Mornington Peninsula Shire gift register publicly available

Published on 31 January 2018

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Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has made its gifts policy and registers available to the public to ensure the organisation meets public expectations around transparency and the disclosure of gifts.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Bryan Payne said “while the public availability of the registers is not required under the Local Government Act (1989) / Local Government (General) Regulations (2015), making the registers publicly available is in the interest of community, councillors and council staff.

“Making the gifts policy and registers fully available to the public strengthens transparency, sees the Shire deliver over and above the requirements of the Local Government Act and Regulations, and is a positive response to changes in community expectations,” said Cr Payne.

The gift registers were previously available through the statutory Freedom of Information process; however, accessing FoI places a cost on those seeking information. The cost of meeting a Freedom of Information request includes an application fee of $28.44 plus search charges, supervision charges, photocopying charges and reasonable costs for providing the information in a form other than photocopying.

Mornington Peninsula Shire CEO Mr Carl Cowie said making the gift registers publicly available for free improves transparency and accessibility for our community.

“The organisation will continue to seek and implement ways to be accountable to the community, exceed community expectations, and ensure good governance.

“There will also be a review of the Shire’s Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy and gift registers for Councillors and Council staff to ensure that any ambiguity is addressed in a clear and meaningful manner,” said Mr Cowie.                                                                  

The registers are publicly available by contacting the Shire’s Governance team on: 1300 850 600 to arrange a suitable appointment for inspection.