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Consultation information: Freedom of information regulatory action policy


The OAIC has developed a new policy document that outlines and explains the Australian Information Commissioner’s approach to using freedom of information regulatory action powers. The policy covers all freedom of information powers and functions conferred on the Information Commissioner by the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 (AIC Act) and the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

The policy should be read together with the Guidelines issued by the Australian Information Commissioner under s 93A of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI guidelines). The FOI guidelines provide guidance on the operation of the FOI Act. Australian Government ministers and agencies must have regard to these guidelines when performing a function or exercising a power under the FOI Act. 

Freedom of information regulatory action policy

The Freedom of information regulatory action policy explains the Information Commissioner’s range of freedom of information regulatory powers and approach to exercising these powers.

The policy documents information including the Information Commissioner’s goals of taking freedom of information regulatory action, guiding principles, regulatory powers, the approaches to regulatory action in relation to each power, and how the Information Commissioner decides whether to take regulatory action. The policy also outlines how the Information Commissioner works with agencies, ministers and regulators to promote access to information through regulatory action and undertakes public communication as part of FOI regulatory action.

The policy is supported by the FOI guidelines, which provide stakeholders with a more detailed explanation of how the Information Commissioner exercises particular powers in practice. 

Purpose of the consultation

The OAIC is seeking comment from interested stakeholders on the readability and accessibility of the policy. While the policy is primarily directed towards entities regulated by the FOI Act, the OAIC welcomes comments by other interested stakeholders and members of the community.

How to make comments

The closing date for comments is Friday 16 February 2018.

Comments can be made to or to GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001.

While comments may be lodged electronically or by post, electronic lodgement is preferred. It would also be appreciated if any comment could be provided to us in a web accessible format or, alternatively, in a format that would allow the OAIC to easily convert to HTML code eg: Rich Text Format (.rtf) or Microsoft Word (.doc).

Privacy collection statement

We will only use the personal information we collect during this consultation for the purpose of considering and dealing with comments. Comments will be published on the OAIC website. If you would like your comment to be confidential please advise us. However please note that confidential comments may still be accessible under the FOI Act.