Nov 9, 2012

The FoI commissioner who doesn’t much like FoI requests

Victoria's new Freedom of Information Commissioner is already on the back foot less than three hours into her new job courtesy of ABC presenter Jon Faine's expert grilling.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

It was the roughest of rough first days for Victoria’s first ever Freedom of Information Commissioner, Lynne Bertolini, after the career public servant suffered the wrath of ABC inquisitor Jon Faine’s brutal logic in a disastrous on-air debut.

In one of the best takedowns in recent morning radio history (listen to the full audio here), Bertolini’s FoI record as director of licensing and approvals at the Victorian Commission of Gambling and Liquor Regulation was dredged up to expose hypocrisy at the heart of the Baillieu government.

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3 thoughts on “The FoI commissioner who doesn’t much like FoI requests

  1. Elliott Vanessa

    I think there might be a bit of inter journalistic back slapping going on here…how does anyone know if she was directly responsible for, or had any knowledge of, those FOI requests? I hate those over dramatized interviews when the interviewer is just trying to make the interviewee slip by frustrating them. It’s so obvious and doesn’t give the public any information of which we might actually be interested in, such as…okay the FOI process has been cfap in the past what are you going to do about it?
    Too Kochy-esque for my liking.

  2. Anthony Corocran

    Faine is being disingenuous. When he states that 2 requests were not ‘granted in full’ that could mean that something as simple as mobile phone numbers were redacted. He is simply beating up the bald statistics unless he has specific evidence that there were heavy redactions. And even then, they might be quite justified. Gotya journalism at its worst!

  3. Wombat

    I was a teenager when Australia went to war in Iraq, and I remember arguing with an elderly relative that we should give Howard the benefit of the doubt and assume that he knew a great deal more about Iraq’s capacity for WMD than he could tell us. I have grown up a lot since then.

    When the new FOI Commissioner turns out to have rejected every FOI request to her previous department, I don’t for one second believe that it was because she wasn’t directly responsible for it, or that it was simply phone numbers being redacted. I assume that Bertolini, like any career public servant, paid zero attention to FOI requests during her time in the job, and has been rewarded with a job for which she should never have been interviewed.

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