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Monday, December 21, 2009

Year end downer to positive FOI reform in NSW

Further to where things stand in NSW, I've heard that the recruitment process for Information Commissioner, kicked off with great urgency in September when applicants had only two weeks to apply, ran into the sand somewhere after interviews took place with a panel chaired by Secretary of the Department of Justice and Attorney General, and before any name was put by the Attorney General to the Parliamentary Committee with veto power over an appointment. Headhunters have now been engaged to find someone for the job.

Leaders with, to paraphrase the ad, integrity and commitment to open and accountable government, experienced in government processes, comfortable with the exercise of statutory powers, with expertise in complaint handling and dispute resolution, and who can communicate and deal with a whole raft of stakeholders from general public to the leaders of government, may be harder to find than first thought, even if they don't necessarily have to have a law degree. Or pay and conditions weren't attractive enough? Or this NSW government in the current circumstances is not the employer of choice for some who might be well qualified?

A bit of a downer to end a year of generally positive reform measures, given the announced intention to have someone appointed in November, that implementation guidance from the Office of Information Commissioner is still to materialise, and there has been nothing done to raise public awareness in readiness for a new era of openness. That start date for the new law of "early 2010" might be subject to reinterpretation.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:44 am

    I think you hit the nail on the head with:

    “Or this NSW government in the current circumstances is not the employer of choice for some who might be well qualified?”

    I mean, who would want to work for a government where there’d be constantly someone running at you with a knife – not only do they seem to stab you in your back, but heck, they’re going for the face too!

    I guess that there might be further interest after Keneally has been replaced.