Facilitating good recordkeeping in local government August 23, 2011

Posted on behalf of Catherine Robinson, Senior Project Officer, Government Recordkeeping.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Wollongong City Council is leading the way in providing smart technology to incoming Councillors to assist them in creating and capturing records of Council business. New Councillors elected in the September elections for Wollongong City Council will be issued with smartphones and iPads to better facilitate their recordkeeping.

photo credCreative Commons Licenseit: hirotomo

For more information on the Herald’s story, read the article.

The 2008 Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) report into Wollongong City Council identified recordkeeping as one of the critical failures in accountability and transparency, as Council officers and Councillors failed to create full and accurate records of their meetings and decisions and to capture these records into the Council’s recordkeeping system.

In addition to providing the technology to make and capture records, the administrators of the Council have prepared a range of policies for incoming Councillors in relation to making and keeping records and accessing Council information.

It is important that Councils provide policies and guidance to Councillors to ensure they understand and meet their recordkeeping responsibilities, both to facilitate the efficient conduct of Council business and to ensure that decisions and actions are transparent and accountable.

To assist Councils in this work, State Records NSW has guidance for Councillors on their obligations under the State Records Act 1998 to make and keep records which includes a Sample records management policy and procedures for Councillors, templates and a What have records got to do with me? brochure customised for local government Councillors. For further information and links to these resources see Recordkeeping in brief 45: Sample records management policy, procedures, leaflets and templates for local government Councillors.

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