Update: The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) has confirmed that in their view "Council has misconstrued our guidance" in relation to public access to Development Applications. They also stated that "Local councils have an obligation to proactively publish information about development applications (whenever created), including the associated documents received, and decisions made, in relation to developments". The OIC also stated that they will "contact Council directly to assist Council in meeting its obligations under the GIPA Act" in relation to open access information.
Want to view a development application with Manly Council? Make sure you have plenty of time!
It's no longer available on their website like all other Councils in NSW. In Manly you have to fill in a form, wait up to three weeks, and then view it at the council chambers. Another example of their lack of transparency & bureaucracy! And don't believe the line that it's due to 'copyright & privacy' ......
I've been told by the Office of the Information Commissioner that DAs are "additional open access information and must be made publicly available".
Council's new approach completely overlooks the rights of the public to have easy and accessible access to information.
What do you think? Is this bureaucracy gone mad?
Latest Update: 23/3/12: I have received confirmation from the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) that they are investigating this matter. (Reference No. IPC12-000132) Let's see what they have to say.
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor & Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.