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Monday, November 27, 2006

NSW local council contract disclosure

We have had a number of queries from local councils about the effect of the NSW Freedom of Information Amendment (Disclosure of Contracts) Bill referred to in the item posted on Friday.

The Bill as passed confers powers on the Government to make regulations that would apply the contract disclosure requirements to local councils. In the original Bill, as proposed by the Independent Member for Bligh, Clover Moore, councils were included. She subsequently agreed to a Government amendment to simply provide the power to impose such a requirement by regulation.

Moore said during Parliamentary debate that the City of Sydney Council where she is Lord Mayor, would now voluntarily act in accordance with the requirements. There is nothing to stop other councils following the same path.

No doubt Premier's Department (responsible for FOI) and the Department of Local Government will be looking at what, if anything should now be done by way of regulation to apply this requirement to local councils.

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