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Thursday, December 21, 2006

NSW ADT Annual Report published

Summer blog

The Annual Report of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal whose jurisdiction includes review of freedom of information and privacy matters concerning state government agencies, and local councils, has just been made available. FOI cases have risen from 96 in the previous year to 125, and privacy cases dropped slightly from 34 to 30.

In what must rank as the gentlest of nudges, the President Judge Kevin O'Connor notes that the NSW Attorney General is "presently completing a review to determine whether the policy objectives of the (Administrative Decisions Tribunal) Act remain valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate as required by Section 147 of the Act".

What he didn't say was that Section 147 required the Attorney General to undertake such a review "as soon as possible" after 5 years from the date of assent, and to table a report of the review within 12 months after the 5 year period.

The Act was assented to on 10 July 1997. Five years elapsed on 10 July 2002. The report was due to be tabled in Parliament no later than 10 July 2003. Parliament will not now sit until after the election in March.

I'm sure we'll see this report sometime. The Attorney General may attach a late note. It might even emerge with the statutory review of the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act - a similar provision in that Act required the Attorney General to table a review report by 30 November 2004. It's never been tabled but privacy has been shunted off to the NSW Law Reform Commission.

I don't know how many other statutory review requirements might similarly have never seen the light of day.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:48 pm

    I noted with interest in relation to "NSW ADT Annual Report"

    Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the NSW Law Reform Commission rely on hand outs from the NSW Law Society?

    That being the case then it is hardly likely that the outcome will be in the Public's favour.