Kerry and the Audits – Their Greatest Hits

Audit Office guidelines for the local government election period are quite clear.

Principle 12

A local authority must not promote, nor be perceived to promote, the re-election prospects of a sitting member. Therefore, the use of Council resources for re-election purposes is unacceptable and possibly unlawful.

Principle 13

A Council’s communications policy should also recognise the risk that communications by or about Members, in their capacities as spokespersons for Council, during a pre-election period could result in the Member achieving electoral advantage at ratepayers’ expense.

In 2008/09 the OAG warned elected members.

Nonetheless, we encourage councils to consider the risks around large events in the pre-election period. We are aware that many councillors try to reduce the number of major events that they attend during the election campaign.

Given this, why is the council going into press release and policy launch overdrive. 

This week the Mayor launched a significant initiative on electric cars.  In the last 5 days the council has issued 7 press releases, 2 featuring the Mayor and elected members, e.g. artificial pitches.

What will the Auditor-General say about all of this – and will it be too late anyway.  At the moment the incumbents seem to have an unfair advantage.

It wouldn’t be the Mayor’s first scrape with the OAG.  In 2001 she was reported to the Audit Office over a conflict of interest involving one of her husband’s buildings.  In 2005 she had to step aside from consideration of the draft plan part way through.  She got better as time went by managing her conflicts such as Cobblestone Park and leaky buildings

But has she paid strict observance of the election period rules in 2010?   You be the judge.

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3 responses to “Kerry and the Audits – Their Greatest Hits

  1. Those photos of Kerry on her billboards look suspiciously similar to the ones the Council uses on its printed material, such as the DomPost ads. Is Kerry using the ratepayer-funded promotional photos for her campaign, or has she donated them to the council out of the goodness of her heart?

  2. i don’t know how other people feel, but i think that if someone is stupid enough not to realise that they have a conflict of interest when their husband/wife/partner owns property about which they are making decisions, then they are too stupid to be trusted for elected office. and that is putting a generous interpretation on prendergast’s past actions (i.e. i am choosing to assume that she wasn’t motivated by greed or self-interest).

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