- BC Games
PoCo considers changes to expense disclosures
Port Coquitlam council is considering an initiative that would allow residents to review its members' expenses online every month.
Currently, councillors' pay and expenses are reported in the annual statement of financial information (SOFI), which is released once a year, usually in the spring.
But John Leeburn, PoCo's chief administrative officer, said staff and council are discussing the possibility of making the information available on a monthly basis through the city website.
"Council has asked us to take a look at how we might be able to put their expenses online more frequently," he said. "The thinking is, rather than the big splash that occurs at SOFI time, why don't we post them each month?"
He added that in the coming weeks, city staff will present mockups of what the webpage would look like and what information would be included. Councillors will have to approve the initiative in order for it to move forward and be implemented.
Leeburn points to the city of Vancouver's monthly online expense reporting as an example of what PoCo is considering.
The Vancouver website includes a breakdown of expenses by the mayor and each councillor, giving an amount, a date for each transaction and a brief description of the purchase. The information is presented on a downloadable spreadsheet and is updated each month.
For example, on April 18, 2013, Mayor Gregor Robertson spent $290.43 on frames for proclamations. Meanwhile, Coun. Geoff Meggs spent $203.50 on January 22 to attend the Local Economy Summit conference in February.
"You are still going to see the expenses published annually," he said. "This just gives people the opportunity to see it monthly."