“What effective controls do the Glen Eira City Council have in place to ensure that the personal information of those asking Public Questions is protected and not disclosed or published in the Ordinary Council Meeting Minutes.”

The Mayor read Council’s response. He said:

“The process for submitting public questions to Council is managed in accordance with the Glen Eira City Council Local Law 2009 together with Guidelines for Public Question Time adopted by Council. Local Law 232 requires that questions bear the questioner’s name, address, date and telephone number.

Public questions submitted to a public forum such as a Council meeting are public in their nature, however, Council has generally followed a practice that only the questioner’s name will be recorded in minutes of Council meetings.

Council’s practice is to include in Council minutes the first initial and surname of the person asking the question together with the actual question. Due to a change in Council personnel Council did not follow the usual practice in its most recent minutes for the public questions on 19 Jul, 2016. However, these minutes have now been revised to delete the full address details of the questioner to comply with past practice.

The Local Government Act 1989 requires the minutes of Council meetings to contain details of the proceedings and resolutions made. Council is of the view that the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 does not preclude the publication of the questioner’s name and address in the Council minutes.”

COMMENT

  • Information Privacy Principle (IPP) No.2 states – An organisation must not use or disclose personal information about an individual for a purpose (the secondary purpose) other than the primary purpose of collection…… The individual has consented to the use or disclosure ….
  • Disclosing the names, addresses, and emails of those who submitted public questions is NOT THE PRIMARY purpose of the collection of such information. Council’s ‘guidelines’ clearly state that details such as name, address, date and phone nos. are required for ‘verification’. That, and that alone, is the primary purpose.
  • Is it really too much to ask (given that this is not the first time this has occurred) that instead of bluff and bluster, council simply proffers a heartfelt and genuine apology?
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