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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ministers for privacy, FOI and integrity.

The full details of the Gillard Ministry and the Administrative Arrangements Order reveal we have an historic first with Brendan O'Connor appointed Minister for Privacy and Freedom of Information. These  functions remain in the Prime Minister's portfolio. (O'Connor is also Minister for Justice and Minister for Home Affairs, with those functions in Attorney General's.)

Gary Gray is Special Minister of State for the Public Service and Integrity, also the first time we have seen integrity included in a ministerial title. The functions are also part of the Prime Minister's portfolio.

This is the right place for these functions, and appointing people with these titles in close proximity to the PM is a good thing. Comments yesterday about the ministers' standing at 22 and 29 in the hierarchy and other matters still stand.It's the first time FOI has been allocated to a minister in the outer ministry since the act was introduced in 1982. Offset to a degree by putting the subjects up in lights. No mention in the AAO of Gov 2.0 or the Australian Government Information Office but presumably Penny Wong as Finance Minister has these responsibilities.

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