"... on 23 June 2009 during the debate on the Government Information (Public Access) Bill 2009, the leader of the Opposition committed his party, should the Opposition win government, to moving the Information Commissioner's office within the Ombudsman's office. The Opposition has never resiled from that commitment. There are very good reasons for establishing the Information and Privacy Commission outside the Ombudsman's office. The Ombudsman's focus is on identifying and rectifying maladministration whereas the focus of the Information and Privacy Commission's office will be on promoting best practice in information handling. The new commission will work collaboratively with agencies and will have a policy development role that the Ombudsman does not have.
The Ombudsman should maintain an independent distance from decision makers in order to scrutinise Government decision making. His office should not be involved in developing policy or administering Acts other than his own. Indeed, the Ombudsman should be able to scrutinise the work of the Information and Privacy Commission, and this would be compromised should the commission be located in the Office of the Ombudsman. I note that the Law Reform Commission, the then Privacy Commissioner, Ken Taylor, the Law Society of New South Wales and a number of other key stakeholders strongly supported the establishment of a separate Information Commissioner's office. I strongly support the Privacy and Government Information Legislation Amendment Bill 2010."
Another Government backbencher Helen Westwood told the Legislative Council things are going swimmingly regarding access to information:
Establishment of the Information and Privacy Commission will ensure that the cultural change that has already occurred with the introduction of the Government Information (Public Access) Act [GIPAA] will continue. Agencies already are taking up the spirit of the Government Information (Public Access) Act and releasing information proactively. All members would welcome the adoption of that approach. More information is available on websites than ever before, with most super agencies already having a right to an information access point on their website's home page. I congratulate agencies on the cultural change that is so clearly occurring when it comes to the release of government information.This Government is committed to transparency...