Freedom of Information Commissioner Lynne Bertolini issued this Media Statement on Friday that she will step down on 5 September citing the government's intention to create a new position of Public Access Counsellor.
Farrah Tomazin in The Age suggests other factors may have contributed, and reports Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings providing this general update on reforms:
Mr Jennings did not go into details of the review, other than to say the government had identified "significant opportunities to reform the FOI system", improve oversight and make it easier for Victorians to access information. He said the new Office of the Public Access Counsellor would have extra powers, including the ability to review decisions to withhold documents based on cabinet-in-confidence exemptions. Mr Jennings said the government changes would include requiring agencies to progress and respond to FOI requests more quickly. A bill to establish the new office will be introduced to Parliament in the first half of next year.Victoria's Freedom of Information Act represents, well, the finest thinking of the nineteen eighties.
Hopefully those outside government will be given an opportunity to point towards contemporary good practice before 'significant reforms' are locked in.