A new framework has been created to maintain ethics in local government data management.

Local councils are increasing relying on data for insights into the expectations of local communities about services and infrastructure.

“Trust has got to be at the centre of any data-driven relationship, but especially one involving councils and their local communities,” says Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) president and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson.

“People are rightly asking their councils to become more efficient and offer more value for the ratepayer dollar.

“Data analysis unlocks opportunities to achieve these objectives, but councils need to be mindful of retaining the integrity of data for the purpose for which it is collected and maintaining a person’s privacy.”

Cr Jamieson said the LGAQ’s new framework would set a benchmark for local councils for adopting ethics measures and pledging not to sell or otherwise misuse personal data.

The framework contains a series of checks and balances around the use of data, including the establishment of a special ethics committee of experts to advise on the right way to go about analysing and interpreting data sets.

The membership of the new committee and more details on the ethical data framework will be announced early in 2019.