Community trust is essential to the successful development of public policy and the delivery of government services. Government agencies can build public trust in government by upholding and promoting the public’s right to access information.
The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) is hosting a series of virtual roadshows across regional Victoria to promote building public trust in government through transparency.
Continuing our series of Regional Roadshows, the third Victorian Roadshow will be held in the North Western Region on Wednesday 21 April 2021. Victorian government agencies from Mildura, Swan Hill, Buloke, Gannawarra, Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh, Horsham and Northern Grampians are invited to attend.
“Local governments are deeply connected to their communities and rely on a social licence to operate. This social licence is built on public trust and transparency in government decision making” said Information Commissioner, Sven Bluemmel.
“By providing members of the community with access to information, government agencies assist the public’s understanding of decisions affecting them, whether it be decisions around a community sports facility, how a decision on a planning permit was determined or seeking access to personal health information from a local hospital”.
“Providing proactive and informal access to information facilitates the public’s participation in government. Where freedom of information (FOI) is required, I encourage regional and rural government agencies to let public access to information be the rule, and refusal the exception”.
As we have adjusted to the new COVID normal, the pandemic has reinforced the importance of public trust and providing timely access to government information. Government agencies are custodians of information and have a responsibility to ensure the public’s right to access information is upheld.
The aim of these regional events is to raise awareness across Victoria of the public’s right to access government information, and to encourage members of the community to engage with local government agencies and public health service providers.
This virtual event will feature a keynote address from the Information Commissioner, along with presentations from Rosemary Lehmann, Team Leader, Information & Knowledge, Horsham Rural City Council (HRCC). The event will also include an interactive Q&A with HRCC and OVIC staff.
This roadshow is part of a series of Regional Roadshows being held across Victoria.