Council's Public Transparency Policy(PDF, 197KB) (the Policy) is a new policy established under the Local Government Act 2020 (the Act) and is intended to formalise Council’s support for transparency in its decision-making processes and public awareness of the availability of Council information.
The Policy describes the ways in which certain Council information will be made available to the public and in what manner, outline which Council decisions can be made in an open publicly accessible meeting and which decisions are to be made in a confidential meeting in accordance with the Act and to produce information in a method that is easily accessible and understandable when considering the cultural and ethnical backgrounds of the residents of the City of Maribyrnong.
The Policy takes into consideration the Public Transparency Principles as outlined in the Act:
- Council decision making processes must be transparent except when the Council is dealing with information that is confidential;
- Council information must be publicly available unless:
- The information is confidential; or
- The release of the information would be contrary to public interest;
- Council information must be understandable and accessible to members of the municipal community; and
- Public awareness of the availability of Council information must be facilitated.
The Policy seeks to promote:
- Greater clarity in Council’s decision-making processes;
- Increased confidence and trust in the community through greater understanding and awareness;
- Enhanced decision making by the community; and
- Access to information that is current, easily accessible and disseminated in a timely manner and in accordance with existing legislative frameworks.
Summary of Personal Interest Returns
A personal interest return is a record of the private interests of a person in public office that assists in improving probity. It helps to ensure transparency and reduce conflicts of interest. Personal interest returns are lodged by Councillors, members of delegated committees, the CEO and nominated officers.
The returns are confidential, however a summary of the personal interest return information is required to be published on Council’s website in accordance with section 135(3) of the Act.