We recently moved our readers to a new system. You may need to reset your password here to login.
Not a member ? Join here for free.
Forgot your password?
Home News Human Services in secret? Full FOI disclosures halve
Text size :
TAGS Department of Human Services, Freedom of Information, Freedom of information legislation, FOI Act
The Commonwealth’s Department of Human Services is releasing much less information than it used to. A new report identifies “negative trends” in FOI disclosure.
Full freedom of information disclosures at the Department of Human Services have halved over the past three years, according to research released by the Australian Information Commissioner Professor John McMillan.
The report, released on Wednesday, follows an own-motion investigation. It identifies “negative trends” in DHS processing of FOI requests between 2011-12 and 2013-14.
During that period, the department increased its use of the “practical refusal” mechanism in the FOI Act from 33 to 777 occasions. There was also a decline in the number of FOI requests to which access to documents was given in full, from 58% to 26% of requests.
And the report identified an increase in the number of applications for Information Commissioner review of the department’s access refusal decisions, from 49 IC review applications in 2011–12 to 95 in 2013–14.
Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.
The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.
David Donaldson is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Melbourne. He's previously written for The Guardian and Crikey and holds a masters in international relations.
Read Related Content
The Greens minister who props up the minority government is talking to the opposition about FOI reform and wants a new integrity agency. Meanwhile, the government’s big public sector reform package is expected to pass.