2018 Solomon Lecture

The Office of the Information Commissioner is pleased to present Professor Ken Smith delivering the 2018 Solomon Lecture on ‘Trust, transparency and right to information: accountability in an age of democratic disquiet’.

The lecture focused on the 2018 RTI Day theme: Trust and Transparency. This theme highlights that Queensland is moving from adopting the principles of the Right to Information Act to embedding a deeper culture of openness and transparency within the public sector. This contributes to building greater trust in the services we provide to the community.

Professor Smith’s lecture explores how open, transparent government is threatened from a range of ideological extremes. Dr David Solomon’s ongoing legacy is the focus of the lecture, with Professor Smith reminding us of the obligation to ensure public institutions are clear about the need, at all times, to serve the public interest, rather than narrower sectional interests. Professor Smith argues that it is only with this ongoing focus that we can expect that public trust in our democratic institutions will be restored.

Professor Smith’s lecture is preceded by an introduction from Rachael Rangihaeata, Queensland Information Commissioner, and a presentation from Sonia Cooper, Acting Commission Chief Executive, Public Service Commission on Trust and Transparency in the Queensland Public Sector.

About Professor Ken Smith

Professor Ken Smith is the Chief Executive and Dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSoG). Professor Smith brings extensive, senior and diverse public sector experience from roles in NSW, Tasmania and for almost three decades for the Queensland Government. He previously headed the Queensland Public Service as Director General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet between 2007 and 2011, and held various department chief executive officer positions in Queensland from the early '90s.

He has worked on many national policy issues over the past three decades, particularly in housing and urban affairs, social welfare and education. Professor Smith has served as Coordinator-General and Director-General of the Queensland Department of Infrastructure, and has been the Director-General of a range of large Queensland Government departments including Education and Arts, Employment and Training, Family Services, Disability Services Queensland and Housing Local Government and Planning. He has been involved in Commonwealth state negotiations from the early '80s onwards, and has chaired many senior officer fora.