Information commissioner visit illuminating

Clarence Valley councillors and senior staff hosted NSW Information Commissioner Elizabeth Tydd at the Council Chambers in Grafton on Tuesday, 29 March 2022.

The NSW Information Commissioner’s visit to the Clarence Valley Council has highlighted a range of self-reporting tools now available to councils.

Mayor Ian Tiley, Acting General Manager Laura Black, councillors and senior management hosted NSW Information Commissioner Elizabeth Tydd at the Council Chambers in Grafton on Tuesday (29 March).

“It’s fantastic for Commissioner Tydd to take the time to visit Clarence Valley Council and put a face on the compliance reporting that we do,” Mayor Tiley said.

“She was able to highlight opportunities for improvement, trends in open access globally, and emerging funding streams aimed at assisting digital transformation.”

The Information Commissioner is based in the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC), which is responsible for both information access and privacy in local government and other state government agencies.

Commissioner Tydd focused on the IPC’s role as a ‘Champion of Open Government’ detailing the operation of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (‘GIPA Act)’) and Council’s reporting on this.

Commissioner Tydd highlighted a range of self-reporting tools available to Council that compare its performance to other local governments across the state; information graphics that Council can use to assist in the understanding of open access legislation; and new funding opportunities under the Digital Restart Act 2020.

“The Commissioner walked councillors and senior staff through our GIPA Dashboard and advised that in 2020/21 we performed well above average in terms of meeting the expectations in our release of information (96 per cent),” Ms Black said.

“But our timeliness in delivering outcomes (73 per cent) was impacted by the absence of a responsible officer for a number of months due to a delay in recruitment.”