News

Calls for more to be done on Freedom of Information laws

THE head of the Office of the Australian Information Commission has called on the Federal Government to improve Freedom of Information laws, in a submission to a review of the laws.

Commissioner Professor John McMillan and the Freedom of Information Commissioner Dr James Popple were involved in writing the submission.

While the submission acknowledged the Labor Government's progress towards its 2007 commitment to "open government", it has called for more to be done.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner itself was an early result of that promise, when it was established in 2010, after reforms of the FOI Act in that year.

Proposals were made by the commissioner included regulatory streamlining of the act, to prevent unnecessary delays in releasing information.

"Rather than replacing the old FOI Act, the 2010 amendments were woven into the original structure," the commissioner wrote.

"This has resulted in a piece of legislation that is unwieldy, confusing, and at times, difficult to interpret."

The current review, led by Professor Allan Hawke, was ordered by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, to improve the Act.

But since ordering the review, Ms Roxon has made public comments outlining potential increases to application costs among other changes which could make it more difficult for the public and media to access government records.

The commissioner has also called for a complete national plan on FOI laws, a renewal of its commitments and a promotion campaign of open government reforms.

"A great deal has been done across government in the last two years to embed those reforms in government practise," the commissioner wrote.

"However, there has not since been the same explicit promotion of open government reforms and cultural change by the government as occurred in 2009-10."

The review was expected to be completed in April, with the full report tabled in parliament.

Topics:  federal government, freedom of information




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

State of Origin 2016: Cooper Cronk will play for Qld

Cooper Cronk will play for Queensland tonight.

Cronk, who has been undergoing intense physio, made decision today

Work starts on $85m makeover for former school site

COMMUNITY HUB: An impression of what the residential and shopping complex at Silkstone will look like.

CONSTRUCTION has started on an $85 million development at Silkstone.

Your guide to the best live music in Ipswich

Bring your guitar and jam on Sundays at Brothers.

Check out some live entertainment this weekend

Latest deals and offers

Beyonce is better than Beethoven according to your dog

Sony research shows that dogs prefer Top 40 over classical.

Research commissioned by Sony shows that dogs like Top 40 more than classical.

Police continue dig at Carole Park site

Police search for remains of Sharron Phillips in Cobalt St, Carole Park. Sharron Phillips went missing in 1986.

Police continue the search for the remains of Sharron Phillips at Carole Park this...

Kevin Walters has done his homework on Moylan

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MAY 29:  Coach Kevin Walters during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session on May 29, 2016 in Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Qld Couch Kevin Walters is aware of NSW fullback.

More than 200,000 reasons why you should buy in Ipswich

WORKS PROGRESS: Construction of the District Park, which will include a Splash’n’Play Water Park and adventure playground, is well under way.

The reason families are moving to Ipswich

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.