Open and transparent. It's the catchcry most used in relation to public bodies and elected officials.
It goes hand-in-hand with local government, the grassroots of Australian democracy.
Earlier this week Victoria's Local Government Inspectorate revealed most councils had not yet published councillor and senior staff interest declarations that were introduced last year in a bid to improve openness and transparency.
The region's newly-elected councillors had 30 days after they were sworn in during November to declare their financial interests and memberships. Senior staff had 30 days from late October to do the same.
The Local Government Inspectorate, while pointing out no deadline had been set for councils to publish those declarations on their websites, did a sample audit of 10 council websites to test compliance.
It said just one council had published a summary which complied with the Act, half had not published summaries, one had published a summary for councillors and the CEO but not nominated officers, and three councils did not include "sufficient information" that would allow a member of the public to understand the nature of the interest.
Warrnambool and Moyne Shire were among the many councils which hadn't published any details. Openness and transparency were among the platforms the city's seven new councillors espoused in the lead up to November's poll.
Completing their declarations and having them published on the council's website should have been a flag-in-the-ground moment after a tumultuous previous four years for their predecessors. But instead it was a missed opportunity after the inspectorate trumped the council with its statement.
Publishing the declarations is an administration matter for all councils. In the scheme of running cities and shires with budgets of more than $50 million each it might seem insignificant. But it is an important step in showing voters, the people councils work for, that they are open and transparent. It is probably the easiest way of doing so and gaining voters' confidence and trust.