16 October 2012: The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released its Annual Report 2011-2012. The report shows that the workload of the OAIC has steadily increased across its three key functions, Freedom of Information (FOI), privacy, and information policy.
The report reveals that FOI Act reforms have contributed to an overall increase in the amount of FOI requests submitted to government agencies. The Australian Information Commissioner, Professor John McMillan, stated that, since the reforms:
Access to information requests have greater prominence in government. There is a marked increase in FOI requests for policy-related material, more media reporting based on FOI Act disclosures, and greater public awareness of access to information rights.
Complaints about FOI procedures not being followed were also up.
The report also showed an 11% increase in privacy complaints. Professor McMillan believes this increase is due to increasing levels of privacy awareness in the community. Media reporting of high profile privacy incidents was also up.
The OAIC expects privacy and FOI enquiries and complaints to increase again in 2013.
You can read more about the report and download a copy from the OAIC here.