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Monday, June 24, 2013

Information Commissioner job in NSW up for grabs

Advertisements appeared in The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald (p5) on Saturday for the position of Information Commissioner (NSW) to replace inaugural commissioner Deirdre O'Donnell. Visit this website to apply.

Back in March Laurie Glanfield, Director General of  the Department of Attorney General and Justice announced that Ms O'Donnell was stepping down. And, that "recruitment action to appoint a new Commissioner is underway." 

Under transitional arrangements for the last month, Ms O'Donnell has been "operating remotely" and will finish up on 5 July.

No headhunters apparently involved. Mr Glanfield himself is fielding inquiries - the advertisement invites calls on 02 8688 7313. 

Good luck!

The only reference in the selection criteria to subject knowledge-information access, open, transparent government-is what is implied in "ability to lead the implementation of the legislation."

Law credentials aren't mentioned. And aren't essential. But the commissioner will be operating in a world full of lawyers who continue to have a tight grip on the information access function in many NSW government agencies.

Highly relevant is the ability to speak with confidence and authority to this audience about the law. And to a wider audience, as "independent champion", about the law's spirit and intent.

 The advertisement reads: 
Information Commissioner

$300,480 per annum

The Information Commissioner is an independent statutory position accountable directly to the NSW Parliament.

The Information Commissioner acts as an independent champion of the open government regime established by the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

The Information Commissioner has a range of functions under the legislation including promoting an open government culture; building public awareness of information access rights; reviewing agency decisions and investigating complaints about agencies in relation to their information disclosure obligations.

The Information Commissioner advises and assists agencies, including local authorities, to meet their legislative obligations, which include mandatory publication of prescribed ‘open access information’; informal release of other information and a residual requirement to respond to formal access applications. The Information Commissioner drives cultural change throughout the public sector so as to facilitate and encourage, promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost, public access to government information.

The Information Commissioner will lead and manage the staff and other resources of the Information and Privacy Commission NSW, to effectively and efficiently meet strategic objectives and fulfil reporting requirements.

Selection Criteria:

  • Outstanding achievement in administration and management at an executive level.
  • Very high level of personal integrity and commitment to the objectives of the legislation.
  • The ability to lead the implementation of the legislation and proven strategic and business planning skills.
  • Thorough background knowledge and understanding of the machinery of government including administrative and legislative processes.
  • Experience or demonstrated ability to exercise statutory powers and fulfil associated obligations, including reporting to Parliament.
  • Experience and demonstrated expertise in the handling of complaints and dispute resolution.
  • Well developed communication skills for stakeholder engagement, including with the general public, media and government agencies and leaders.
The appointment will be for a term of up to five years.

Inquiries: Mr Laurie Glanfield, Director General, Department of Attorney General and Justice, (02) 8688 7313.

Please visit to apply.

Applications in Word or PDF addressing the selection criteria, accompanied by a detailed curriculum vitae and the names of at least two referees, must be completed online by 12 July 2013. 



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