10 year anniversary celebrations come to a close

September 30, 2019 - 9:29am

Over the last 5 months we have celebrated with Queensland the 10th anniversary of the Right to Information Act 2009 and Information Privacy Act 2009.

This legislation was designed to provide Queenslanders with easy to access, timely and reliable information, while also ensuring safeguards for your personal information.

Celebrations started in May with Privacy Awareness Week and was an opportunity to remind Queenslanders about their privacy rights and responsibilities for protecting and respecting personal information. This year’s theme was ‘Build privacy into your everyday’, which also underpinned the broader focus on issues like biometrics, data, de-identification and re-identification. Our promotional campaigns then shifted to ‘Tell us your story’ and ‘Did you know’.

‘Tell us your story’ showcased case studies demonstrating the fundamental shift in how government now manages and discloses information–moving to a push model where information is released proactively, unless there is a good reason not to, and where personal information is protected and respected. The ‘Did you know’ campaign aimed to raise awareness of government agency services, improve access to government-held information and build community trust and confidence in the work government agencies do, including how personal information is protected.

In August we hosted the Solomon Lecture in partnership with the State Library Queensland. Ms Fiona McLeod SC delivered the lecture on Accountability in the Age of the Artificial, focusing on transparency, openness and accountability in the context of increasing adoption of technologies such as artificial intelligence in government functions and decision-making. Ms McLeod’s Lecture addressed key questions about whether artificial intelligence and human rights can co-exist.

The lecture was followed by a panel discussion led by well-known journalist and media personality, Ms Madonna King. Panellists included: Mr Scott McDougall, Queensland Human Rights Commissioner, Dr Brent Richards, Medical Director of Innovation, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service, Mr Simon McKee, Deputy Commissioner, Queensland Treasury and Mr Phil Green, Privacy Commissioner.

Activities culminated with Right to Information Day on 28 September. RTID raises awareness of every individual's right of access to government-held information; and the public sector’s responsibility to release information, if it is in the public interest to do so. It is a day on which citizens and governments from around the world can support this fundamental human right and promote open, democratic societies in which there is full citizen empowerment and participation in government.

This year’s theme, ‘A click online saves time’ focused on proactive release and administrative access of information, including the promotion of government online services. The Right to Information Act 2009 encourages a culture of openness, transparency and accountability within a responsive public sector which, in turn, builds greater trust in the services agencies provide to the community.

We also reflected on the past 10 years through a report tabled in Parliament. 10 Years on reports on agencies’ self-assessments of their adoption of good right to information and information privacy practices for compliance with the Acts and better outcomes for the community. It summarises reported progress in implementing the legislation across the 10 years since commencement, highlights emerging trends and challenges, and guides action for the continued maturing of information access and privacy practices in Queensland to ensure agencies are well placed to meet community expectations and manage risk.

We would like to thank everyone that participated in the 10th anniversary celebrations and especially our official supporters.