Mayor seeks to name names in transparency hub
IPSWICH Mayor Teresa Harding promised she would hold people to account for financial decisions made under the previous council but has been met with roadblocks when it came to naming names.
She launched council’s Transparency and Integrity Hub in a bid to open council’s books, but the data remained somewhat vague with names and personal information missing from the site.
“The initial launch data has not met my expectations, nor has it, I think, met the community’s expectations in terms of the level of detail,” she said.
“Please let me assure the people of Ipswich that this is a work in progress.”
Cr Harding said she supported CEO David Farmer’s decision to take a low risk approach for its launch and that council was taking steps to release more data as soon as possible.
“We had to make a call to meet the 1st of July deadline,” she said.
“The CEO is sending letters out to all current councillors seeking their expressed consent to publish data linked to them personally.
“Letters will be sent to all former councillors and directors to seek their express permission to be named in hub data.”
She said council had also sought a waiver from its obligations to comply with the Information Privacy Act and Information Privacy Principals in relation to certain specific personal information.
The CEO will prepare further risk assessments to consider and determine data release options and create risk mitigation strategies.
If councillors don’t provide permission, the mayor said council would continue to work with the privacy commissioner to get a waiver.
“If that doesn’t happen, we’re at plan D and E now. The CEO will be working on a risk assessment on what will happen and what is the likelihood that we will be sued. They’re the things we have to do,” she said.
“Personally, I want to publish everything, as the Mayor I have an obligation to protect the council as well, so I will be working very closely with the CEO.”
The Mayor this week celebrated her first 100 days in office and said only five of her 21 Fresh Start election commitments were still outstanding, due to coronavirus.