The updated summary is that the Office of Australian Information Commissioner will continue to operate after 1 January, obviously with some difficulty given the budget allocation is to 31 December, and most/many/ just about everyone in the non privacy part of the shop other than the commissioners have left the place.
According to the OAIC website "We are liaising with the Australian Government about transition arrangements for freedom of information matters."
What really needs to happen is ithe OAIC is funded and put back in operation as quickly as possible to start to repair the damage done by seven months of uncertainty and turmoil since the announcement in May on Budget night of the plan to abolish the office.
The government then dawdled until October to introduce legislation, and proceeded to plough on despite expert opinion never previously sought, and clear signs of formidable opposition that could prevent passage of the bill. Until the last week of parliamentary sittings when it chose not to bring the bill on for consideration in the Senate.
But iTnews reports
..mercy will likely be short lived for the agency, with the office of Attorney-General George Brandis today confirming to iTnews that the Coalition still intends to pass its bill in the new year. “The Government is committed to implementing its budget measure to streamline arrangements for the exercise of privacy and freedom of information (FOI) functions,” a spokesman for Brandis said."Streamline arrangements" should always be on the cards but the process should start with fact finding, evidence, consultation, and development of workable ideas and options, leading to a conclusion that is the best in the circumstances. That shouldn't be too hard to organise early next year as the first step perhaps in acting on the Hawke Review that sits untended in government intrays with a recommendation for a comprehensive review of the FOI act.
Surely the Attorney General intends to do more than simply change the date in the bill that failed to win support this time round?