Administrative Review Council submission

11 March 2011

U/l 539-03

Professor John McMillan
Australian Information Commissioner
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
GPO Box 2999
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Dear Professor McMillan

I am writing in response to your letter of 3 February 2011 seeking comments from the Administrative Review Council on the consultation paper, Towards an Australian Government Information Policy.

The Council supports the adoption of Draft Principles on Open Public Sector Information and considers that the draft principles are a practical and useful means to encourage government agencies to publish and manage public sector information effectively.

Please find below, some brief comments from the Council on the draft principles:

  • the principles could provide more recognition of the affect that information transparency has in engendering trust in Government
  • consultation principle 10 (engaging the community) could be placed higher in the list of principles, although it is acknowledged that the principles may not be in order or priority; and
  • the principles ought to recognise the need for departments to address the of their clients who are subject to the digital divide (for example, adequate consultation with clients)

Thank you for providing an opportunity for the Council to consider these amendments. We look forward to further opportunities to comment on matters involving administrative law and information policy in the future.

Yours sincerely

Colin Neave
President