New South Wales Charter for Public Participation

The Information and Privacy Commission NSW launched the Charter for Public Participation – a guide to assist agencies and promote citizen engagement (Charter) on 19 June 2018, in further support of NSW Government decision making principles of openness, transparency, accountability and promotion of public participation.

The Charter provides guidance, tools, and case studies in order to promote and achieve meaningful involvement of those affected by a decision in the decision making process. The guidance can be broadly described as follows:

  • a framework to develop a policy on public participation
  • a guide to encourage, enable, and embed effective citizen engagement in policy design and development
  • a roadmap to assist NSW government agencies to embed public participation in their frameworks.

The Charter recognises that public participation may range from simply communicating government activities to the public, to actively delegating decision making to the public.

As the overarching purpose of the Charter is to facilitate effective citizen engagement and input, in the development and delivery of policies and services, the Charter aligns with and is underpinned by the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (the Act). Agency Information Guides, required under Part 3, Division 2 of the Act, will require updating to record the actions taken by agencies to implement the suggestions in the Charter.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.