Farrell did not report that both Australian Information Commissioner Professor McMillan and First Assistant Secretary of the Attorney General's Department Matt Minogue in later evidence assured the committee it was not correct that review options would disappear.
"Just on that, I might intervene to correct some confusion on the point of discussion in the last panel session on what will happen after 31 December if this bill is not passed. If the pill (sic) is not passed the OAIC will still continue to exist. It will not have a budgetary allocation, but the OAIC will still exist. The three commissioners each have appointments that extend beyond 31 December. The FOI commissioner and myself, for example, have appointments that continue until 30 October next year. There is of course a legal duty on government, under our constitutive act read with the Remuneration Tribunal Act, to ensure that we are paid at salary while we are still in office. There are practical questions, obviously, about the administrative support that would be needed to discharge functions if the normal budgetary allocation has expired but the legal reality is that the commission still exists, the commissioners still continue in office and the functions conferred upon them by the various acts are still relevantly conferred and are exercisable.....
At the end of the day, one simple option is for the person occupying the position of FOI Commissioner or Information Commissioner or Privacy Commissioner to refer all matters to either the ombudsman or the AAT. The short answer is that appeal rights will not be lost if the legislation does not go through. There are still legal avenues, legal realities, that will ensure that matters can be resolved."