One office, three champions? Structural integration in the office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In 2010, the Australian Government established a new regulatory agency, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, as part of a major reform of its information policy framework. Concerns were raised by stakeholders about the proposed legal and structural arrangements for the Office, but there was very little consideration of these issues during passage of the reform legislation through Parliament. This article suggests that the arrangements are not optimal. They require the OAIC to be both strategic policy advisor and independent regulator to the Australian Government. This creates a tension in the roles and responsibilities of the agency. The arrangements also have the potential to mute the voices of the Privacy and Freedom of Information Commissioners in the information policy debate. The article concludes that it would have been better to more clearly establish the commissioners as independent advocates and “champions” for the human rights to privacy and freedom of information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-97
Number of pages21
JournalAustralian journal of administrative law
Volume21
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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