Media release: Follow-up audit report – Townsville City Council

Follow-up audit report – Townsville City Council

Queensland’s Office of the Information Commissioner’s (OIC) follow-up audit report of Townsville City Council was tabled in Parliament today .

This report presents OIC’s findings on the council’s progress in implementing the 24 recommendations of OIC’s 2018 audit of compliance with the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) and the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld).

The council has fully or technically implemented 21 recommendations, is in progress to implementing one recommendation and has taken alternative action on two recommendations.

The Information Commissioner Rachael Rangihaeata said, “The council has made considerable progress on every recommendation, showing a serious commitment to right to information and information privacy.”

“This will build community confidence in Townsville City Council’s openness and transparency, and appropriate safeguards to protect the community’s personal information.”

Key findings

OIC assessed 21 recommendations as fully or technically implemented, because of the work the council has done since the 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 its implementation and developing a procedures manual for application handling in the new system.

OIC 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. OIC encourage the council to reinstate a compliant disclosure log.

Together, these improvements demonstrate the council has made progress in implementing the recommendations and build on its commitment to openness and transparency.

Read the full report here.

Media contact:
Steve Haigh, Manager Training and Stakeholder Relations
3234 7373

Media contact: Steve Haigh, Manager Training and Stakeholder Relations
Phone: 3234 7373