At present the draft commitment reads; “We will ensure our information access laws are modern and appropriate for the digital information age.”
Information management and access laws from ART’s perspective, should not just apply to privacy, but also to its opposite, providing for transparency where needed. This is especially the case for Freedom of Information, a principle which, since its inception, has been steadily eroded, as have other aspects of public access rights to government information. These matters are presently largely the purview of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
We say, “The absence of any reference to the Australian Information Commissioner Act (OAIC Act) and its operation is puzzling when, if allowed to operate by the Government as Parliament intended and adequately resourced, it would be able to play a major role in ensuring the achievement of above aims of the government in its NAP and the “sound policies and practices relating to information access and management”. It is even more puzzling when it is realised that, the relevance of the OAIC is expressly acknowledged by its inclusion of the OAIC in the list of proposed government actors for commitment 3.1. ”
Accountability Round Table’s submission to OGP NAP is reproduced in full below.