14 August 2012

Sometimes we don’t see the good things we have going for us. Sometimes other do.

Yesterday an Australian blogger bemoaned the fact that Australian government integrity measures
do not extend to the publishing of MPs expenses as in the New Zealand model, and particularly, the itemised character of those disclosures.

What precipitated the comment was the publication last week of the expenses disclosures for the
April -June quarter.  Total expenditure by MPs for the period was $1.93 million.  This excludes expenditure by Ministers which is separately reported. Their spending for the period was $1.16 million.   Spending by the Minister of Foreign Affairs was greatest at $266k.  The Trade Minister was next at $241k followed by the Prime Minister at $185k.

A number of other jurisdictions have systems that present the information in different ways. In Canada for example, Ministers’ expenses are posted on a departmental site which includes the disclosures by senior officials.  This makes comparison of like office holders slightly less easily accessed.