Meeting 1 September 2020 requirements - draft Public Transparency Policy

Due to the overwhelming amount of feedback received, the working group has created a new version of the Draft Public Transparency Policy, which incorporates your suggestions. Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback, and we hope that you will continue to share your thoughts on Public Transparency with us at LGAct@delwp.vic.gov.au.
Draft Public Transparency Policy
MS Word (59.56 KB)

Updated 5 June 2020.

Our key motivation is to support the sector with the opportunity to lead the implementation and determine - through co-design processes – the products and materials that best meet your needs.

We will be continuing the co-design process at a later stage with the following steps:

  • Identification of ideas - complete
  • Agreement of the product/s to be developed
  • Establish the approach to develop product/s
  • Customer testing and feedback
  • Refinement and finalisation
  • Publication

Your Comments

We’ve collated the comments and feedback that we've received and councils can consider these comments in the development of their Public Transparency Policy.
Public Transparency Policy Feedback
MS Word (1.49 MB)

Achieving good practice in public transparency

Sections 57 and 58 of the Local Government Act 2020 sets out expectations of councils for the provision of information to the community with a requirement that councils develop a Public Transparency Policy by 1 September 2020. The new provisions are focused on ensuring that the Public Transparency Policy developed by each council meets the Public Transparency Principle published on the Local Government Victoria webpage. From the online workshops, we developed your ideas into the following themes:
  • Set of minimum requirements
  • Guidelines for decision making, particularly for councillors and non-governance staff
  • Links to FOI and Information Privacy act requirements
  • Key categories for inclusion in transparency policy, avoid double up with existing documents e.g. part 2 statement
  • Template that allows linkage to FOI and consistency with privacy act
  • Templates to help staff decide what information shouldn't be released in regard to confidentiality
  • Create and sahr a register of decision guides utilised
  • Advice on how privacy act will limit what's available
  • Understanding as to what is the difference is between this and the requirement under FOI to have a Part II statement
  • How to define decision making processes, how far does this go
  • Not everyone wants to know everything. They want enough info to have confidence they don’t need to know more or everything t have trust
  • Relationship between Policy, and website content requirements (i.e. how documents should be made available/published)
  • Information/guidance on who we consider/approach cultural change around transparency
  • How will the public interest be defined?
  • Ensure issues/details/themes outlined in the VO report into the Transparency of LG decision making report are included in model policy/guide etc
  • Guidelines regarding expectations for various applications, e.g. council meeting, council plan, annual reporting, minimum requirements
  • Restrictions around technology
  • How prescribed documents fit
  • Support on treatment of various materials at council briefing.
  • Clear guidance on what is “contrary to the public interest”
  • Clear definition around the interpretation of “guidelines”. ie. when is a guideline a clear guide to action and when is it something that can simply be ignored. Some view the 2018 VAGO report as a mere guide and not a necessity to act.
  • Governance staff
  • Non-governance staff
  • Councillors
  • Good information for our council website
  • Understanding of relationship with engagement policy, FOI requirements and Information Privacy Act
  • Engage for community development
  • How will we know our community want all this, websites are now designed with top services on the main screen
  • Recognise different audiences
  • How this interacts with community engagement
  • Acknowledge diversity
  • Good strategies for deliberative engagement, privacy strategies, how to determine conflict - avoid issues like at Casey
  • Offer of public education, so that members of the public can learn to ask good questions if they want to go down that path
  • Communication method with older members in remote communities
  • Timetable of requirements
  • Permanent mandate for all councils to livestream meetings
  • Clarity about if there is a requirement to publish/make available decisions under delegation
  • Clarify where there will be regulations.
  • Should guidance notes for officers making decisions be public?
  • Consistency across the sector
  • When will we receive guidance? We must consult with community and there isn’t much time
  • As the Personal Interest Returns of Nominated Officers are required to be included in a Summary of Personal Interests on the Council website who do you envision should be nominated Officers, will it be no less that the Senior Officers ?

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Legislation Implementation

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