The Water Group is developing a strategy and plan to support implementation of the NSW Water Strategy Priority 1. This will include actions to respond to the audit recommendations, and include a regular review of the policy’s implementation and effectiveness to support better practice against engagement standards.
Improving stakeholder engagement
The ICAC November 2020 Investigation into complaints of corruption in the management of water in NSW and systemic non-compliance with the Water Management Act 2000 report included 15 recommendations. Three related to stakeholder engagement:
That the DPE publishes all stakeholder and community engagement plans concerning water management when they are complete.
|That the DPE tasks an appropriately qualified and experienced independent reviewer to conduct, on a recurrent basis, reviews of the steps taken to implement its “Water stakeholder and community engagement policy” and the policy’s effectiveness. The independent reviewer should have the function of making such recommendations as they think necessary to ensure that all water stakeholders have their interests heard in a fair, balanced, and transparent way.
That the DPE develops a model procedure concerning the conduct of meetings with external stakeholders in respect of water management issues that includes requirements to:
The Water Group committed to implementing these recommendations as described, in the March 2021 response to the ICAC Report.
The Department’s 12-month Progress Report on implementing actions will be submitted to ICAC in May 2022 and published on ICAC’s website.