The not-for-profit group representing Internet users concerned with digital freedoms and rights, claims that since announcing in 2014 that it intended to abolish the
Office, the Federal Government has “starved the agency of funds” and has failed to reappoint two of the three statutory officer positions, “despite the reality that it
is unable to get its legislation to abolish the Office through the Senate”.
EFA Executive Officer Jon Lawrence said on Tuesday that “the ongoing uncertainty that the government has created in the oversight of privacy and freedom of information must cease immediately”.
“If Prime Minister Turnbull is serious about his commitment to open government, then he must direct the Attorney-General to promptly make long-term appointments to the three statutory officer positions – Information Commissioner, Privacy Commissioner and Freedom of Information Commissioner – as well as to provide proper funding to support these critical roles. Without this, the Prime Minister’s commitment to open government must be seriously questioned.”
“Meanwhile, the Attorney-General is contesting Freedom of Information requests relating to his diary and to his own ‘metadata’, “ the EFA said, pointing out that, in
contrast, on 17th November 2015, the Prime Minister announced that Australia would be “re-committing to the Open Government Partnership”.
EFA is a founding member of the Australian Open Government Partnership Network, an independent coalition of individuals and organisations formed for the purpose of engaging with government.