Compliance audit report – Townsville City Council
This report presents the results of our audit about Townsville City Council’s compliance with the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) and the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) tabled in Parliament on 6 March 2018.
In April 2016, the council asked consultants to review its management structure and make recommendations to improve its operations and financial sustainability. The council adopted the report in full in September 2016, and at the time of our audit, was implementing the recommendations, including restructuring its information functions.
We found that, as it progresses with its restructure, Townsville City council has an opportunity to build a culture of openness and transparency by incorporating the principles and objectives of right to information and privacy in its policies, procedures and practices.
Key findings are that Townsville City Council:
- enabled participation and dialogue with the community through its committees, but needed to actively promote community and business representatives involvement
- was proposing to re-establish its information management steering committee to oversee its information management capability and capacity
- had adopted a delegation model that presented additional risks
- did not ensure its staff were aware of their right to information and information privacy obligations
- had an information asset register, however it had not identified the information holdings suitable for public release
- generally managed its publication scheme in accordance with legislative requirements
- had deficient case management tools that contributed to non-compliant practices
- used a generic collection notice that did not give enough detail to understand why the council was collecting the personal information and how it would use it
- had good documented processes and responsibilities in place for storing, accessing and releasing camera surveillance footage however, they do did not always align with the Information Privacy Act.
We made 24 recommendations for improvement and will monitor the council’s progress in implementing them.