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Assisting on whole of government technology agreements November 2, 2017

Maddocks advised the Commonwealth Government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) on its whole of government purchasing agreement with SAP. The DTA was set up in 2015 to assist government departments and agencies with digital transformation and … Continued

Latest News

Maddocks receives Employer of Choice for Equal Opportunity citation for 14th consecutive year February 21, 2018

Wednesday 21 February 2018 Maddocks has once again been recognised by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency for its initiatives in achieving gender equality. Maddocks received an Employer of Choice for Equal Opportunity citation today from … Continued

Latest Article

ACCC’s 2018 enforcement priorities – what you need to know February 20, 2018

Background If 2017 was the year that the ACCC emphasised consumer and small business protection (including an effective focus on achieving higher penalties), 2018 is set to be the year of cartels and the continued … 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