The report also deals with the failure by the university to prepare, in the year before, for the commencement of the GIPA act in 2010 as university staff involved in implementation were held back from doing so by instructions from the University executive; intervention with the Information Commissioner by the NSW Universities Vice Chancellors Committee (a group chaired by UNSW Vice Chancellor Fred Hilmer) apparently to seek relief for universities from all or some of the disclosure obligations under the GIPA act; and incorrect information given by a person associated with the Committee that the Commissioner had exempted universities from compliance.
The Commissioner made further adverse findings regarding actions by the executive in giving inappropriate directions to staff that communications with the OIC be via the NSWVCC, and in interfering with compliance efforts of the staff. Macquarie has been asked to publicly affirm its commitment to complying with the GIPA Act through communications with all staff and on its website and to provide a written report on the processes it has put in place to promote compliance within three months. The OIC will conduct a formal audit of Macquarie University’s compliance with the GIPA Act in six months’ time (September 2011).
Update: The OIC has been in touch to say that while "the Commissioner signed the report on March 9, it contained adverse comment about the agency. We were therefore required to notify the Education Minister before publishing the report. Given the state election, we considered it appropriate to also notify the new Education Minister, who replied the day the report was published on May 13." Thanks.
Further Update: As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 17 May
If this is the case there has been a complete loss of corporate memory across the sector.
This issue was discussed in FOI circles in NSW from the time the Clover Moore sponsored FOI amendment bill that required contract publication was introduced into parliament in October 2005. After parliament passed the bill in late 2006 it was drawn specifically to the attention of universities and other agencies in training programs throughout 2007.