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Sunday, February 12, 2006

FOI and South Australian election

With elections due next month, FOI has become a political hot potato in South Australia. According to The Advertiser ministers have accused the opposition of lodging FOI applications to tie up government agencies while the opposition have complained to the Ombudsman that government agencies are dragging the chain in order to avoid releasing documents prior to the election on 18 March.

The Advertiser on 7 February reported that the Ombudsman has asked that documents sought in several opposition FOI applications be released before the election. The opposition Treasury spokesman was told in December that 30 of his FOI applications to the Trade and Economic Development Department could not be answered until 22 March, 4 days after the election. He subsequently lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman.

The SA FOI Act requires applications to be dealt with in 30 days.

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