The Victorian Government has appointed Lynne Bertolini to be the
state's new Freedom of Information (FOI) Commissioner. Ms
Bertolini is a senior Victorian public servant who was formerly
involved in gambling regulation in Victoria and Canada.
Amendments to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic)
(FOI Act) that come into force on 1 December 2012 give the
Commissioner powers to:
Review most original decisions by agencies under the FOI Act
and make fresh decisions
Refer decisions back to agencies for reconsideration
Facilitate negotiated agreements between the parties in
disputes about agency decisions
Assist the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in its
review of decisions
Monitor agency compliance with the FOI Act and any prescribed
Investigate and conciliate complaints about an agency's or
Minister's performance of their FOI obligations
Make recommendations to agencies and Ministers about their
compliance with the FOI Act.
Notably, the Commissioner cannot review:
Decisions by Principal Officers or Ministers
Exemptions claimed under section 28 (Cabinet documents) or
section 29A (security information).
Agencies can also appeal a fresh decision made on review by the
Commissioner to release documents.
The Commissioner will be overseen by the Accountability and
Oversight Committee of Parliament.
Are you ready for when the Commissioner calls? Our
checklist will help you prepare for Victoria's new FOI
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