Friday, February 17, 2006
Australia Day Award for FOI Implementer
David Roden currently Director Management Services in the Premier's Department was awarded a Public Service Medal in the awards announced on Australia Day. David was in charge of the FOI Unit in the Premier's Department from the time the Unit was formed in 1988 to prepare for the introduction of FOI in NSW and continued in that position until the Unit was abolished in 1991. He provided outstanding leadership and support for FOI during this time. The abolition of the FOI Unit was said at the time to be justified because of the Unit's success in managing initial implementation across the public sector. The Ombudsman and others criticised the decision on the grounds that it failed to recognise that the culture change required by the FOI Act requires constant leadership and support. Unfortunately FOI in NSW over much of the period since has been "orphaned" with few signs of open support and encouragement from the top.