Follow-up audit report – Townsville City Council
This report presents our findings on Townsville City Council’s progress in implementing the 24 recommendations of our 2017-18 compliance audit with the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) and the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld).
We assessed 21 recommendations as fully or technically implemented, because of the work the council has done since our original audit. Most notably, the council:
- transformed its website and increased proactive disclosure of information online, thus improving its accountability and transparency
- listens and responds to the community, supporting a culture of openness
- strengthened leadership and information governance by re‑establishing an information governance body and updating its information management policy and procedures
- implemented an induction program for new staff which covers their right to information and privacy obligations
- addressed all of our recommendations relating to privacy and the management of its camera surveillance systems.
The council is in progress to implementing one recommendation. It has rebuilt the way it handles applications for information under the Acts by setting up a case management system. It is finalising the system’s implementation and developing a procedures manual for application handling in the new system.
We made two recommendations about how the council maintained its disclosure log. As local governments may decide not to have a disclosure log under the Right to Information Act 2009, the council removed the non‑compliant disclosure log from its website. While this means the compliance issues no longer exist, it also took away a channel for proactively publishing information. We encourage the council to reinstate a compliant disclosure log.