Administrators costs explained

A SENIOR Tweed Shire Council officer has defended the apparent splurge in spending by the former council administrators during their final three months in office up until September last year.

Corporate services director Troy Green says the level of expense claims in which the administrators spent more than half the amount they claimed for the whole of the previous year, and appear on average to have spent more than double each of the current councillors, is easily explained.

Earlier this week mayor Warren Polglase, whose council has been under fire for secrecy surrounding individual councillors’ expenses, said the claims of the administrators should also be “highlighted”.

Mr Green said councillors and the administrators had been allowed three months to lodge claims for expenses and they were often months in arrears.

“With the administrators’ final three months, not all expenses were for their final three months. Some claims were actually for the preceding three months also,” Mr Green said.

“Also included in that figure were expenses for Administrator Willan, who sat as an administrator at several meetings in the last six months when Administrator Payne was unavailable and due to conflict of interest issues.”

Mr Green also defended the current secrecy under which neither the individual expenses of the administrators or current councillors have been made public.

Those amounts were released during the 1999-2004 elected council, when details of the numbers of council meetings, committee meetings and other events attended were also published.

Mr Green said the change to the recording process had been “an internal management decision and is in accordance with what is required to be shown”.

“It is my opinion that the figures are very transparent,” he said.

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