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Providing innovative procurement solutions for local government projects April 20, 2018

We advised City of Casey on the procurement process of the Bunjil Place Project. Bunjil Place is a $125 million civic and cultural precinct for the City of Casey, encompassing an 800-seat theatre and 200-seat … Continued

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Maddocks signs on for Luminance AI platform May 24, 2018

Thursday 24 May 2018 Maddocks has adopted an artificial intelligence (AI) platform to assist in streamlining due diligence processes. The firm has signed on to use the market-leading Luminance AI platform to provide due diligence … Continued

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Strategic use of regulatory action policies: an example in the context of Freedom of Information May 23, 2018

Regulatory action policies (including strategies and statements issued by regulators) are a useful tool for regulators to signal the importance of a particular regulatory area to the regulated sector and to the public at large. … Continued

FOI changes about to commence

Significant changes to the Victorian Freedom of Information Act 1982 are about to take effect that have implications for councils.

The changes include:

  • New Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner, comprising the Information Commissioner, the Public Access Deputy Commissioner (for FOI matters) and the Privacy and the Data Protection Deputy Commissioner (for privacy matters)
  • Less time to respond to FOI requests, being 30 days down from 45 days (although this can be extended in some instances)
  • Extended consultation and notification requirements, including individuals being consulted about release of their personal information before a decision is made on an FOI request, which is likely to add significantly to FOI officers’ workloads
  • New Commissioner search powers, which may require councils to undertake specific searches for documents, including emails
  • New Commissioner coercive and investigative powers over councils and their CEOs.

Councils will need to review their FOI processes to ensure they can meet the reduced timeframes with the increased workload.  In particular, councils should review their document management and search processes to ensure all relevant documents are located in response to an FOI request as soon as possible.

The changes take effect on Friday, 1 September 2017.

View a version of the FOI Act with the changes shown in ‘track changes’.

Author:
Melanie Olynyk | Partner
61 3 9258 3695
melanie.olynyk@maddocks.com.au

Significant changes to the Victorian Freedom of Information Act 1982 are about to take effect that have implications for councils.

The changes include:

  • New Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner, comprising the Information Commissioner, the Public Access Deputy Commissioner (for FOI matters) and the Privacy and the Data Protection Deputy Commissioner (for privacy matters)
  • Less time to respond to FOI requests, being 30 days down from 45 days (although this can be extended in some instances)
  • Extended consultation and notification requirements, including individuals being consulted about release of their personal information before a decision is made on an FOI request, which is likely to add significantly to FOI officers’ workloads
  • New Commissioner search powers, which may require councils to undertake specific searches for documents, including emails
  • New Commissioner coercive and investigative powers over councils and their CEOs.

Councils will need to review their FOI processes to ensure they can meet the reduced timeframes with the increased workload.  In particular, councils should review their document management and search processes to ensure all relevant documents are located in response to an FOI request as soon as possible.

The changes take effect on Friday, 1 September 2017.

View a version of the FOI Act with the changes shown in ‘track changes’.

Author:
Melanie Olynyk | Partner
61 3 9258 3695
melanie.olynyk@maddocks.com.au