Timothy Pilgrim: OAIC has a mandate, powers, and is not afraid to use them

Acting information commissioner Timothy Pilgrim has a message for government’s chief executives and lawyers looking to cut corners with Australians’ privacy and information rights. Don’t think you can “game the system” because of OAIC’s uncertain future. It has a mandate, powers, and an appetite to use them.

Presentation by Timothy Pilgrim PSM, Australian privacy commissioner and acting Australian information commissioner, to The Law Society of New South Wales Government Solicitors Conference in Sydney on September 1, 2015.

As solicitors in the government field, many of you will have had cause to focus on the activities of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner in the past year. You may even had direct dealings with us.

It is therefore not surprising that you may be wondering what is the current state of play with the OAIC and its future, and more specifically, the important jurisdictions of privacy and freedom of information that we are responsible for. Even this week the future of the OAIC has again been the subject of a number of media articles [The Mandarin included].

I want to outline the current status of the OAIC and importantly, how I see us going forward on privacy and FOI through the mid to longer term.

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