Figures presented by council a ‘disappointment’

MoneyQuarterly reports were presented to councillors by council-controlled organisations (CCOs) such as Auckland Transport and the Ports of Auckland in December.

He says the quality of the reports was disappointing and showed no informative breakdown about how rates are being spent.

“It is unacceptable that the public does not know how these service delivery arms of council are spending ratepayer’s money,” Sayers said in a media release.

He says Aucklanders deserve more transparency over the numbers and have the right to know what value for money they get from their rates.

Northwest residents have often complained that they do not believe the rates they pay are spent back in their community.

Sayers says he “suspects the same” and has challenged mayor Phil Goff on this issue.

He says Goff is under the impression that more money is spent in the northwest then comes out, but Sayers does not believe this is the case.

“My impression is, without any factual evidence, that more rates are being paid by northwest residents than is being spent back,” he says.

“I would like to be proven wrong and for that information to be made public.”

Sayers says Goff intends to release this information to him and the Rodney Local Board in the first quarter of this year for them to share with the public.

He says council staff costs are increasing and needs to be minimised.

He says the wage bill currently sits at $800 million a year for the council group.

“I would like them to have a look at the wage bill to stop the increase and ideally reduce it by looking at duplicated roles within council.”

Sayers says “service levels” across local communities from council continues to decrease.

“I have now questioned the chairman and the CEO of every council-controlled organisation and had it publicly recorded about wanting better financial reporting on operational expenditure.”

Councillors voted on December 13 to set new performance standards and requirements for financial reporting for council-controlled organisations.

They are expected to be finalised early this year.

 – Stuff