Opening book on KCC spending
goods and services each year.
Prime Minister David Cameron has already said that he intends to force councils to publish much more information about how public money is spent.
Cllr John Simmonds (Con), KCC cabinet member for finance, said he wanted KCC to take a lead in meeting the much greater expectations of the public for councils to be open and transparent.
“Reading the runes, greater transparency of information is going to be quite critical. We are a far more open authority than people give us credit for... and the more people understand the pressures we are under, the better.”
The county council is to develop proposals on how to publish regular accounts of its spending and wants to implement them within a year.
Cllr Simmonds warned that there were practical problems given the size of KCC and its budget, as well as confidentiality issues.
“In one week, we have 6,200 transactions of £1,000 or more. What I do not want to do is put lots of information out there that nobody will make any use of.
“I am in favour of openness but the public will not thank us if we spend millions doing it.
Whatever we end up with, we have to make it worthwhile.”
The plan was welcomed by opposition Liberal Democrats, who had proposed such a move before the election.
Cllr Tim Prater (Lib Dem) said it was a step in the right direction and acknowledged that any accounts needed to contain easily accessible information.
“It is important the information is what local people want and the local media want.”
Details of the disclosure scheme are to be developed by finance chiefs and KCC says the public will be consulted.
Martin Gurdon and Sue Gammon at the Ashford Heart Support Group meeting