The Freedom of Information Amendment (Freedom of Information Commissioner) Act 2012 (External link) introduced important reforms to Victoria’s FOI regime by establishing the FOI Commissioner.
The FOI Commissioner’s functions are detailed in section 6C of the Freedom of Information Act1982 (FOI Act), and are:
- to promote understanding and acceptance by agencies of the Act and its object
- to conduct reviews of decisions by agencies on requests under the FOI Act
- to receive and handle complaints in accordance with Part VIA of the FOI Act
- to provide advice, education and guidance to agencies in relation to compliance with any professional standards
- to monitor compliance by agencies with those professional standards
- to provide advice, education and guidance to agencies and the public in relation to the Commissioner’s functions
- to report on the operation of the FOI Act, in accordance with Division 3 of Part VII of the Act
- to provide advice to the Minister in relation to the operation and administration of the Act. at the request of the Minister
- any other functions conferred on the FOI Commissioner by or under the FOI Act or any other Act.
Our Strategic Plan 2016-18
The Strategic Plan for our Office details our strategic priorities and key performance measures for 2016-18. A copy of our Strategic Plan is available here: Strategic Plan 2016-18.
When dealing with our Office, you can expect to be dealt with openly and efficiently, making sure you are kept informed of your rights under the FOI Act. The Office is run transparently to ensure greater public trust in the FOI Commissioner.
When dealing with key stakeholders, agencies and the public we will put an emphasis on education and building strong and effective working relationships to assist compliance with the FOI Act.
Our aim is to deal with all matters in a timely and transparent manner that ensures all parties are treated fairly and in accordance with the FOI Act. The guiding principles for our Office are reflected in our Vision, Purpose and our Values:
19 staff members (as of January 2017) are currently employed in the Office of the FOI Commissioner, providing skills and expertise across a range of disciplines. The staff assisting the FOI Commissioner are employed under Part 3 of the Public Administration Act 2004 to enable the FOI Commissioner to perform the Commissioner’s functions and exercise the Commissioner’s powers under the FOI Act. Established to enhance openness and transparency in government in Victoria, our Office is a key part of the Government’s integrity reform program.