Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mayor of Gosford flunks accountability 101

On ABC 7.30 Report last night, Matt Peacock interviewed the Mayor of Gosford about $40 million in write-downs on Council's investments in collateralised debt obligations. A local business group has asked the Council questions as to exactly what funds have been invested in what schemes.

MATT PEACOCK: The council's answer was that it receives a monthly assessment and update of the investment portfolio from Structured Credit Research and Advisory on a commercial in confidence basis. It's also receiving advice on the possible unwinding and early redemption of investments, and that advice, too, is commercial in confidence.

MAYOR CHRIS HOLSTEIN: The councillors are given a regular update, councillors are briefed on where they are sitting and what's the position on all of those and how they are currently rating and where we're going.

MATT PEACOCK: And what about the public?

MAYOR CHRIS HOLSTEIN: Well, we put it out to the public. I'll have 170,000 financial experts will tell me, "You should have gone this and you should have done that."

Mayor, that's the whole point. Citizens are entitled to ask and be told what you are doing with their money, and entitled to tell you what they think about it all. It's called transparent, responsible and accountable government. I'd be amazed if the claims of "commercial in confidence" for information about where Council money is invested, and the current value of those investments, would stand up to scrutiny in any Freedom of Information challenge.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:40 pm

    Perhaps the Mayor is under the illusion that he is running a private business?