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Monday, March 01, 2010

Information Commissioner speaks on the challenges

Here is Information Commissioner Designate John McMillan on ABC Radio AM discussing his role and some of the challenges. The interviewer seems to be hopeful of better access to Cabinet documents in the FOI Reform/Commissioner world but there is only a slither of change to that exemption, and historians will like the fact we're moving from 30 to 20 years for open access under Archives legislation. Public awareness and leadership are up there as  priorities. In my view stronger powers- for example, to require an agency to comply with directions regarding pro-active publication - would aid the Commissioner in the culture change task-but that's another story.
"One of the roles of this new commission will be to take a central leadership in the development of a pro-disclosure culture in government. And we'll do that through familiar ways; through training, through publication of manuals and guidelines, through getting agencies to develop best practice in web publication, but also reaching out a lot more to the community, to journalists and to members of parliament to provide them with essential information about making document and information requests to government."

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