Search This Blog

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Federal FOI reform submission

Submissions in response to the Exposure drafts of the Federal Freedom of Information Reform Amendment Bill and associated legislation closed on Friday. My submission welcomed the very positive proposed shift in the direction of a pro-disclosure bias in the publication scheme and in the right to access, through powerful statements of the objects of the Act and the linked list of public interest factors in favour of disclosure.

However it also raised issues about matters not addressed in the Exposure Draft- the failure to move from rights of access to documents to rights to access information and to reflect other aspects of the technological changes since 1982; to act on some 1995 recommendations in ALRC Open Government Report 77 particularly to extend the Act to cover the parliamentary departments; the absence of detail about the proposed publication scheme and the adequacy of the powers of the Information Commissioner to enforce compliance; and the failure to tidy up some strange anomalies in the Act, for example a minister's authority to make a determination on an application for an agency's documents. It also included comment about aspects of the absolute and conditional exemptions and a few other thoughts beside.

Be very interested in what others have said and where it all goes from here.

No comments:

Post a Comment