which outlaid $390,604.50 on facilities and expenses last year – down from $446,308 in 2008-09. This included $93,144 on office equipment for the dedicated personal use of councillors, $46,511 on conferences and seminars and $48,259 on dinners before council meetings and other catering. The largest council – the City of Sydney – spent less than $4000 on office equipment.

The next biggest spenders were Fairfield ($234,053), Campbelltown ($222,139) and Holroyd ($212,829, after taking out the cost of citizenship ceremonies). Liverpool stands out among the bigger outer-suburban councils with a modest expenditure of $50,826.

Despite a statutory requirement to provide these figures they are not evident in the recent annual report of Botany Bay Council.

Hurstville Greens councillor Anne Wagstaff put forward a motion some time ago that the ”council is neither to make available, nor serve, any alcohol to councillors or staff prior to the conclusion of all council meetings on any given day”. She was the only one to vote for it.

”We need to support the provision of a phone, a computer or an iPad, and reasonable allowances for a carer, transport and sustenance to encourage and ensure people from all backgrounds, in particular women, consider being a councillor,” Cr Wagstaff said.

”In setting what are ‘reasonable’ allowances, councils should be guided by the Australian Tax Office or other similar government standards.

”However, the provision of such items should not be abused, such as claiming the full sustenance allowance when at conferences where plenty of food and refreshments are provided.

”Hurstville’s weekend workshops at distant resorts at Terrigal and the Hunter Valley and alcohol with dinner before council meetings are not necessary or appropriate.” Hurstville council provides a sustenance allowance of $154.80 a day at conferences, even when meals are part of the package. Marrickville councillors follow Tax Office guidelines and are not paid if a meal is provided nor reimbursed for alcohol.

Costing Councillors

Source. Sydney Morning Herald

HOW much do the elected members of local councils spend on themselves out of ratepayers’ money? In today’s electronic world most now have a mobile phone and a computer or iPad at public expense to help them do their job, but what about other benefits such as mayoral cars, taxis, hospitality and trips to conferences?

This information is tucked away in councils’ statutory annual reports which must show the cost of facilities provided to councillors and their expenses.

An analysis of these figures – which do not include mayoral and councillor allowances that typically cost a council another $200,000 to $400,000 a year – shows Camden has Sydney’s most frugal councillors, spending just $6592.59 on facilities and expenses in 2010-11.

The biggest spender on councillors is Hurstville, which outlaid $390,604.50 on facilities and expenses last year – down from $446,308 in 2008-09. This included $93,144 on office equipment for the dedicated personal use of councillors, $46,511 on conferences and seminars and $48,259 on dinners before council meetings and other catering. The largest council – the City of Sydney – spent less than $4000 on office equipment.

The next biggest spenders were Fairfield ($234,053), Campbelltown ($222,139) and Holroyd ($212,829, after taking out the cost of citizenship ceremonies). Liverpool stands out among the bigger outer-suburban councils with a modest expenditure of $50,826.

Despite a statutory requirement to provide these figures they are not evident in the recent annual report of Botany Bay Council.

Hurstville Greens councillor Anne Wagstaff put forward a motion some time ago that the ”council is neither to make available, nor serve, any alcohol to councillors or staff prior to the conclusion of all council meetings on any given day”. She was the only one to vote for it.

”We need to support the provision of a phone, a computer or an iPad, and reasonable allowances for a carer, transport and sustenance to encourage and ensure people from all backgrounds, in particular women, consider being a councillor,” Cr Wagstaff said.

”In setting what are ‘reasonable’ allowances, councils should be guided by the Australian Tax Office or other similar government standards.

”However, the provision of such items should not be abused, such as claiming the full sustenance allowance when at conferences where plenty of food and refreshments are provided.

”Hurstville’s weekend workshops at distant resorts at Terrigal and the Hunter Valley and alcohol with dinner before council meetings are not necessary or appropriate.” Hurstville council provides a sustenance allowance of $154.80 a day at conferences, even when meals are part of the package. Marrickville councillors follow Tax Office guidelines and are not paid if a meal is provided nor reimbursed for alcohol.

Costing Councillors

Source. Sydney Morning Herald

HOW much do the elected members of local councils spend on themselves out of ratepayers’ money? In today’s electronic world most now have a mobile phone and a computer or iPad at public expense to help them do their job, but what about other benefits such as mayoral cars, taxis, hospitality and trips to conferences?

This information is tucked away in councils’ statutory annual reports which must show the cost of facilities provided to councillors and their expenses.

An analysis of these figures – which do not include mayoral and councillor allowances that typically cost a council another $200,000 to $400,000 a year – shows Camden has Sydney’s most frugal councillors, spending just $6592.59 on facilities and expenses in 2010-11.

The biggest spender on councillors is Hurstville, which outlaid $390,604.50 on facilities and expenses last year – down from $446,308 in 2008-09. This included $93,144 on office equipment for the dedicated personal use of councillors, $46,511 on conferences and seminars and $48,259 on dinners before council meetings and other catering. The largest council – the City of Sydney – spent less than $4000 on office equipment.

The next biggest spenders were Fairfield ($234,053), Campbelltown ($222,139) and Holroyd ($212,829, after taking out the cost of citizenship ceremonies). Liverpool stands out among the bigger outer-suburban councils with a modest expenditure of $50,826.

Despite a statutory requirement to provide these figures they are not evident in the recent annual report of Botany Bay Council.

Hurstville Greens councillor Anne Wagstaff put forward a motion some time ago that the ”council is neither to make available, nor serve, any alcohol to councillors or staff prior to the conclusion of all council meetings on any given day”. She was the only one to vote for it.

”We need to support the provision of a phone, a computer or an iPad, and reasonable allowances for a carer, transport and sustenance to encourage and ensure people from all backgrounds, in particular women, consider being a councillor,” Cr Wagstaff said.

”In setting what are ‘reasonable’ allowances, councils should be guided by the Australian Tax Office or other similar government standards.

”However, the provision of such items should not be abused, such as claiming the full sustenance allowance when at conferences where plenty of food and refreshments are provided.

”Hurstville’s weekend workshops at distant resorts at Terrigal and the Hunter Valley and alcohol with dinner before council meetings are not necessary or appropriate.” Hurstville council provides a sustenance allowance of $154.80 a day at conferences, even when meals are part of the package. Marrickville councillors follow Tax Office guidelines and are not paid if a meal is provided nor reimbursed for alcohol.

Councillors cut expense costs but not expenditure

Melbourne newly elected City Council has acted quick to cut expense costs associated with Councillor expenses according to the Councillor Expense Statements published last week.

In a very cynical move the City Council has decided the best way to cut expenses is to not publish them.

Missing from the new published Councillor expense statements are costs associated with Interstate and Overseas Travel, Conferences and other junket revenue expenditure removed from the statements.

Councillor Carl “Jet set” Jetter is still charging the City Council in excess of $2,000 a quarter for local travel with over $1,000 in communication costs. Kevin Louey has over $1,400 (4.5 times the cost of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor) in phone bills. Whilst Brian Shanahan has rung up close to $1,000 on Conferences and Training.

The Cost of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Limo expenses have been listed at $3,691 and $3,968 respectively. This does not include the full costs of the purchase, maintenance and chauffer which remain undisclosed. The City Council policy of non disclosure and deceit continues unabated.

Staff have not curbed their last for the Leather on Aeroplanes. They have rung up over 3 Months increases of $58,000 with Scott Chapman close to $24,000 for a 13 day world site seeing trip to Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, with a stopover in Auckland between the 20th of March to the 4th of April this year. This expense is on top of his six figure salary of course.

12 members of staff had their expenses picked op by an undisclosed source begging the question how much does the City Council fork out in kind.

Councillors cut expense costs but not expenditure

Melbourne newly elected City Council has acted quick to cut expense costs associated with Councillor expenses according to the Councillor Expense Statements published last week.

In a very cynical move the City Council has decided the best way to cut expenses is to not publish them.

Missing from the new published Councillor expense statements are costs associated with Interstate and Overseas Travel, Conferences and other junket revenue expenditure removed from the statements.

Councillor Carl “Jet set” Jetter is still charging the City Council in excess of $2,000 a quarter for local travel with over $1,000 in communication costs. Kevin Louey has over $1,400 (4.5 times the cost of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor) in phone bills. Whilst Brian Shanahan has rung up close to $1,000 on Conferences and Training.

The Cost of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Limo expenses have been listed at $3,691 and $3,968 respectively. This does not include the full costs of the purchase, maintenance and chauffer which remain undisclosed. The City Council policy of non disclosure and deceit continues unabated.

Staff have not curbed their last for the Leather on Aeroplanes. They have rung up over 3 Months increases of $58,000 with Scott Chapman close to $24,000 for a 13 day world site seeing trip to Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, with a stopover in Auckland between the 20th of March to the 4th of April this year. This expense is on top of his six figure salary of course.

12 members of staff had their expenses picked op by an undisclosed source begging the question how much does the City Council fork out in kind.

Councillors cut expense costs but not expenditure

Melbourne newly elected City Council has acted quick to cut expense costs associated with Councillor expenses according to the Councillor Expense Statements published last week.

In a very cynical move the City Council has decided the best way to cut expenses is to not publish them.

Missing from the new published Councillor expense statements are costs associated with Interstate and Overseas Travel, Conferences and other junket revenue expenditure removed from the statements.

Councillor Carl “Jet set” Jetter is still charging the City Council in excess of $2,000 a quarter for local travel with over $1,000 in communication costs. Kevin Louey has over $1,400 (4.5 times the cost of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor) in phone bills. Whilst Brian Shanahan has rung up close to $1,000 on Conferences and Training.

The Cost of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Limo expenses have been listed at $3,691 and $3,968 respectively. This does not include the full costs of the purchase, maintenance and chauffer which remain undisclosed. The City Council policy of non disclosure and deceit continues unabated.

Staff have not curbed their last for the Leather on Aeroplanes. They have rung up over 3 Months increases of $58,000 with Scott Chapman close to $24,000 for a 13 day world site seeing trip to Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, with a stopover in Auckland between the 20th of March to the 4th of April this year. This expense is on top of his six figure salary of course.

12 members of staff had their expenses picked op by an undisclosed source begging the question how much does the City Council fork out in kind.

Melbourne City Council Consolidated Councillor Expense Statements 2 December 2004 to 30 September 2008

Note: The above Consolidated expense statement graph does not include an estimated $710,739.72 (John So, Lord Mayor) and $162,049.42 Garry Singer , Deputy Lord Mayor) associated with the cost of proving Limousines for their personal use. The Councillor expense statements also do not include the costs of internal catering, free booze and support staff, which would add a further estimated 400,000-800,000 dollars to the rate payers tab.

Missing (estimated) Local Travel Costs from December 2004 to July 2008(based on last quarter)
$66,694.88 (John So, Lord Mayor) and
$43,540.56 (Garry Singer, Deputy Lord Mayor) for the private use of Council funded Limousines.

Plus

Estimated additional costs (not included above) for the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Local Travel expenses over four years

Item John So Gary Singer
Lord Mayor Deputy Lord Mayor
Driver $500,000.00
Registration $4,000.00 $4,000.00
Insurance $6,000.00 $6,000.00
Depreciation/lease $50,000.00 $50,000.00
Total additional est. costs $710,739.72 $162,049.42

The 1999 Auditors report called on the City Council to make a budget allocation for Councillor expenses and to report on the YTD so as to facilitate budget monitoring of Councillor Expenses

A budget was set for one year but subsequently reporting of budget YTD comparison has been dropped. Reasons unknown. Councillor expenses have an unlimited budget that comes from the general administration budget.

The City Council, on the motion of Carl “Junket and local travel reporter’ Jetter refused to provide back dated Council expense statements for the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Local Travel – the value published in the last quarter expense statements does not include the costs listed above. Carl Jetter claims his full costs for the use of City Link against the City Council (Even costs associated with private travel by the looks of it. Gary Singer has 100% of his vehicle costs paid for by the City Council including free petrol, insurance,registration, service and depreciation costs. There are questions as to his entitlement to receive this benefit as the the limousine which is also used for personal travel.

The extent that the Council administration will go to to avoid detailed disclosure of Council expenses (You scratch my back and they will scratch yours) never ceases to amaze. This culture of cover-up demonstrates how corrupt and unreliable the Council expense statements are. It is an embarrassment to the Council Auditors who have to endured such unprofessional conduct.

Below a revised comparative graph which includes estimated costs associated with the Lord Mayors and Deputy Lord Mayor (Excluding costs associated with the Lord Mayor’s chauffeur [$500,000.00] and Cr Sneddon’s child care [$31,898.66])

For a detailed break down and copy of the data table – click here (pdf)

Melbourne City Council Consolidated Councillor Expense Statements 2 December 2004 to 30 September 2008

Note: The above Consolidated expense statement graph does not include an estimated $710,739.72 (John So, Lord Mayor) and $162,049.42 Garry Singer , Deputy Lord Mayor) associated with the cost of proving Limousines for their personal use. The Councillor expense statements also do not include the costs of internal catering, free booze and support staff, which would add a further estimated 400,000-800,000 dollars to the rate payers tab.

Missing (estimated) Local Travel Costs from December 2004 to July 2008(based on last quarter)
$66,694.88 (John So, Lord Mayor) and
$43,540.56 (Garry Singer, Deputy Lord Mayor) for the private use of Council funded Limousines.

Plus

Estimated additional costs (not included above) for the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Local Travel expenses over four years

Item

John So

Gary Singer

Lord Mayor

Deputy Lord Mayor
Driver

$500,000.00

Registration

$4,000.00

$4,000.00

Insurance

$6,000.00

$6,000.00

Depreciation/lease

$50,000.00

$50,000.00

Total additional est. costs

$710,739.72

$162,049.42

The 1999 Auditors report called on the City Council to make a budget allocation for Councillor expenses and to report on the YTD so as to facilitate budget monitoring of Councillor Expenses

A budget was set for one year but subsequently reporting of budget YTD comparison has been dropped. Reasons unknown. Councillor expenses have an unlimited budget that comes from the general administration budget.

The City Council, on the motion of Carl “Junket and local travel reporter’ Jetter refused to provide back dated Council expense statements for the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Local Travel – the value published in the last quarter expense statements does not include the costs listed above. Carl Jetter claims his full costs for the use of City Link against the City Council (Even costs associated with private travel by the looks of it. Gary Singer has 100% of his vehicle costs paid for by the City Council including free petrol, insurance,registration, service and depreciation costs. There are questions as to his entitlement to receive this benefit as the the limousine which is also used for personal travel.

The extent that the Council administration will go to to avoid detailed disclosure of Council expenses (You scratch my back and they will scratch yours) never ceases to amaze. This culture of cover-up demonstrates how corrupt and unreliable the Council expense statements are. It is an embarrassment to the Council Auditors who have to endured such unprofessional conduct.

Below a revised comparative graph which includes estimated costs associated with the Lord Mayors and Deputy Lord Mayor (Excluding costs associated with the Lord Mayor’s chauffeur [$500,000.00] and Cr Sneddon’s child care [$31,898.66])

For a detailed break down and copy of the data table – click here (pdf)

Melbourne City Council Consolidated Councillor Expense Statements 2 December 2004 to 30 September 2008

Note: The above Consolidated expense statement graph does not include an estimated $710,739.72 (John So, Lord Mayor) and $162,049.42 Garry Singer , Deputy Lord Mayor) associated with the cost of proving Limousines for their personal use. The Councillor expense statements also do not include the costs of internal catering, free booze and support staff, which would add a further estimated 400,000-800,000 dollars to the rate payers tab.

Missing (estimated) Local Travel Costs from December 2004 to July 2008(based on last quarter)
$66,694.88 (John So, Lord Mayor) and
$43,540.56 (Garry Singer, Deputy Lord Mayor) for the private use of Council funded Limousines.

Plus

Estimated additional costs (not included above) for the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Local Travel expenses over four years

Item

John So

Gary Singer

Lord Mayor

Deputy Lord Mayor
Driver

$500,000.00

Registration

$4,000.00

$4,000.00

Insurance

$6,000.00

$6,000.00

Depreciation/lease

$50,000.00

$50,000.00

Total additional est. costs

$710,739.72

$162,049.42

The 1999 Auditors report called on the City Council to make a budget allocation for Councillor expenses and to report on the YTD so as to facilitate budget monitoring of Councillor Expenses

A budget was set for one year but subsequently reporting of budget YTD comparison has been dropped. Reasons unknown. Councillor expenses have an unlimited budget that comes from the general administration budget.

The City Council, on the motion of Carl “Junket and local travel reporter’ Jetter refused to provide back dated Council expense statements for the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Local Travel – the value published in the last quarter expense statements does not include the costs listed above. Carl Jetter claims his full costs for the use of City Link against the City Council (Even costs associated with private travel by the looks of it. Gary Singer has 100% of his vehicle costs paid for by the City Council including free petrol, insurance,registration, service and depreciation costs. There are questions as to his entitlement to receive this benefit as the the limousine which is also used for personal travel.

The extent that the Council administration will go to to avoid detailed disclosure of Council expenses (You scratch my back and they will scratch yours) never ceases to amaze. This culture of cover-up demonstrates how corrupt and unreliable the Council expense statements are. It is an embarrassment to the Council Auditors who have to endured such unprofessional conduct.

Below a revised comparative graph which includes estimated costs associated with the Lord Mayors and Deputy Lord Mayor (Excluding costs associated with the Lord Mayor’s chauffeur [$500,000.00] and Cr Sneddon’s child care [$31,898.66])

For a detailed break down and copy of the data table – click here (pdf)

Adding Up the Expenses Council continues to avoid publication of full costs

The Age today has reported on the Melbourne City Councils published expense statements for the previous financial quarter.

It needs to be noted that the published expenses do not represent a true and correct account of Council expenses still missing are expenses related to the Lord Mayor and deputy Lord Mayor’s limousines, the cost of internal catering and inbound and outbound missions.

The City Council, in a policy that has the Council auditors cringing with amazement that only Auditors of Enron can agree, the City Council only published costs that have been “acquitted”, i.e. it is not a disclosed cost until all the documents have been received and acquitted.

In all fairness the auditors did not sign off on this policy statement advocated by Linda Weatherson, former Governance Officer. The fact remains it is a cost to the council, acquitted or not once a debit has been made. The question remains why are these costs not being reports and to what extent. We hope to tabulate the latest costs and present a cost to date for the current council including a summary report of the Council’s Travel Register which always shows up some inconsistencies in the Council’s published expense statements, what ever the excuse the Council administration try to offer.

Notation: the City of Melbourne has removed the publication of the January 2005 to June 2006 Travel Register data. Why we can only guess that the Council administration will go to any length to avoid disclosure and accountability. The ravel register is a public document and should remain published and accessible on the Council’s web site for the duration of at least two-terms of the City Council. With the accessibility of then Internet there is no need for this information to be removed from public view or right of open scrutiny. We have requested that the City of Melbourne republish the missing data.

Note: Missing from the above consolidated expenses is the local travel costs associated with the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor estimated at around $250,000 per year. The lord Mayor and deputy Lord Mayor have the unlimited use of a Council Car, free petrol, free maintenance and free car-parking. Full costs hidden from public view. In addition costs related to internal catering, free booze are also not shown, although the City Council maintains an account of these expenses they will not readily disclose the full costs. WHY?

More detailed statistics available here http://melbcity.topcities.com/mcc01.htm

Council adds up cost of travel
Clay Lucas, The Age July 28, 2007

EXPENSE figures released yesterday by the cash-strapped Melbourne City Council, which in May sacked 26 staff to cut costs, show it spent $280,000 on interstate and international travel in the last financial year.

The council is expected to sack more staff next month as part of further cost-cutting.

Yesterday’s figures also showed the council paid $10,379 in the last financial year on petrol and eTag charges for the low-profile councillor Carl Jetter to drive from his home in Ashwood to the Town Hall, even though he works full-time in his private business from an office next door.

Cr Jetter, the council’s marketing chairman and part of Lord Mayor John So’s Living Melbourne team, is sales director for Australia-China Connections, the journal of the Australian China Business Council.

He works daily selling ads in the magazine from his Collins Street office next door to Town Hall.

Cr Jetter, who in 2005 visited Tianjin, China, on a council-funded trip, also parks his car in a council-provided car park in Little Collins Street.

Yesterday he defended spending public money to get to his private workplace, saying he was legally entitled to claim local travel expenses when visiting the Town Hall for council-related work.

“I am just spending what I am entitled to,” he said.

Councillor travel expenses released yesterday also included $12,000 for Cr So to represent Melbourne on trips to Milan, Thessaloniki and New York.

In total, the nine Melbourne City councillors spent $49,348 on interstate and international travel in the last financial year.