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Latest Case

Advising global cryptocurrency exchange operators on entry into Australian market July 31, 2018

The rise in popularity and demand for cryptocurrency trading has resulted in a number of cryptocurrency exchange operators expanding into different countries, including Australia, to create a global brand. In Australia, new laws and regulations … Continued

Latest News

Maddocks advises French firm on major construction company acquisition August 6, 2018

Monday 6 August 2018 Law firm Maddocks recently advised French firm Bouygues Construction on its acquisition of leading Australian construction and fitout business AW Edwards. The acquisition is a key part of Bouygues’ continued expansion … Continued

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Do your construction documents conform with the new Ministerial Directions and Instructions for Public Construction Procurement? August 15, 2018

Are you a state government department or public body which procures public construction works and services? Are you in the process of determining which form of contract will be most appropriate for your procurement to issue … 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