- convert the role of the FOI Commissioner into the Office of the Public Access Counsellor (OPAC). The new, independent Office will maintain all existing powers of the FOI Commissioner, and will gain the authority to review those FOI decisions made by Departments and Ministers and made on the grounds of Cabinet-in-Confidence.
- OPAC will also gain the power to set standards for Departmental officers (which are currently set by the Attorney General) and reduce the time limit for responding to FOI requests from 45 days to 30 days. The time limit for an agency to consider the OPAC’s decision will also be reduced, from 60 to 14 days.”
More broadly of course FOI in Victoria, largely unreformed or updated since the 1980s, other than creation of the commissioner's position, needs much more than this. Let's hope the Andrews government casts around for input.
Accountability Roundtable also refers to a Media Release by Labor on 15 October 2014, “Napthine blocks move to release performance data” noting;
“Today, Victorian Labor attempted to introduce the Transparency in Government Bill 2014 which would have enforced the quarterly release of hospital performance data and ambulance and fire services response times. The Napthine Government used its numbers on the floor of Parliament to prevent the Bill from even being debated, let alone passed. An Andrews Labor Government will reintroduce the Bill.”And this release on 16 October 2014, “Labor to clean up Parliament with ‘honesty reforms’ ”
Update: This certainly makes a change: Labor to release cabinet in confidence documents on East West Link