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Latest Case

Providing strategic advice on expansion structures November 16, 2018

Founded in Bondi Beach in 2012, Bailey Nelson has rapidly grown into a global eyewear retailer and service provider with boutiques in Australia, London, Canada and New Zealand. The strong demand for their products and … Continued

Latest News

Maddocks advises one of the world’s largest duty free companies on Australian market entry January 23, 2019

Law firm Maddocks has advised global duty free company Lotte Duty Free Singapore Pte Ltd, on the aquisition of Australian duty free company JR Duty Free. Under the deal, Lotte Duty Free aquired 100% of … Continued

Latest Article

Bully no more – Fair Work Commission’s jurisdiction to hear Council anti-bullying application confirmed January 31, 2019

The Fair Work Commission has confirmed a Victorian local council is a ‘constitutionally-covered business’ and thus falls within the stop bullying jurisdiction of the Commission. The decision will have implications for larger Victorian councils regarding … 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