In our submission, we gave information about the OAIC's staffing and funding levels since its establishment until December 2012. The situation has changed further since then. We noted in our submission that the OAIC was structured around the former Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC). Initial planning anticipated that an average staffing level (ASL) of 68 OPC staff would be joined by an additional 32 staff for the FOI and information policy functions, for a combined ASL of 100. The OPC had an ASL of 60 at the end of 2009–10. By the end of 2010–11, the OAIC had an ASL of 75.26. This was projected to rise to 81 in the 2011–12 budget; the actual 2011–12 ASL was 79.87.On the same day the OAIC published three FOI review decisions: Besser 18 months after it was received, Fletcher after 17 months, and Davies after 11 months.
The 2012–13 portfolio budget statement forecast an ASL of 79. As at December 2012, the OAIC had 77.85 full-time equivalent staff; as at February 2013, it has 63 (only three more than the OPC had when the OAIC commenced operation). This further reduction is the result of voluntary redundancies, and the non-extension of contracts, made necessary by the OAIC's limited budget.
This is not the essential speedy access to independent external review of administrative decisions.