Roll on, Friday afternoon. Time for a beer, perhaps a parma, and if we’re lucky, a good document dump.
Last year, Australia’s Right to Know, a coalition of 12 major media companies, lauded the federal government’s reforms to Australia’s FOI laws, changes which included a revision of fees, fewer exemptions and a public interest test weighted in favour of disclosure. A new Office of the Information Commissioner was also officially opened in Canberra to police the law.
But as Tom Cowie writes in Crikey today, that commitment to disclosure is being undermined by departmental document dumps — Channel Seven FOI editor Michael McKinnon says if dumps are not fixed soon, that could open up the door for further parliamentary reform.
“We’ve got a new FOI Act, we’re supposed to have this new FOI culture and now bureaucrats are doing their best to kill it,” McKinnon told Crikey. “Senator John Faulkner, if he was still there, I think would stop this, but no one in the government seems to give one.”