our council, governance
Freedom of Information
What is the Information Act (NT) 2002?
The Information Act (NT) 2002 gives people the right to access information from Northern Territory Government agencies, including councils, subject to a number of exemptions to protect public and private interests. This does not include information that is already available under an existing “access arrangement”, such as council minutes, which are available without applying under Information Act (NT) 2002.
How can the Freedom of Information Act help?
The Freedom of Information Act has three main aims, which fall into the following categories:
Council is required to make available to you documents about its functions and operations. This includes information about its structure, decision-making processes, public participation through boards, councils or committees, and policy documents. You can download some of these documents, from this website. You can also ask to see such documents or purchase copies at Council’s customer service centre.
The Information Act also gives you the right to apply for documents, including those about you, held by Council. You can examine and have copies of these documents. You also have rights of appeal if Council does not give you access to documents you want to see.
You can apply for information about your personal affairs to be changed if you believe it is inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date or misleading.
Can I see all documents?
Some documents are exempt under the Act to protect essential public interests or the personal or business affairs of others. Sometimes part of a document may not be available if it contains information which is exempt (eg name and address of complainant/s).
If you are refused access to a document or given partial access only, Council must provide you with written communication regarding the reasons for the decision. Council must also tell you of your rights of appeal.
Documents already publicly available under other legislation or administrative processes (such as birth certificates; including those available for a fee) are not available through the Act.
How much will it cost?
There is no application fee to look at documents about your personal affairs (a copy of these documents will incur a fee). However, there is an application fee for requests for access to non-personal affairs documents (ie complaints made by another person) and other charges for processing and making photocopies.
The Victoria Daly Regional Council (“the Council”) is committed to protecting your privacy. We understand that it is important to protect your personal information.
This privacy statement contains the Council’s policies for management of the personal information it collects from you. It is part of the procedures put in place by the Council which aim to protect the privacy of your personal information in accordance with the Information Privacy Principles (“IPPs”) set out in the Information Act (NT) (“the Act”).
Personal information is defined as “Council information from which a person’s identity is apparent or is reasonably able to be ascertained.”
The Council collects the personal information that it needs to carry out its functions and activities, including its statutory functions under the Local Government Act 2008.
The Council may also collate statistical information from the personal information it collects. This information may be used by Council and other government bodies to assist in the provision of appropriate services and facilities. Once this kind of information is collected, it will be de-identified so that any compilation or publication of those statistics will not reveal your identity.
The Council may collect your personal information in a number of ways, including: directly from you in documents such as application forms, statutory declarations, or by verbal or written correspondence; and from third parties such as government bodies.
Use and Disclosure
The Council may use your personal information in a number of ways, including:
- to carry out the Council’s functions, such as the maintenance of the assessment record (rates) and other records of such nature;
- to provide you with information about the Council’s services;
- to determine and provide appropriate services and facilities;
- to administer and manage processes such as applications for permits, animal ownership, billing and collection of levies and charges;
- to administer and make enquiries on personnel and recruitment matters.
The Council will take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is not disclosed to third parties except in certain circumstances, including where:
- you have consented to the release;
- the Council is authorised or required by law or regulatory requirements to disclose the information to, for example, a law enforcement agency;
- the information is disclosed in accordance with section 152(4) of the Local Government Act, which requires Council to make the assessment record available for inspection by any member of the public. The assessment record includes rate payer information such as the name and address of the owner or principal ratepayer, a brief description of the land, it’s assessed value and the use of the land if subject to a differential rate.
- the information is provided to a third party which provides services to the Council, in which case the Council will endeavour to ensure that the service provider agrees to preserve the confidentiality of your personal information;
- the circumstances where the Council is not prohibited from disclosing the information, as described in the Act.
Where possible, we will inform you, at or before the time of collecting your personal information, of the third parties that we intend to disclose your personal information to.
Prior to disclosing any of your personal information, we will take all reasonable steps to satisfy ourselves that the third party is committed to protecting your personal information and you have consented to us doing so.
Security of Information
The Council will take reasonable steps to protect the personal information it holds from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
Your personal information is stored in a secure place in the Council department or section that uses that information. Your personal information may also be stored by the Council in electronic form, which is protected from unauthorised access by a password system. Council staff have access to your personal information only to the extent that is required for them to carry out their duties.
Access to Your Information
If you make a written request to us for access to the personal information the Council holds about you, the Council will provide you with access to that information, unless there is an applicable exception under the IPPs. We may charge you a reasonable fee for providing you with access to the information.
Publicly Available Material
The following documents are available on Council’s website and for inspection at Council offices, during normal office hours, in accordance with section 200 of the Local Government Act:-
- agendas and minutes of meetings of the Council and committees;
- annual financial statement and annual report and auditor’s report;
- policy concerning the payment of expenses incurred by, and the provision of facilities to Members;
- Council’s code of conduct;
- register of Elected Members’ interests;
- notice of the declaration of rate and charges;
- any notices of Council’s intention to sell land for non-payment of rates, assumption of the control and management of land, or application for a variation of a trust and any order made on the application;
- register of by-laws and any notices of by-laws the Council intend to make;
- list of the categories of reviewable decisions
- Council’s regional plan
A person may apply in writing to the CEO for the suppression of personal details from publicly available material under section 201 of the Local Government Act 2008.
Accuracy of Information
It is important to the conduct of our business that the personal information we collect, use or disclose is and remains accurate, complete and up to date. If you think that your personal information retained by the Council requires changing or updating, please contact the Information Officer.
If you wish to access or change your personal information, or to lodge a complaint about an interference with your privacy, or you have any query on how your personal information is collected or handled, please contact our Information Officer.