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Monday, March 25, 2013

NSW Information Commissioner to step down

No mention as yet on the website (Update: announcement  26 March) but this notice from the Director General of the NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice has just plopped in my in-tray and seems genuine enough. Surprise, and out of the blue as far as I'm concerned.

To all staff
After three years as the inaugural NSW Information Commissioner, Deirdre O’Donnell has announced she will be leaving her role on Friday 24 May 2013 to fulfil family responsibilities in her home state of Victoria.

Deirdre has been a true champion of open government. At a time when the public sector is undergoing large scale change and reform, Deirdre has made a significant and vital contribution to changing the culture of the public service to be far more open and accessible.

During her time as Information Commissioner, Deirdre made substantial progress on raising awareness of the new right to information regime under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. She was also responsible for establishing the new Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) from 2011.

Deirdre has been a proactive and engaging Commissioner who has lead by example, setting the benchmark for clarity and openness in communication with staff, government agencies and the public.

Deirdre leaves with our very best wishes for the future and I am confident that Deirdre’s achievements provide the next Commissioner with the ideal foundations to further progress the work of the Commission.

Recruitment action to appoint a new Commissioner is underway and you will be advised once an appointment has been made.

Laurie Glanfield
Director General
25 March 2013


  1. Anonymous10:58 pm

    No great loss. O'Donnell was a do nothing information commissioner who knew very little about how to apply her own legislation. She was all spin and no substance. The govt could save some money and abolish the IPC snd have the Ombudsman take over its functions.

  2. Anon,
    Any assessment of the IPC and the first years of GIPA needs more than a couple of lines. The lack of performance information on both fronts makes the assessment difficult, and the review model was flawed to start with. It's a tough gig but the Commissioner remained unerringly positive throughout. In my view a big stick and the opportunity and willingness to use it also have to be part of the mix. So thanks to her for her efforts, and her willingness to listen to me from time to time, and best wishes for the future.