Vancouver, B.C., May 3, 2016 – A call by NPA City Councillor George Affleck for the quarterly release of all expenses from the Mayor’s office budget, including expenses from the Mayor’s discretionary fund, received unanimous support at today’s Vancouver City Council meeting. Affleck says he is “pleased to receive full Council support” for his motion today.
“After four years on Council, I have made it a priority for City Hall to be open and transparent. Today’s decision is one more step towards that goal. I hope the Mayor and Vision Vancouver will continue to support my calls for openness and accountability,” said Affleck.
Expenses from the Mayor’s office budget have not previously been released to the public, either through the City’s online Open Data Catalogue Dataset or in a formal report to Council. Information detailing expenditures from the Mayor’s office “discretionary fund” for 2015 was recently released to the public through a protracted Freedom of Information (FOI) request.
Affleck points Toronto and Calgary as examples of major Canadian cities that already exhibit exemplary openness and transparency best practices, including the proactive public release of Mayor and Councillors’ office expenses on a quarterly basis, along with detailed office budget information posted annually. The City of Toronto also posts PDF copies of all contractor and supplier invoices.
Expenses incurred by members of Vancouver City Council while conducting business on behalf of the City are already released to the public on a quarterly basis through the City’s online Open Data Catalogue Dataset, and annually in a formal report to Council. The release of Mayor’s office expenses will add a new layer of transparency and accountability to Council operations.
Affleck’s motion specifically calls for the quarterly public release of all expenses from the Mayor’s office budget, including expenses from the Mayor’s discretionary fund and copies of all contractor and supplier invoices (consistent with appropriate privacy protection legislation), beginning with expenses for the current 2016 Budget year.
His motion also calls for expenses from the corresponding office budget for City Councillors be released on a quarterly basis, along with line item details for the annual Mayor’s office budget and Councillors’ office budget to be included in all future City of Vancouver Budgets.
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