Territory Stories

Freedom of Information, Privacy Protection & Public Interest Disclosures in the Northern Territory : annual report 2011-2012

Details:

Title

Freedom of Information, Privacy Protection & Public Interest Disclosures in the Northern Territory : annual report 2011-2012

Other title

Commissioner for Information and Public Interest Disclosures annual report 2011 - 12

Creator

Northern Territory. Commissioner for Information and Public Interest Disclosures

Collection

E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Commissioner for Information and Public Interest Disclosures annual report; Annual Report

Date

2012-09-30

Notes

Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Language

English

Subject

Whistle blowing; Law and Legislation; Annual report; Periodicals

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication

Darwin

Series

Commissioner for Information and Public Interest Disclosures annual report; Annual Report

Volume

2011/12

Previously known as

Office of the Information Commissioner

File type

application/pdf

Use

Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government

License

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/243418

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/603229

Page content

Page 1 Message from the Commissioner This is the 3rd combined Annual Report from the Office of the Commissioner, Information and Public Interest Disclosures. It has been a busy year with the finalisation of a number of reports into serious improper conduct by public officers in a variety of public bodies. Summaries of these investigations are contained in section 2.5.6 of this report. Although most public officers are honest, loyal and working in the public interest, the Office has identified several areas of concern. Procurement, an essential function across the whole of government, has been identified in jurisdictions across the world as the process most likely to engender corrupt conduct. The Northern Territory is no exception and investigations have revealed that in some public bodies, a clan mentality exists within certain small workgroups where improper conduct is tolerated and supported, with a get the job done regardless attitude and where the giving and receiving of gifts and benefits is a common practice. Recommendations such as increased controls over the procurement process, the tightening of the gifts and benefits policies, and the establishment of audit and risk committees have restricted the ability for public officers to engage in this type of conduct. It is often said that corruption is an activity that takes place behind closed doors, between consenting adults. Both parties benefit and neither has the least incentive to make the transaction known. This is the difficulty in investigating improper conduct, and why the protections and incentives found in the Public Interest Disclosure Act encourage disclosers to take that first step of making a disclosure. During this reporting period, Chief Executives have been willing to work with the Office by assisting with investigations and complying with recommendations. As a result no public reports have had to be tabled. We see this as a win as the fact that Chief Executives work cooperatively with us means that they take responsibility for the issues and are more likely to make sustainable changes to the culture of their organisations. For independent integrity agencies such as ourselves, we sometimes wonder how we can continue to satisfy our statutory obligations in a world of diminishing resources. Where FOI and privacy are concerned, we continue to put a big effort into supporting information officers in public bodies, ensuring they have training, a network of contacts to support them and regular communication from our office. Although their skill levels differ, there are many good information officers who do a great job. We placed special emphasis on youth and seniors during Privacy Awareness Week both groups with particular needs when it comes to privacy.


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