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Monday, June 02, 2014

OAIC to be scrapped, Victorian scheme to be bolstered

Go figure.

The Federal Government plans to scrap the whole idea of non-litigious merits review after a three year experiment with an underfunded scheme and in the absence of a comprehensive review.

Fairfax reports Victoria is to provide additional staff for FOI Commissioner assigning two assistant commissioners to help. "Several staff will also be seconded from the Justice Department to create an education program for the public sector, which collectively receives more than 33,000 FOI requests a year. Attorney-General Robert Clark said the changes would strengthen the role of the FOI commissioner, a reform he said ''Labor refused to do in their entire 11 years in office.'' 

No mention there of the inefficiencies from a multi- tier review process that Attorney General Brandis cites as justifying the decision to abolish the OAIC. 

The Victorian scheme does have its shortcomings and this latest announcement won't address them all but it's not for the scrap heap Canberra plans to establish.

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