06 January 2019

Secret Council documents

So why the secrecy? Councillors must make decisions from time to time that are in an Agenda that is confidential, minutes that are confidential and are debated in private. Usually the Agenda for the meeting describes the motion in non specific terms, as an example Property Acquisition or CEO Performance. Council must decide first of all if they agree with the staff recommendation and then after debate what amount of the discussion that  is confidential and for how long.
Generally the topics are about :
# CEO Performance and remuneration
# Recommendations for committee membership. Council is currently considering selecting new independent members for the Council Assessment Panel and will make recommendations to fill these positions at its January meeting.
# Legal advice on a range of topics
# Legal action. As an example for felling trees without consent, defending an applicants appeal against a Development Application refusal, persistent noon payment of rates, etc.
# When comparing tenders for larger projects. As an example the price that Council pays for GAP water is still confidential.
# When the reputation of an individual might be at stake.
# Buying and selling property
# Property development.


  1. No there should be no secrecy. No excuse

  2. I thought this when I was first on Council. I now realise that some discussions are better behind closed doors as long as the outcome is reseased in a timely manner. Many Couuncils debate development applications in confidence after listening to the representers and applicant: in Unley we believe that all of those concerned enough to be there should know what the panel is thinking and how the decisions are made. It gives far more direction when applications are refused and more information to representers who were unsuccessful and often a last minute opportunity to get the plans tweeaked by the applicant.