19-08 Consultation on revised IPC Guideline 1 Returns of Interests

Category: Circular to Councils Status: Active
Circular Details: 19-08 / 03 June 2019 / A648986 Contact: Council Governance / (02) 4428 4100
Previous Circular: Nil Attachments: Nil
Who should read this: General Managers/public officers and other governance staff/ Councillors/designated personsAction required: Response to the Information and Privacy Commission (IPC)
PDF Version: Council Circular 19-08 – PDF

What’s new or changing?

  • The Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) is seeking feedback from councils on a draft of its revised Guideline 1: For local councillors on the disclosure of information contained in returns of interest of councillors and designated persons under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.
  • Consultation on Guideline 1 will close on 14 June 2019.

What this will mean for your council

  • The draft revised Guideline provides that councillors’ and designated persons’ returns of interests must be made publicly available free of charge on a website maintained by councils, unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.
  • The Guideline provides guidance in relation to the public interest considerations for and against disclosure of the returns of interests.

Key points

  • Section 6 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) provides for the mandatory proactive release by NSW public sector agencies
    (including councils) of open access information. The GIPA Act provides that open access information must be made publicly available free of charge on a website maintained by the agency.
  • Councillors’ and designated persons’ returns of interests are prescribed under Schedule 1 to the Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2018 as open access information for local government.
  • The IPC has undertaken a review of Guideline 1 to ensure that the Guideline is consistent with the requirements of the GIPA Act.

Where to go for further information

  • A full copy of the draft revised Guideline and further information on open access information requirements for local government is available on the IPC’s website at
  • Contact the IPC at 1800 472 679.
  • Contact the Office of Local Government’s Council Governance Team on 02 4428 4100.

Tim Hurst
Chief Executive