FOI limbo continues: Pilgrim appointed temporary OAIC head

Privacy commissioner Timothy Pilgrim will be appointed acting information commissioner when John McMillan leaves shortly — but only for three months. The OAIC abolition saga continues unresolved.

Outgoing privacy commissioner Timothy Pilgrim will take up the role of acting information commissioner on a three month contract when incumbent John McMillan departs next week, staving off the prospect of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner being left without statutory officers for the moment.

The announcement was made on the OAIC website yesterday, without any comment from the government.

Pilgrim will assume the role of acting information commissioner when McMillan, the current head of the OAIC, goes on leave on July 20 ahead of formally resigning on July 31. It was announced in June that McMillan would take over as New South Wales ombudsman from Bruce Barbour. Pilgrim’s five year term as privacy commissioner expires on 19 July.

But the new acting commissioner has been appointed for only three months, reflecting the lack of certainty around the continued existence of an agency the government wants to do away with but seemingly lacks Senate support to formally abolish.

FREE membership to The Mandarin

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.