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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Business community pads up for open government era

In a submission (28) to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry raises concerns about, and opposition to, proposed changes to the business affairs exemption in the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act, and questions the necessity of a planned reference to the Australian Law Reform Commission regarding possible extension of FOI to the private sector. Entirely predictable and nothing much from the Government so far to sell its thinking on this to the business or broader community.

There are similar rumblings about FOI developments in the business community in the US, demonstrated by this advice from the Metropoilitan Corporate Counsel to contractors to the Federal Government to be aware of the Obama administration policy of "aggressive disclosure," concluding:
"For better or worse, the "era of open government" is upon us. Contractors that wish to keep their proprietary commercial information from being released into the public domain would be wise to pay close attention to the government's new FOIA policies and to timely and thoroughly respond to any proposed release of their information by an agency."

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