Former Queensland DPC head John Bradley will be the new boss at Victoria's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
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 Features Brandis diaries case shows how FoI has been deliberately neglected
Text size :
TAGS Freedom of Information
Benign neglect of Freedom of Information reform has undermined the institutional capacity to deliver effective, informed and high-quality advice. The perception that ministers and public servants are not playing fair grows.
Federal Attorney-General George Brandis has lost a two-year bid to keep the summaries of meetings in his ministerial diary from being considered for release under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act.
A Federal Court judge in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and a full Federal Court bench decided the reasons advanced on Brandis’ behalf to not process a Freedom of Information request were less than persuasive.
Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, who originally filed the FoI request, called the decision “a victory for transparency and accountability” and has hailed the case as a landmark. Yet as a “landmark” decision, it speaks more forcefully to how both the Abbott and Turnbull governments have allowed the Commonwealth FoI Act to fall into a state of neglect.
The Brandis decision laid bare the inadequate and flimsy nature of the exemption claims made by the Attorney-General’s Department. Ironically, in the first two decades of the Commonwealth FoI Act, the Attorney-General’s Department was regarded by many as its fiercest advocate and guardian. Under Brandis it has forsaken that worthy heritage.
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.
Read Related Content
Devolution, FOI reform and providing "safe spaces" for fearless advice is needed, an IPAA ACT forum heard from several federal secretaries including the head of the Australian Public Service, Martin Parkinson.