IPC Report: Towards a NSW Charter for Public Participation

Click here to view the Report: Towards a NSW Charter for Public Participation (PDF, 699KB)

Towards a NSW Charter for Public Participation progresses a commitment to promote public participation and assist agencies in achieving success in their engagement with NSW citizens through a six-step process:

  1. Identify international leading practices
  2. Consult with citizens and government
  3. Assess existing public participation mechanisms
  4. Co-design citizen charter for public participation
  5. Culturally embed public participation
  6. Monitor and promote public participation.

Part 3 section 20 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) provides that a regulated NSW public sector agency (other than a minister) must have a current Agency Information Guide (AIG) that specifies any arrangements that exist to enable members of the public to participate in the formulation of the agency's policy and the exercise of the agency's functions.

AIGs provide a valuable mechanism to promote currency of information identification and appropriate release which serves to stimulate visibility and accessibility of government information. The value of government information as a strategic asset is realised in the application of that asset.

Towards a NSW Charter for Public Participation outlines the first stage of work completed by the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) to progress public participation in agency (not ministerial) policy formulation and the exercise of agency functions. The report also sets out the next steps that the IPC will take, in collaboration with NSW agencies and the NSW community, to support greater public participation arrangements across the regulated sectors under the GIPA Act.

This report provides:

  • the NSW context for public participation and recognises progress to date;
  • findings of the desktop monitoring of the AIGs of principal departments;
  • insights from the IPC’s trialling of an online consultation platform; and
  • a sample of Australian and international resources to support public participation and assist agencies.

The report concludes by setting out the future action that the IPC will take to advance public participation and Open Government through raising awareness and providing assistance to ensure that agencies and citizens realise the benefits of meaningful engagement supported by the GIPA Act.