"This is a rancid bill, hiding the arrogant and rotten culture of born-to-rule belligerence in the government."
our amendments will wind back the time the FOI commissioner has to review an agency’s decision from 30 days to 14 days. That is the same time frame that exists under the current system, yet again further illuminating evidence as to why this bill makes FOI worse, not better. We will move to reduce the time an agency has to consider a decision of the FOI commissioner to release documents from 60 days to 28 days. In terms of dealing with the independence of the independent FOI commissioner, our amendments will have the effect of ensuring that the commissioner is appointed for at least five years, not up to five years as in the current bill. We believe that goes some way to ensuring and entrenching greater independence in the commissioner. Our amendments will also ensure that the commissioner is not limited to commenting but has the right to comment on bad FOI practices as well as those which reflect on ministers and departments.
(Further update:the Assembly passed the bill on 9 February without amendment or further debate-Hansard p57.)