Leitrim County Council has been ranked equal 23rd out of 31 local authorities for transparency according to the annual National Integrity Index (NII).
The index, compiled by Transparency International Ireland, is based on three criteria: transparency, accountability and ethics.
Fingal County Council and South Dublin County Council topped the 2019 NII with 22 points out of a possible 30.
Leitrim County Council received 14 points out of the 30.
On average local authorities improved their scores by 9% on last year's results.
Responding to the index results, Leitrim County Council issued a statement noting that: “Notwithstanding concerns about how this report was compiled and presented, in the spirit of continuous improvement, Leitrim County Council will review its contents and explore any constructive suggestions to help improve access to local authority information and services.”
The statement pointed out that Leitrim County Council offices are open to the public and Council and Municipal District meetings are all publicly accessible.
“Extensive reporting is undertaken throughout the year, including every month to the elected members and all reports are publicly available,” noted the statement.
“We are currently finalising a new five-year strategy, the corporate plan, which is developed every five years after each new council is elected. Every year, the Annual Service Delivery Plan is published to show progress in delivering on our corporate plan.
“The staff of Leitrim County Council engage directly with the public and stakeholders every day in carrying out their public service duties. Many of our staff work in their local communities with our citizens and stakeholders, including through the Local Enterprise Office (LEO), community centres, public libraries, as well as the Civil Defence and Fire Services,” pointed out the statement.
“Leitrim County Council adheres to all legislative requirements in relation to ethics, disclosure and freedom of information.
“A complete picture of the performance of Leitrim County Council is available in the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) annual reports that are published and publicised. NOAC is a statutory body that oversees the local government sector including scrutinising performance against pre-determined indicators for customer service and financial performance every year. NOAC thus provides an independent mechanism to monitor and evaluate the local authorities’ performance.”