Charter for Public Participation media release

Media release

19/06/2018

NSW Information Commissioner and Open Data Advocate launches a Charter for Public Participation - a guide to assist agencies and promote citizen engagement

NSW Information Commissioner and Open Data Advocate, Elizabeth Tydd, today launched the Information and Privacy Commission NSW's Charter for Public Participation - a guide to assist agencies and promote citizen engagement (the Charter), which is aimed at enshrining the centrality of public participation in government agency decision-making.

“I was pleased to launch the Charter for Public Participation - a guide to assist agencies and promote citizen engagement and share it with leaders across government at an Open Government forum earlier today,” Ms Tydd said.

"The Charter is a critical tool to support agencies in realising the benefits of Open Government and the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), which I oversee as NSW Information Commissioner.

"The Charter provides a practical roadmap for embedding the functions of the GIPA Act into everyday government agency activities. It provides practical information, steps, tools and case studies for agencies across the NSW Public Sector to achieve meaningful engagement with citizens. 

"Genuine collaboration between government agencies and citizens is essential to effectively harness citizens' ideas, knowledge wisdom and skills in the development and implementation of effective policies and service delivery.

"Public participation is a fundamental tenet of Open Government. The Charter is aimed at supporting NSW government agencies to enhance engagement practices across the sector.

"Investment in new and effective approaches to public participation will enable agencies to build capacity, develop and sustain partnerships and deliver effective solutions to contemporary policy challenges.

"Government holds information that informs its decision-making, information that should be actively applied to ensure meaningful engagement with citizens and promote a more participatory democracy.

"The Charter, together with the GIPA Act’s requirements for Agency Information Guides, support the sector's commitment to Open Government and efforts to contribute to Australia’s commitment under the Open Government Partnership to enhance public participation in government decision-making.

 "I encourage all public sector employees to review the Charter which is available on the IPC website,” Ms Tydd said.

The launch of the Charter follows extensive consultation with government agencies, the public and the International Association for Public Participation and delivers on the commitment made in May 2017 by the Information Commissioner to deliver a Charter for Public Participation to foster citizen-centric engagement across the public sector.

More information and resources on information access and privacy rights in NSW are available at the Information and Privacy Commission NSW website.