Saturday, April 13, 2024

NCAT backs council confidentiality call

Clarence Valley Council has welcomed the findings of a NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) inquiry which it says supports the Council’s call to protect the personal and confidential information of its employees in response to requests received from YambaCAN to release staff exit interviews over a two-year period.

Council’s Corporate and Community Director, Alex Moar said NCAT’s findings confirmed that Council had struck the right balance between protecting the personal information of its employees and acting in the public interest.

“It is a vital part of our governance framework that we remain committed to transparency and accountability, however we must also abide by the Government Information Public Access Act’s (GIPA) public interest test,” she said.

“Put simply, that means we must make decisions that satisfy the GIPA’s public interest test, and when Council applied that test to the staff exit reasons, the public interest consideration against disclosure outweighed those in favour.”

Ms Moar said she had welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate that Council’s review and response process to the GIPA request received was appropriate, and that additional information had been provided in line with an Information Privacy Commission (IPC) recommendation.

“We cannot simply release information because it has been requested, and NCAT’s findings demonstrate that Council is well placed to review, assess and make public interest legislation-based decisions that protect the rights of past and present staff members,” she said.

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