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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

OAIC on a treadmill

The Office of Australian Information Commissioner continues on a roll publishing a further 18 Freedom of Information review decisions since 28 March, bringing the total to 52 in the year to 26 April as against 35 for the entire year in calendar 2012. Some decisions worth noting in another post, hopefully.

Impressive on the review decisions front but the published statistics, the latest for the March quarter, show it's an uphill battle to make much of a dent, and resources are under the squeeze. One area that clearly warrants new policy thinking (maybe Dr Hawke turned his mind to it?) is Extensions of Time applications to the OAIC by agencies:1740 in 2012-13 so far, 2224 last year.

In the March quarter:
  • 101 review applications were completed,109 came in;
  • The age of the oldest FOI complaint was down from 380 days to 312;
  • The age of the oldest FOI review application went from 707 days to 795 days (presumably the same matter);
  • The age of the oldest unallocated FOI complaint dropped from 138 days to 86, but it went the other way for privacy complaints, from 74 days to 110, and for FOI review applications from 141 days to 197;
  • The average time taken to complete cases was down a whisker for FOI complaints (159 days), remained the same for privacy complaints (111 days), but for FOI reviews blew out from 207 days to 244 days. 
  • 92 FOI review applications remained open for 366 + days and 168 for 151-365 days. 

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