|Photo courtesy Brad Taylor (www.bradstaylor.com)|
When it comes to efficiency, Mayor Nenshi has initiated the Cut Red Tape program that's started by asking City employees to share their ideas on how we can save taxpayer money and improve customer service. For engagement, thousands of Calgarians have just participated in the extensive budget planning process that asked citizens what their priorities are prior to Council making budget decisions. And in terms of transparency and accessibility, we're excited to see that the City now has video archiving of Council meetings.
Improving the accountability of elected officials remains an important topic for Mayor Nenshi. During the election campaign, the Mayor promised to begin publishing the Mayor's Office expenses and the names of people with whom the Mayor meets in his office. We will soon begin publishing those details on this website under the subheading of Accountability.
Starting today, we are posting a monthly list of external meetings (ie: not City of Calgary employees, staff, or media) hosted by Mayor Nenshi at the Mayor's Office. This will include meetings with individuals or small groups. Conversations in passing that happen at public events are not included in this list.
Publishing the Mayor's meeting list was something we intended to do on a quarterly basis starting this spring. But while preparing the first list, we received legal advice that we could be contravening the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act by publishing people's names without their consent. So, beginning May 1, 2011, the Mayor's Office required that anyone meeting with Mayor Nenshi provide a signature approving to have their name published.
As for expenses, Mayor's Office staff have been working with the City accounting department to determine the best way to publish those expenses quarterly. The first list of expenses should be published online in June 2011.
In the summer of 2010, publishing meetings and expenses was just a better idea. Now, it's about to become reality with Mayor Nenshi leading the way.
- Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team