Gympie Regional Council will review its Right to Information and Privacy compliance in the wake of a damning report into Townsville City Council.
Gympie Regional Council will review its Right to Information and Privacy compliance in the wake of a damning report into Townsville City Council. Brett Wortman

Damning Townsville audit prompts GRC transparency review

HOT on the heels of a damning report into Townsville City Council's compliance with Right to Information and Privacy policies, Gympie Regional Council is being proactive about its own.

Gympie council will investigate whether any of 24 recommendations made after an audit by the Office of the Information Commissioner should be applied to improve transparency.

Among recommendations made to Townsville council were: updating and publishing its Information Asset Register; amending its RTI policy to support proactive disclosure; and publishing its disclosure log by financial or calender year, with links to documents.

Overall, the OIC found Townsville council's "culture and practices do not reflect the intent of RTI and IP Acts because of significant systems issues, a lack of information governance and a general misunderstanding of the Acts and their aims”.

Poor recording practices and limited staff training on RTI were also found to be problems.

A spokeswoman for Gympie council said they could not yet confirm what policy and procedure improvements would be made, but everything in the report was being reviewed.

"(The) council is working towards increasing transparency and wish to be proactive in this area,” she said.

"(The) council will be reviewing all 24 of the recommendations and considering any that may impact on (the) council's current operations in relation to the Right to Information and Information Privacy Acts.

"This review is yet to be finalised and will be conducted as part of (the) council's ongoing internal audit activities.”

Any changes should be in place by July 31.