For the record, ILC won’t deny new website airbrushed awkward past

A new website is a good time to clean out old content. But for publicly funded corporations, isn’t it important to keep key documents on the public record?

The unusual series of interconnected events that began six years ago with the Indigenous Land Corporation’s purchase of Ayers Rock Resort raises yet another interesting question, this time about online record keeping on the corporate side of the public sector.

To what extent do such government entities have a responsibility to maintain an accurate and impartial public record of their taxpayer-funded operations?

At present, websites remain one of the biggest elements of any government agency’s public image and are the first port of call for any information they could be expected to provide. While the push to get rid of individual websites for each federal agency in favour of a central point of contact makes sense for service delivery, little has been said about the value of having easily accessible documents of public record.

It would be odd for the appointment of a new department secretary, perhaps with a couple of deputies following them across from their previous job, to precipitate the removal of key documents and statements from before their time. But on the corporate side of the Commonwealth public sector, that is what former ILC chair Dawn Casey and other past directors believe the corporation has done in the past couple of years.

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.