Search This Blog

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Victorian FOI should take the leap into 21st Century

Victorian Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings tells The Age that FOI initiatives in the government's plans are:
  • The FOI commissioner will be converted into a new Office of the Public Access counsellor, which will have the authority to review decisions made by ministers and departments and deemed cabinet-in-confidence.
  • The time limit for departments to respond to FOI requests will reduce from 45 to 30 days, and the time limit (for the FOI commissioner) to consider review decisions will be reduced from 60 to 15 days.
No detail that I've seen yet about the full scope of the Office of the Public Access counsellor.

Presumably the office will be adequately resourced to meet that ambitious review deadline.
Minister Jennings should also get out the 'best practice' book with the intention of a thorough review to modernise and bring the FOI act into line with contemporary Australian and international thinking. 

In the broad, apart from the FOI commish role and wherever that might be heading in the next iteration, Victorian FOI law represents the best thinking....of 1983.

(Memo Federal Attorney General Brandis-plenty of ideas worth discussing about FOI/ information commissioners, their role and functions, and how to make the FOI system more effective. Abolishing the office isn't among them elsewhere.)

No comments:

Post a Comment