Council, at its September 2020 Council meeting, adopted a Transparency Policy as required by Section 57 of the Local Government Act 2020. The Policy documents Council’s decision making processes and articulates the publicly available Council information to provide greater awareness to the community. This policy supports Council in its ongoing drive for good governance and the importance of open and accountable conduct.
Council Information available to the Public
Council makes a range of documents available for public inspection, as governed by The Local Government Act 2020 and the Local Government (Governance and Integrity) Regulations 2020.
Council information required under the Act to be made available on Council’s website:
- Agendas and Minutes of Council Meetings and Delegated Committees;
- Local Law No 1 and Governance Rules;
- Council Plan;
- Council Budget and Strategic Resource Plan;
- Code of Conduct – Councillors;
- Summary of Election Campaign Donation Returns;
- Summary of Personal Interest Returns; and
- Any other registers or records required to be published on Council’s website under legislation or determined to be in the public interest
Other Council documents and information to ensure the community is informed about Council’s operations and functions to be made available on Council’s website
- Adopted Council policies, plans and strategies;
- Project and service plans;
- Terms of Reference or Charters for Council Committees and Groups;
- Consultations and community engagement processes undertaken by Council;
- Reporting from Advisory Committees and Reference Groups to Council;
- Audit and Risk Committee performance reporting;
- Relevant technical reports and/or research that informs decision making;
- Practice notes and operating procedures;
- Guidelines and manuals;
- Application processes for approvals, permits, grants and access to Council services;
- Submissions made by Council;
- Register of planning permits and applications;
- Register of Building Permits, Occupancy Permits and temporary approvals;
- FOI Part II Statement; and
- Any other registers or records required to be published on Council’s website under legislation or determined to be in the public interest.
Council documents and information to ensure the community is informed about Council’s operations and functions that will be made available for inspection on request:
- Registers of Delegation;
- Register of gifts, benefits and hospitality offered to Councillors or Council staff;
- Register of overseas and interstate travel undertaken by Councillors or Council staff;
- Register of conflicts of interest disclosed by Councillors or Council staff;
- Register of donations and grants made by Council;
- Register of leases entered into by Council, as lessor and lessee;
- Register of authorised officers;
- Submissions received under section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989 until its repeal or received through a community engagement process undertaken by Council (if those submissions are not part of a Council report); and o Any other registers or records required to be made available for public inspection under legislation.
Council publishes a range of newsletters, reports and handbooks for residents, businesses and visitors to Council. These can be downloaded from www.mansfield.vic.gov.au or by calling Council on 03 5775 8555 for a copy.
Access to information
Members of the public have the right to make any request for information or documents to Council if that information is not readily available to the public on Council’s website or at Council’s offices. Council will respond to requests for information or documents in alignment with the Act, the Public Transparency Principles of the Act, this policy, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.
Consideration will always be given to accessibility and cultural requirements in accordance with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.
In relation to Freedom of Information (FOI), the Freedom of Information Act 1982 gives an applicant the right of access to documents that Council holds subject to any exemptions that may apply. If documents required cannot be located on Council’s website, Council’s Coordinator Governance and Risk should be contacted prior to lodging an FOI application to check whether the document is readily available without an FOI application being necessary. (For example, many documents may be readily available under different instruments of legislation such as the Register of Planning Permit Applications under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and the Register of Building Permits under the Building Act 1993.)
Council’s Coordinator Governance and Risk can be contacted on 03 5775 8555.