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Friday, August 14, 2009

SA FOI change for 10 year old cabinet documents

South Australian Premier Mike Rann has announced proposed changes that would remove the cabinet document Freedom of Information exemption for documents 10 years after they come into existence. Documents would only be exempt thereafter if another exemption applied. The Advertiser yesterday welcomed the announcement as a new step in increasing the public's right to know, and as following Queensland's lead. Hold on folks, NSW led on this in its FOI Act of 1989, a situation continued in the yet to commence Government Information (Public Access) Act. The Advertiser in rightfully urging " the Federal Government to examine the decisions by the state Labor not be so over-protective" didn't mention that while it falls short, the Feds propose bringing all documents including cabinet documents into open access after 20 not 30 years.

On the SA front it 's fair to ask " is that all there is?" Just why the state sees no need for more fundamental FOI reform in the light of developments elsewhere, remains a mystery.

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