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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Budget time in Canberra the chance to get back on track towards 'good government.'

I'm away from Australia until 19 April but I'm hoping those with heads down in Canberra nutting out repairs to the policy framework and developing the 2015-16 budget decide to join a few dots on the path towards good government:
1. Withdraw the ill fated Freedom of Information Amendment (New Arrangements) Bill that has been sitting on the Senate bill list since October. There is no majority to support the bill.
2. Restore funding for the Office of Australian Information Commissioner to pre 2014-15 levels as a temporary measure.
3. Appoint a panel of government and non government experts to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of the OAIC, particularly its FOI and related functions and report within three months on scope for improvement including other models and funding levels for oversight and review that could deliver better results.
4. Proceed to membership of the Open Government Partnership, in line with Minister Turnbull's recent reaffirmation of the government's commitment to greater transparency and accountability and to Australia taking a global approach in moving ahead on digitisation and open data.
5. Enter into a meaningful partnership with civil society to develop the required OGP National Action Plan to be finalised within six months.

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