Media release: Rockhampton Regional Council compliance review report - 6 May 2014

Queensland’s Office of the Information Commissioner’s (OIC) compliance review report regarding the Rockhampton Regional Council (RRC) was tabled in Parliament today.

The report covers compliance with the legislation and guidelines that give effect to right to information and information privacy obligations. The review identified areas of good practice and made 14 recommendations for improvement. 

Information Commissioner Rachael Rangihaeata said, “RRC demonstrated good information management practices, proactively releasing information whilst ensuring personal information is protected.”

“This is the first council OIC has reviewed against the right to information and information privacy obligations. By addressing the recommendations outlined in the report Rockhampton Regional Council would be a benchmark of good practice for other councils,” Ms Rangihaeata said.

Key findings were that RRC:
• had strong leadership and governance of right to information and information privacy
• had a clearly articulated policy and good practice for community engagement
• was seen by industry, community and research stakeholders to be engaging effectively with them about information access and privacy issues, although further opportunities were identified for RRC to develop administrative arrangements to release information
• needs to take steps to ensure all service delivery areas communicate effectively with individuals requesting information
• had a website abundant in information for the community, in an accessible format
• overall, complied with the technical requirements of the Right to Information Act 2009 and Information Privacy Act 2009
• increase contact with applicants during information access application processing to enhance RRC’s level of service to the community; and
• could improve compliance with the Information Privacy Principles to ensure the community was advised about the use and disclosure of personal information at the time of collecting the personal information, and could find out about the personal information RRC holds and how that information is used and disclosed.

In the Council’s formal response to the review Chief Executive Officer Evan Pardon said, “RRC staff have already commenced work on the recommended improvements which will take us beyond our predominantly compliant practices to benchmark best practice in the area.”

Ms Rangihaeata said, “It is pleasing to know that work to improve the Council’s practices is already underway. Such commitment and leadership is fundamental to effective implementation of right to information and information privacy obligations, which in turn will assist RRC to meet community expectations.”

Read the full report here.

Media contact: Eugénie FitzGerald
Phone: 3405 1111