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Councillor Angela Vithoulkas Question on Notice

COMMITTEE SPEAKERS (S103147)

Question

Council has committee meetings each month where the public have the ability to attend and address Council and Councillors about matters that are being considered.

What processes does Council undertake to contact those individuals/groups who have appeared before the committee and provide any follow up information?

Answer by the Lord Mayor

The provision in Council’s Code of Meeting Practice for members of the public to address Committees provides an opportunity for interested parties to express their views prior to Council making a determination regarding matters on the agenda.

At the request of the Chair, and where possible and considered appropriate by the CEO, City staff provide a comment upon issues raised by speakers during Committee meetings. If City staff cannot address issues raised by speakers at Committees, a further response is provided in a memorandum on the subject item to Council the following week, which is made publicly available to speakers and other interested parties on the City’s website and in hard copy at the Council meeting.

Provision of follow up information to speakers, subsequent to their attendance at Committee meetings, is subject to the provisions of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection (PPIP) Act 1998 and the City’s Privacy Management Plan regarding the use of personal information by Government agencies. Under the ‘collection’ provisions of the PPIP Act, if a member of the public is asked to supply their personal information, such as their name, address or telephone number, they must be informed how it will be dealt with in accordance with the privacy protection principles under the Act. To achieve this at the City, all forms and letters requesting personal information must include a Privacy Protection Notice that summarises how the information will be handled.

In most instances, members of the public who speak at Committee meetings will have had contact with relevant City staff prior to matters being reported for Council’s consideration and provided personal information (eg, email address, phone number, postal address, residential address) for the purpose of follow up and/or formal notification of the outcome of Council’s deliberations by the City. Relevant City staff then follow up with those speakers as and when required.

In some instances, individuals who speak at Committee meetings may not have had prior contact with City staff who are dealing with the subject matter and, therefore, collection of their personal details in accordance with the PPIP Act to enable formal contact and follow up by the City has not occurred. Other contact and follow up would therefore be dependent on the matter the member of the public spoke about and whether they had made subsequent contact with the City to provide sufficient personal information and consent for it to be used for this purpose. On the whole, however, most speakers at Committee meetings have access to the reports to Committees, Relevant To Memos, and Council’s resolution recorded in the minutes of meeting, with follow up not required.

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