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Australian privacy and FOI performance portal released

Today the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released an interactive performance portal with key results on privacy and freedom of Information (FOI) for 2015–16, drawing from the OAIC’s annual reports and corporate plans from the past three years. 

‘The portal is an interactive platform that allows people to easily access information about our performance as an office, and how privacy and FOI continue to grow as community issues,’ said Timothy Pilgrim, Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner.

‘Australians continue to experience an expansion of the scope and diversity of how their personal information is being collected and used by government agencies and businesses. This has increased public interest in privacy, reflected in the 19,092 privacy enquiries and 2,128 formal privacy complaints received by my office in 2015–16.

‘This past year also saw a significant shift in the public data landscape, with the Australian Government actively pursuing the innovation potential of data. Underpinning this commitment is the ability for Australians to access the national resource that is government held information through FOI. In 2015–16, my office received 2,483 FOI enquiries and managed 510 applications for an Information Commissioner review of  government agency decisions to refuse access to information under the FOI Act.

Highlights from 2015–16  

  • 19,092 privacy enquiries received, an 18% increase from 2014–15
  • 2,128 privacy complaints received with 97% resolved within 12 months of receipt
  • 21 privacy assessments which looked into the privacy conduct of 67 businesses and agencies
  • 107 voluntary and 16 mandatory data breach notifications managed
  • 17 Commissioner initiated investigations into breaches of privacy
  • 230 substantial pieces of privacy advice provided
  • 25 new privacy guidance resources developed
  • 2,483 FOI enquiries received, a 31% increase from 2014-15
  • 510 Information Commissioner reviews of FOI requests managed
  • 37,996 FOI requests were received and 37,107 FOI requests were determined by Australian Government ministers, agencies and departments. Of those:
    • 18,554 (55.9%) were granted in full
    • 11,306 (34.1%) were granted in part
    • 3,313 (10.0%) were refused.

The performance portal has been released with data from the 2014–15, 2015–16 and 2016–17 financial years. This three-year view provides an overview of the OAIC’s performance from one year to another.  

Through the portal, the OAIC aims to improve transparency for the Australian community by providing key performance and achievement measures in a single, simple and engaging way.

‘Our successes in both privacy and FOI regulation shows that open government, information access, data innovation and personal information protection are all dependent on a ‘strategically-transparent’ approach to information management. Neither privacy nor FOI rights are absolute, but both benefit from a proactive and transparent approach by businesses and agencies,’ said Commissioner Pilgrim.

For further information about the OAIC, please visit or follow @OAICgov.


Performance portal

The performance portal improves transparency by providing key performance and achievement measures in a simple and engaging way. The portal includes interactive graphs and charts on our key activities including complaints, enquires, assessments, data breach notifications and more.

By presenting this key information on a single platform, we hope to show how we are performing and delivering on key privacy and FOI functions for the Australian community.

For more information about the OAIC’s overall performance, including budget, goals and performance outcomes, visit the Performance portal.

Annual Report 2015–16

The OAIC’s Annual Report highlights our key achievements and performance outcomes for our privacy and FOI functions. It also includes an overview of agency FOI statistics.

For more information about the OAIC’s performance during 2015–16, visit Annual Report 2015–16.

Corporate Plan 2016–17

The OAIC’s Corporate Plan highlights our planned activities and goals for the coming year and shows how we will protect the privacy and FOI rights of individuals, while assisting entities to understand and meet their obligations. The plan also includes an explanation of the current FOI and privacy environment. 

For more information about the OAIC’s outlook and goals for the coming year, visit Corporate Plan 2016–17

About the OAIC

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has a range of regulatory responsibilities and powers under the Privacy Act 1988 and Freedom of Information Act 1982.

The OAIC is headed by the Australian Information Commissioner and Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim.

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Media contact: Alison Wares           0407 663 968