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Monday, September 23, 2013

FOI consultant raking it in

No, not me. But according to the Herald Sun, Melbourne lawyer Mick Batskos
who is a consultant to all levels of government on FoI, has pocketed $972,386 since the (Victorian) Coalition took office in December 2010. Mr Batskos is regarded in government circles as a "guru" with an encyclopedic knowledge of how best to use exemptions in the Act. Mr Batskos, through his companies FOI Support and FOI Solutions, was paid to advise government departments on handling potentially embarrassing or sensitive FoI requests from the public, the Opposition and the media...Each government department has a number of staff whose responsibility it is to process FoI requests, but on top of this, the (Victorian) Government forked out large sums of money for Mr Batskos' special expertise. A Herald Sun FoI application to all departments found FoI Support and FoI Solutions charged the Government $972,448 from December 1, 2010, to May this year. And the figure could be higher because Mr Batskos also represents agencies and authorities which did not form part of the Herald Sun's request.The Department of Justice spent almost $370,000, while the Department of Primary Industries (now DEPI) paid more than $250,000 for Mr Batskos' expertise.

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