TRANSPARENCY PROJECT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In November 2021 Council passed a motion to adopt the following position statement, “the Shire of Chittering is committed to being a leader in the areas of transparency, disclosure, and public accountability. In line with this commitment, we will continually be looking for relevant new opportunities to adopt best practice”. This commitment has been made to try and rectify distrust from the community.

This discussion paper looks at the best ways to increase trust between the shire and the community, and the best approaches to accountability and transparency in Western Australia, Australia and worldwide.

There are different types of accountability:
- political accountability (mechanism: democratic elections),
- bureaucratic accountability (legal rules and supervision),
- personal accountability (ethics),
- professional accountability (peer review),
- performance (responsiveness), and
- deliberation (public debate)

Transparency is the availability of information about an organisation or actor allowing external actors to monitor the internal workings or performance of that Organisation and can relate to the following types of transparency:
(1) transparency of decision making processes,
(2) transparency of policy content, and
(3) transparency of policy outcomes or effects.

Transparency is a central element of accountability. However greater transparency does not necessarily lead to an increase in trust.

In the 1990’s the trend in management was New Public Management. In the 2002’s the trend has changed to Public Value Management. Public Value Management seeks to increase trust by engaging with the community to set performance standards that lead to greater accountability. To develop these standards, there must be an openness of information.

The basis for Public Value Management has been the Public Value Scorecard, developed by Mark Moore. This Public Value Scorecard is the combination of the Public Value Account, Operational Capacity Perspective, Legitimacy and Support Perspective. This work can be seen as the basis of the United Kingdom’s Transparency Code and Victoria’s new Local Government Act.

Other reviews and discussion papers in Western Australia also provide a number of transparency initiatives that if paired with the introduction of Public Value Management, could aid in increasing the trust between the Shire of Chittering and the community.

Trust in the Shire of Chittering - Summary

Trust in the Shire of Chittering