Minimum reporting requirements: Personal interests, gifts and benefits, overseas travel
This report outlines what information ministers, Queensland Government departments and their executives, local governments and councillors must disclose about their personal interests, gifts and benefits, and overseas travel. It was tabled in Parliament on 18 June 2021.
We did not check compliance with the minimum reporting requirements, nor did we validate the accuracy or completeness of the published information.
To effectively support open and transparent government, the published information should be easy to access, meaningful and timely.
Striking the right balance between greater data availability and use, and protecting an individual’s privacy, is also critical for achieving greater openness and transparency and enhanced trust in government. Government agencies need to manage their privacy obligations as they move beyond compliance with minimum reporting requirements. Setting clear expectations and being explicit about what personal information they intend to publish will help agencies realise a more proactive disclosure approach.
We found that:
- In Queensland there are clear rules about the personal interests ministers, councillors and chief executives, and related persons must declare.
- Although there is no prescribed requirement to do so, the Public Service Commission publishes the declarations of interests of the chief executives of Queensland Government departments.
- The requirements about disclosing details of the gifts Queensland ministers and senior government officials have received are clear. The same threshold applies to ministers and government employees.
- Councillors report information about the gifts they have received through their registers of interests. There is no requirement to publish information about gifts Queensland council employees have received.
- Publishing information about ministers’ overseas travel across three reports, on different websites and on different timeframes means it is difficult to get a full picture of each trip.
- Queensland Government departments and councils publish information about overseas travel through their annual reporting process. However, reporting annually means the information is not as current as it could be.