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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Government shows the money for Information Commissioner's Office

The planned Office of the Information Commissioner-scheduled to come into operation with effect from 1 January 2010, after the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Reform legislation is passed by Parliament, makes it into this year's Commonwealth budget announced tonight. This from the Portfolio Budget Statement of The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet:
"The Office of the Information Commissioner will operate under the FMA Act as a statutory agency within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio. The Office will comprise two new independent statutory office holders, the Information Commissioner and the Freedom of Information Commissioner, as well as the existing Privacy Commissioner. The existing Office of the Privacy Commissioner will be incorporated into the Office of the Information Commissioner. The establishment of the Office of the Information Commissioner will provide a whole-of-government clearing house for complaints, oversight and reporting on freedom of information and privacy matters. The co-location of privacy and FOI regulation will ensure the development of a consistent workable information policy. "
As to hard cold cash the allocations in the budget and forward estimates allocated to PM&C for the Office are $2.961 million in 2009-10, $4.982 million in 2010-11, $5.031 million in 2011-12 and $5.080 million in 2012-13. Enough? Who knows.

Details of allocations for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner- to be folded into the Information Commissioner's Office from 1 January- are at page 351 of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Statement. Presumably some rollover of the $7.294 million allocated this year will end up with the new office.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:21 pm

    Peter Something to followup perhaps?
    Smith, in making his apology for the accidental tabling of a DFAT document listing the bilateral treaty negotiations currently underway, mentioned that he is looking at extending the publication regime currently in place for multi-lateral treaties, to also cover, the usually more sensitive, bilateral treaties.
    Front page stuff for the Canberra Times print version, but can't find it on their webpage.
    The full text of Smith's apology isn't online at The Australian or the SMH, not his website (though it was this am) - odd.
    Anon in Canberra