It’s only been 8 days since the Australian Government launched the new Office of the Australian Information Commissioner but the new agency that encompasses the existing functions of the Privacy Commissioner and the new appointments of Australian Information Commissioner and Freedom of Information Commissioner is continuing to steer the discussion of access to Australian public sector information in the right direction with the release of their first issues paper, Towards an Australian Government Information Policy. Opening with a reminder that “information is a valuable and powerful resource and is at the heart of government,” the paper synthesises much of the policy work that has happened in this area in the past few years and serves to orientate where the new OAIC fits into Federal Government information management processes. It also signals areas of recommendation where the OAIC is seeking public commentary.
The paper also outlines ten Draft Principles on Open Public Sector Information:
- Open access to information – a default position;
- Effective information governance;
- Robust information asset management frameworks;
- Findable information;
- Sound decision-making processes;
- Transparent complaints processes;
- Open and accessible formats online;
- Appropriate charging for access;
- Clear reuse rights; and
- Engaging the community.
We are pleased to see that the OAIC issues paper is released under a Creative Commons Attribution licence, as is the content on the new OAIC website. Details on how to comment on the issues paper can be found on page 60 of the report.